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34 hours ago
The motive to not let Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens find a reason to drop him to Premier League has been the driving force behind the resurgence of Chris Heighington.
As he prepares for Sunday night's grand final, Heighington is relieved and excited to be in the side to take on the North Queensland Cowboys at Telstra Stadium.
The hard-working interchange forward has played 22 matches this season for the Wests Tigers after playing just 10 top grade games in 2004. Heighington made his first grade debut against St George-Illawarra at Telstra Stadium in 2003.
"I've been pretty happy with my season,'' Heighington said. "Consistency has been the big thing for me, that was one of the things I lacked last year. By being more consistent, I haven't given Tim an excuse to drop me.
"Playing in the grand final is going to be massive and I can't wait.
"The Cowboys will be very tough. We have to stop their back three and win around the ruck. If we can do that, and get aggressive in defence, we should come away with it.''
The former Umina Bunnies player said his home town of Umina on the Central Coast has already been in party mode.
"Umina Bowling Club will be going off on grand final night. It has been that way right throughout the finals,'' he laughed.
"There will be about 20 members of the Heighington family coming down for the game, so hopefully we can win and give them plenty to cheer about.''
Heighington is also trying to live down the wraps he receives from Channel Nine commentator Ray Warren.
"Ray often says I make things happen on the field when I come on,''Heighington said.
"The boys have been giving it to me about that. Ray looks after me, though. I'll have to buy him a few beers.''