Mitch Brown relishing role at the back

Canterbury’s fill-in fullback Mitch Brown says he feels more important to the team as he enjoys his time in the No.1 jersey.

In the past two games, Brown has taken over from Sam Perrett, who will be sidelined for at least another two weeks as he recovers from an ankle injury.

The 26-year-old has spent most of his time in the NRL on the wing but spent his junior football at fullback. Brown said he was enjoying the switch.

“I’m getting more comfortable,” he said. “It’s becoming more second nature. I’m not thinking about it as much. I’m doing a fair bit of training there now. It’s a lot more involvement and pressure. It gets me into the game a lot more. I get my hands on the ball and be more part of the team and more important. It’s good.”

Brown will come up against Billy Slater when the Bulldogs travel to play Melbourne on Saturday night. Brown said it would be a good test.

“Slater is arguably the best fullback in the game and has been for 10 years now,” Brown said. “It’s always good to play him.”

Canterbury hammered the Storm 40-12 when they met in round four. Brown said they would face a tougher Melbourne outfit on Saturday, despite Origin midweek.

“They might have had an off-day with the terrible rain in Perth, they are such a quality team you have to respect them,” Brown said. “You can never go out there thinking we can do this or do that easily. They are tough everywhere. It’s going to be cold and could be wet we just have to role the sleeves up.”

The Bulldogs will be sweating on the return of halves Trent Hodkinson and Josh Reynolds coming through Origin unscathed, while Melbourne have not named Cooper Cronk.

Brown said he expected Cronk to return for the Storm.

“They are handy players,” he said. “It’ll be tough. You expect everything and we will train as if everyone is playing. [We] always train for the worst. I think he’ll play but it’ll depend how he pulls up from Origin.”

The Bulldogs rose to join Penrith and Manly at the top of the ladder with their surprise 23-16 win against the Sea Eagles on Friday.

“It was our first win over the Origin period [and it was good to get it] especially against Manly [because] we have had that rivalry,” Brown said. “It was a good, hard win. We’ve got good depth in our team. Tony Williams and Josh Jackson played out of their skin in positions they haven’t really played before. Everyone worked as a team and trained hard.”

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