There is no doubting the potential of tearaway Panthers back-rower Bryce Cartwright – the 21-year-old is one of the most talented forwards in the NRL. But consistency is key.
Over the opening month of the season, Cartwright has frustrated plenty of neutral observers with occasional flashes of brilliance mixed with some poor options and an occasional tendency to drift in and out of games.
There was a whole lot more good than bad on the way to scoring two tries (with a third disallowed due to an offside player in the lead-up) in a fine 80-minute effort against Parramatta, though four missed tackles next to his 27 made tackles were on his mind after the game.
"I'm still learning, still young and just learning each week," a humble Cartwright said.
"I've just got to cut out a few silly errors but I've got some great players either side of me telling me what I'm doing wrong and doing right so I've still got a lot to learn and got to be more consistent."
His coach Anthony Griffin actually praised his defence in the press conference but also hoped for more consistency from his young star.
"By his own standards, he had a slow start to the year. The thing I'm happiest with is his defence," Griffin said.
"He's become a lot more solid on that edge even thought it got a bit loose there at times. But he's playing 80 minutes and getting his job done. He's got another couple of tries there tonight – he's going very well."
Told of his coach's comments, Cartwright was hopeful his defence was heading in the right direction.
"It's always something I'm trying to improve, my defence, it's sometimes pretty average so I've got to work on that each week. I thought I made some bad misses tonight as well so there's still a lot I can work on," he said.
This article first appeared on NRL.com.