Cuthbertson primed for Titanic performance

THE real Adam Cuthbertson plans to introduce himself to Newcastle fans tonight after spending the first 10 weeks of the season masquerading as Kade Snowden.

Cuthbertson followed coach Wayne Bennett from St George Illawarra to Newcastle at the end of last year but, by his own admission, has yet to hit his straps.

The problem, according to the colourful 27-year-old, has been one of mistaken identity.

‘‘I was trying to play out of position. I was trying to be someone I’m not,’’ he said.

‘‘I talked to Wayne about it during the week, and I was going out there trying to play mentally like Kade or just some big, bullocking forward, which I’m not.

‘‘I’m more legs and arms, so I’ve got to use my footwork, my speed and a bit of skill, and that’s what I’ve been trying to bring back into my game the last couple of weeks.’’

Cuthbertson spent the early weeks of the season partnering Snowden in Newcastle’s starting engine room, but after the arrival of Willie Mason has dropped back to the interchange bench.

‘‘Personally I’ve loved having Willie here,’’ Cuthbertson said.

‘‘It’s taken a lot of pressure off me. I can get out and ball-play a bit, now that we’ve got another dominant forward in the pack.

‘‘He gets a lot of go-forward and we can just jump on the back of that.’’

A City Origin representative last year, Cuthbertson said Mason’s presence had allowed him to ‘‘enjoy my football a lot more and go back to doing what I do best’’.

Bennett said Mason had earned his place in Newcastle’s starting pack but indicated he would be used in short bursts.

In his three games since joining the Knights, the former Test star has played 21, 36 and 33 minutes.

‘‘I’ve got confidence in him but not for too long,’’ Bennett said. ‘‘Obviously he’s still a bit underdone with his match fitness, but he helped us get away to a really good start last time we played and he brings that.

‘‘We need to get away well and hopefully he can help us do that ... he makes a real difference.’’

Cuthbertson was confident of an improved performance against Gold Coast tonight from Newcastle, who have lost their past two games.

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