Sironen credits booze ban for milestone game to savour

Not even two tries in his 100th NRL game heading into a week off was enough to tempt Curtis Sironen to break the self-imposed booze ban he credits for the most consistent season of his career.

Seven years after making his debut for the Wests Tigers as an 18-year-old five-eighth, the towering back-rower scored the opening two tries of Manly’s 30-12 win over the Titans on Saturday on the right edge and provided the line break down the centre of the park that led to his side’s fourth.

The son of former Balmain great Paul Sironen, the size and skill of Curtis was undermined for years by a body that continued to fail him and the mental struggles that often accompany extended stints on the sidelines.

Recognising the need to give his body its best chance of standing up to the rigours of the NRL, Sironen banned the booze prior to round one and is adamant that is contributing to his enormous potential finally being realised.

"For me this season the biggest thing has been staying off the piss," Sironen said succinctly.

"It sounds pretty easy but it would be easy to go out and have a few with the boys but it does take a toll on your body.

"Everyone's different. Some of the boys can go and do that and they're sweet but for me, I think it's something that's working.

"I've gone cold turkey since just before round one and I was going to try and go the whole season. That's my goal.

Manly second-rower Curtis Sironen.
Manly second-rower Curtis Sironen. ©Jason O'Brien/NRL Photos

"Last week in the bye week I stayed off it. I'm just staying away from the boys and hanging out with the missus.

"It might not be what it does for me but I'm in that head space where I'm just confident and backing myself because I know I've done all the little things I need to do to be ready."

Now in his eighth season in the NRL, Sironen has never played 20 games in a season yet has started in all 15 of Manly’s games this season.

In addition to his new-found aversion to alcohol, Sironen is utilising every recovery technique known to man to prime his body for battle.

Hyperbaric chambers, cryotherapy, ice baths, osteopaths and chiropractors are all part of Sironen's recovery regime.

"I've got an osteo-chiro out at Gymea who I've been going to see once a week since I was 21," Sironen explained.

"I go to a recovery centre in Darlinghurst doing the hyperbaric chamber and cryotherapy, all those little things.

I'm just staying away from the boys and hanging out with the missus

Curtis Sironen explains the secret to his improved play

"Everyone's got their journey that's different. I debuted when I was just 19 and would have thought I'd have played 100 games a long time ago.

"It just wasn't meant to be and having all those injuries made me all that mentally tougher and resilient.

"I wouldn't change it for anything.”

Describing his performance on Saturday as one of the best 100ths he had ever seen, Sironen's Sea Eagles teammate and regular roomie Joel Thompson believes his professional approach will lead to higher honours.

"They toss up a lot of different names for rep footy but I could see him in different rep jerseys down the track," Thompson said.

"That's the result from the hard work he's put in.

"He's reaping the rewards of putting in what he has to do to get his body right.

“His professionalism is through the roof. He's always doing extras off the field on his day off, he's always making sure he's getting his body right and the young guys see that as well.

"It's probably the best 100th I've seen and I've been around for a bit."