As Isaiah Papalii touched down for the first time in his NRL career, a spark ignited in my brain. Maybe it was the cold air restricting blood flow to my vital organs, but for a split second I thought I was onto something revolutionary, something that could change the game of rugby league, and in turn the direction of the New Zealand Warriors, forever.
Members of Warrior Nation, I write to you today with an important announcement. At the start of business this morning, a decision was made to relieve the plain black cotton underwear formerly known as ‘my lucky underwear’ from gameday duties. This announcement comes with great regret and sadness, but it is a decision that I believe had to be made. I can assure you this is a decision that was not made lightly. Obviously this is not the way any of us had hoped this relationship would end. Despite the turmoil of recent weeks, I would hope that once the dust settles, both parties will be able to look back and remember the good times we shared. On a day like today, it is important to remember and to celebrate the past, in order to put it behind us and move on. Continue reading Terminated
Sometimes when I close my eyes, I dream of hoisting the Provan-Summons trophy. I’m out there in the middle of ANZ Stadium, my arms held high, in a state of absolute ecstasy. In the distance I can see people cheering, cameras flashing and flags waving, but in my head there is silence, nothing but a sense of calm that I’ve experienced very few times before. It’s as if I am sitting alone on the side of a snow-covered Himalayan mountain, marvelling at the magnificence of the world both below and around me, or lying flat on my back in the middle of the desert, mesmerised by the brightest and fullest night sky anyone has ever witnessed. A star moves slowly from one side to the other; a painter’s careful brush stroke against the pitch black canvas. A colourful row of prayer flags waves softly in the breeze.
Saturday night was a tight tussle, with all three results in play right until Javid Bowen pounced on a loose ball and went the length of the field with a minute to go. The loss leaves the Warriors’ season in tatters — the hammer poised to smash that final nail into the coffin at any minute. Yet another year is set to pass in Warrior Nation without a taste of the playoffs. Another season that’s failed to meet even the humblest of expectations.
Townsville is a difficult place to go, and the Cowboys are a good side — even without Johnathan Thurston. In other circumstances, this would have been an acceptable loss, if there is such a thing. We’d sit back now and reflect on a game that was evenly fought and could so easily have swung the other way. Both Mason Lino and Kieran Foran looked certain to score — Lino in the first half and Foran in the second — until Gavin Cooper intervened. On another day, we might highlight the positives, might look to build on the good moments. But, unfortunately, Saturday night’s loss means there’s very little to build towards. It leaves us waiting for that hammer to fall, with very few reasons to be optimistic about the six games still remaining in 2017. Continue reading Too Little, Too Late