Oh Captain, My Captain

You can learn a great deal from the past.

It is our losses, not our victories, that teach us the most, and for a team to achieve greatness, they must move forward together. They must be prepared to fight, for each other and for a common goal. Only then can they truly succeed.

Research suggests that attitude reflects leadership.

Great leaders stand up when it matters most. They support their teammates and give others the confidence to do the same.

Great leaders lift those around them. They inspire a collective to be greater than the sum of its parts.

It’s not always easy to identify a great leader from the outside. You can’t hear what’s being said in the huddles. You don’t always know who others look to when the doubts come knocking.

But sometimes great leadership is impossible to miss. In those special cases, it becomes magical. Those who were once scared become brave, and the meek become mighty. It becomes clear we are witnessing something powerful. Something emotional. Something inspirational. Something we will never forget, and something that makes us believe, yet again, that anything is possible.

SET OF SIX

1) Oh Captain, My Captain. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck’s first half performance against the Dragons is up there with the best halves I’ve ever seen from a Warrior. In just 40 minutes, he ran for nearly 200 metres, created the opportunity that led to Matt Dufty’s sinbinning, saved a try and looked like breaking the line every time he touched the ball. It feels disrespectful to the rest of the team to suggest that RTS carried the others on his back, but he most certainly tried.

2) Desperate times call for desperate measures. Desperation on defence was the defining characteristic of the Warriors’ early season form. Since then, that desperation has shown itself only sparingly as the wins have become more infrequent. But, on Saturday night, in a game that had elements of must-win about it, the desperation returned. The Warriors missed a bunch of tackles, but always seemed to find an answer when it mattered most.

3) Reading between the lines. Did anyone else wonder if Ken Maumalo was dropping a not-so-subtle hint when he said ‘I don’t really get much ball on the edge,’ in his after-match interview? Was Solomone Kata listening?

4) Matt Dufty must lead the NRL in sideways running metres. Don’t get me wrong, that kid is one talented footballer, but I swear he spent the majority of both games against the Warriors this season running across field. When he learns to strike a balance between searching for holes and taking on the defensive lines, he’s going to instantly become a much more difficult proposition.

5) The Warriors’ middle is still a concern. Are the Dragons a dumb football side? Despite dominating the Warriors up the middle, and looking threatening almost every time they turned it back inside, it took them three halves of football before they targeted the Warriors’ weak spot. The men from Mt Smart were able to hang on this time, but it’s clearly still an area they need to improve.

6) Carpe Diem. The players are saying all the right things, but we fans have been guilty of thinking about the finals for some time now. That’s only natural when you’ve been waiting for something for so long, but as Manly, Canterbury and the Gold Coast have shown in recent weeks, anyone can beat anyone in this competition. If you take one eye off of the job at hand, things can go horribly wrong. The best thing the Warriors can do from this point on is to forget about the ladder, forget about every other result and focus on seizing the day, week by week, set by set. If they can do that, there’s a real opportunity to finish the regular season on a high. But if they think the job’s already done, they might be in for a nasty shock come Friday night.

FULL MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

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