Team man Adam Doueihi will happily play wherever he’s told despite almost single-handledly reviving Wests Tigers’ NRL finals hope with his scintillating return to five-eighth.
After being wasted in the centres, Doueihi brained them with five try-assists in the Tigers’ 42-24 rout of Brisbane on Sunday.
The victory vaulted Michael Maguire’s men to within two points of the top eight and piled pressure on the coach to retain the Lebanon Test star in the pivotal playmaking role.
“I prefer being in the six jersey. I feel like I get my hands on the ball more and I can sort of dictate play instead of waiting for the ball to come to me,” Doueihi said on Monday.
“So especially the right edge, we attacked well yesterday and piled on some points.”
Yet Doueihi said he wouldn’t moan if shifted back to the centres, if that was what Maguire felt was best for the Tigers.
“I did most of the pre-season at six and it’s bit more of a challenging role than the centres so the move to centre wasn’t too bad of a move,” he said.
“To be honest, personally for me, I don’t really mind where he moves me too. I’m pretty versatile and I can handle most positions in the backline.”
Winger David Nofoaluma was one of the chief beneficiaries of Doueihi’s slick play, bagging a double in Brisbane to leapfrog club greats Chris Lawrence and Benji Marshall as the Tigers’ most prolific tryscorer.
Dumped from the Tigers’ leadership group this month for reportedly turning up to training hungover, Nofoaluma only celebrated his 84th and 85th tries with “a couple of quiet drinks” in the bubble.
“It’s my job as a winger to score tries but, for myself being at the club that I started with and achieving that, makes it more special,” he said.
The veteran is not obsessed with returning to the leadership group.
“I still have my leadership qualities and all the boys know what I do and bring to the team so I’m still a leader in my own mind,” Nofoaluma said.
“In due time, if I get back in there, then so be it.
“In the meantime, I’m just focused on helping the team get more wins.”
A victory over high-flying Manly at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday would go an awful long way towards earning the Tigers a top-eight spot.
“We’re going to verse teams that are all around us to finish the season. So if we want to be a genuine chance in this comp, we’ve got to win these games and that will put us in the eight,” Doueihi said.
“So fate is in our hands.”