Putting the stress of getting a new contract behind him has paid dividends for powerhouse South Sydney Rabbitohs front-rower Ben Ross, who is hoping to ride a stretch of good form right through to the NRL finals series.
Unsigned for 2012, Ross admitted feeling the heat about shoring up his future but decided it was best to concentrate on playing footy instead.
And it has paid dividends.
“It was really tough up until a few weeks ago,” he said.
“And then I thought ‘Stuff it. I’m just going to play football and if I get something then I get something.’
“I really hope I do because I love my footy at the moment and you can see it out there. I love Souths. I love the boys at Souths. If I get a contract then I’m going to take it somewhere.”
Ross is getting back to the kind of form that saw him play off the bench in six State of Origin matches for Queensland – something that seemed a lifetime away after he broke his neck playing for the Cronulla Sharks in 2009.
While Souths threw him a lifeline to join the club, Ross eventually debuting after sitting out 2010, they are yet to commit for 2012.
But for now Ross is determined just to enjoy his side’s late season charge and the company of his teammates.