No player laid on more tackles in the NRL last season than St George Illawarra’s Cameron McInnes. The 23-year-old hooker talked to Inside Sport about how he managed an astonishing 1155 tackles, which meant he was in an average of 44 car-crash-level collisions every match. Ouch…
The Right Attitude
“My whole life since I started playing footy, I’ve always been a pretty capable defender and it’s been a big part of my game. I reckon when I was younger, that’s what got me into rep sides – it was more my defence, than my attack. As I’ve got older and I’ve developed more, my attack has improved and still is improving. That’s been the foundation of my game: always my defence.
“The old man used to preach that to me as a kid. If I’d come off the field telling him how many tries I scored, he’d be more happy to talk about my tackling. That’s the attitude I gained when I was younger, and that’s what I take more pride in.”
Thick of the Action
“Especially the front-rowers and those blokes in the middle of the field, they appreciate it because if I’m not doing my job, that’s more work they have to do, or they might think they have to look after me. That’s the last thing I want out there. I know that they feel comfortable with me defending next to them. In a team sport, that’s the best feeling, that the guy next to you has your back and he’s not going to let them down.”
Size Up the Opposition
“Obviously, the defence side of things is so important, as in the middle of the field, I’m generally the smallest bloke and the opposite team are going to run at me as much as they can to try and get that quick play of the ball. I have to make sure I’m winning my tackles and not being that weak link.”