Tyrone Peachey played fullback for the first time in his career against Manly. (Photo by Matt Blyth/Getty Images)
Tyrone Peachey played fullback for the first time in his career against Manly. (Photo by Matt Blyth/Getty Images)

Life is Peachey for Panthers utility

PENRITH utility Tyrone Peachey admits he's a victim of his own versatility but says he'd be more than happy to retain the No.1 jersey if called upon.

The 26-year-old has played just about everywhere in the backline over the years and added fullback to his CV as Penrith stormed home to stun the Sea Eagles 28-24 at Lottoland on Saturday.

Peachey, who made his Blues debut earlier this year, looked at ease at the back with 116 metres and two line break assists, while he also threw the final pass for the game's opening try.

 

"It was tough back there. It was the first time I've played first grade back there so I was a bit nervous at the start but I warmed into it and we were lucky enough to come away with the win," he said after the game.

"I'd love to keep playing [there]. Hopefully I didn't stuff up too much."

Having spent most of the season at centre and five-eighth, Peachey's selection at the back raised more than a few eyebrows.

Peachey’s versatility earned him a spot in the Blues Origin team. (AAP Image/Brendan Esposito)
Peachey’s versatility earned him a spot in the Blues Origin team. (AAP Image/Brendan Esposito)

The talented utility hadn't played there since juniors but did enough at training to convince Panthers coach Anthony Griffin that he deserved a shot.

"I've been telling the coaching staff for weeks that I can play fullback and they finally gave me the chance," he grinned.

"I was geeing him (Griffin) up at the start, and then 'Hook' called me into his office and told me I was actually playing fullback. I had a massive smile on my face and told him 'About time'.

"I'm always stuffing around with the fullbacks trying to catch bombs [so I'm used to it]."

Peachey's surety under the high ball was tested in the final minute when Daly Cherry-Evans sent a bomb his way with Tom Trbojevic racing through.

"I saw 'Turbo' coming through but I just jumped up, closed my eyes and ended up with the ball," he said.

Peachey made his State of Origin debut for the Blues this season. (AAP Image/Brendan Esposito)
Peachey made his State of Origin debut for the Blues this season. (AAP Image/Brendan Esposito)

While he handled himself with aplomb, Peachey knows he's only keeping the position warm until Dallin Watene-Zelezniak overcomes a niggling hamstring complaint.

A move to the bench could be on the cards, but the representative rookie, who will join the Gold Coast Titans from next season, is keen to find a spot somewhere in the starting side.

"Dal's hamstring is a bit dodgy so I don't think he could fully run. We're just trying to ease Dal back and I think he'll go back there when he's fully healthy. As long as I'm there, I'll keep trying to do my best," he said.

"I love playing 80 minutes and I love playing footy, but I know personally my best position is probably that utility role because I can play so many positions, which is a bit of a burden.

"I'm happy to be in the starting team and play 80 minutes."



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