How Zac Lomax plans to return to the basics in order to become a NSW contender again

You could almost set your watch last season to Zac Lomax producing a no-look pass close to the sidelines while trying to fashion a chance for his winger regardless of whether the opportunity actually existed or not. 

It became his pet play perhaps far too often and has been the source of plenty of derision in the past. But the centre has admitted that entering into the new campaign he won’t be making the same mistakes, as he tries to fire the Dragons into the top eight and reclaim his place as a New South Wales contender once again.

Why Zac Lomax’s pursuit of ‘cheap points’ got him in trouble last season 

Lomax is heading into his sixth year of first grade but like the rest of his teammates is under plenty of pressure to put sub-par displays behind him with the Red Vee having not featured in the finals for four-straight seasons.

MORE: Why do the Newcastle Knights want to move Kalyn Ponga from fullback to five-eighth?

Anthony Griffin is used to having the spotlight fixed firmly upon him ever since taking the reins at St George. But in many ways this time it feels different. It feels like the coach and the side he has assembled over the past few years have entered into the last chance saloon.

Lomax stands as one of the best possible avenues of attack for Griffin’s men. After all, the Temora junior has accumulated 10 tries and 11 assists in the last two years.

He has also received plenty of plaudits for his skill with the ball as well as his aerial capabilities when chasing a towering Ben Hunt bomb.

Although, his tendency to repeatedly throw risky passes has held him back in discussions for representative honours.

One particular incident provoking the ire of Greg Alexander and Michael Ennis last season when Lomax attempted an offload close to his own try line which Murray Taulagi gobbled up to extend North Queensland’s lead in a game that they went on to win 31-12.

“Zac Lomax throwing a no-look flick pass on your own 10-metre line… that’s become a part of Zac’s game,” a non-plussed Alexander said.

“At some point, Anthony Griffin needs to get Zac Lomax into his office and have a real good chat to him about where his game is at because Zac has the ability to pull off brilliant moments, but he’s got to earn the right to do it,” Ennis added.

“He’s looking for cheap points all the time… just looking for the flashy play all the time.”

In 2023, Zac Lomax will attempt to eradicate the errors that have plagued his game

It’s easy to forget due the past few tough years that the 23-year-old was once on the precipice of making his Blues debut after an incredible breakout campaign in 2020 saw him notch 13 tries and seven assists during his 20 appearances.

“You always want to play representative footy, but I just want to do the basics the best that I can,” Lomax told Fox Sports.

“I want to be the best player at the basics. I want to be able to do them regularly and that just comes from being the best trainer as well.”

His teammate Aaron Woods praised Lomax’s ability but called for a greater application at training and on the weekend in order to elevate his reputation within the game.

“As an athlete, Lomax is one of the best I’ve seen, and I’ve been at four NRL clubs,” Woods said via The Sydney Morning Herald.

“Physically, running-wise, fitness-wise, he’s the best I’ve seen. In the gym, he’s also up there as one of the strongest.

“He just has to put it out there each weekend, and if he does that consistently, then they will talk about him for Origin and Australia.”

MORE: St George Illawarra Dragons sign Ben Murdoch-Masila on a two-year deal

However, Lomax’s 44 errors were more than any other player in the comp last year, as he was often guilty of attempting a highlight reel flick pass that would sometimes plunge his team into all sorts of bother.  

In fact, according to NRL.com, 39 of those 44 mistakes were classified as handling errors entirely of his own making.

Yet Lomax plans to remedy his desire to go for the big ‘Hollywood play’ by withdrawing a little and focusing on being a more team-orientated player in 2023.  

“[I was] probably just trying to overplay a little bit,” he continued.

“I have sort of stripped it back. I know what I need to do this year and I have a clearer focus in regard to what I need to do for the team. [I’m] just trying to be the best teammate that I can.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *