Stephen Crichton was so spectacular filling in at fullback for the Panthers on Friday night time that he’s been likened to the sport’s greatest participant, Tom Trbojevic.
Crichton was named on the wing for Penrith of their blockbuster conflict with the Rabbitohs however after Dylan Edwards suffered a head knock, the towering 20-year-old was shifted to the again.
He immediately made his presence generally known as his lanky arm reached out and picked up Paul Momirovski’s chip kick with one hand to attain on the stroke of half time.
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Fox League professional Michael Ennis was loving seeing Crichton in the course of the sector and known as for the positional change to be made everlasting.
“I say this with respect, Dylan Edwards is a tenacious participant and also you by no means prefer to see a participant depart the sector, it was heavy contact… however personally I really like Crichton extra concerned,” he mentioned.
“I see him as a participant like a Joey Manu, when he’s within the sport, when he’s getting his fingers on the footy round (Nathan) Cleary and (Jarome) Luai issues occur.
“I really like him at fullback. We’ve already seen the impression that he can have.
“He’s been excellent, Crichton.”
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Commentator Warren Smith was equally impressed and even prompt Crichton has the potential to achieve the identical heights of Trbojevic.
“He could possibly be Tom Trbojevic 2.0, that’s how good he’s,” Smith mentioned.
“He’s one centimetre shorter and two kilograms lighter than Tom Trbojevic… virtually the an identical body and he has precisely the identical skill, given he will get extra possession and will get concerned in video games.
“He will get that probability now that Edwards is out for the rest of this one.”
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Crichton notched up 160 working metres and three tacklebusts on high of his first-half four-pointer.
Panthers legend Greg Alexander believes Crichton is able to making the change.
“The talent degree of Stephen Crichton is extraordinary. He’s a really proficient younger man. If he needed to make a fist of fullback, I am positive he can,” he mentioned.
In the meantime, Cooper Cronk issues it’s solely a matter of time earlier than the younger gun does change positions — however it received’t be this yr.
“I feel it’s simply across the nook. Within the instances we’ve seen Stephen Crichton play fullback, he’s arguably been within the high three gamers on the sector,” he mentioned.
“He’s simply received these glimpses of brillance that you simply’re simply in awe of and he can do the powerful carries, he can give you the gamers. Defensively, I’m positive the Penrith teaching employees can work round these areas he wants to enhance.
“For the rest of this yr, I feel it’s higher balanced that he goes again to centre and Dylan Edwards gamers fullback. However after that, there’s little question that Stephen Crichton may probably transfer into the fullback position.”
The Fox League panel weren’t the one ones impressed. Various followers taking to Twitter to reward Crichton’s efforts.