We should have seen this coming. Wet weather (the understatement of the year), early season Warriors and a Storm side who’ve been controlling the ruck since the beginning of time. If the dreadful forecast wasn’t enough to dampen your spirits, Cameron Smith kicking on the fourth tackle of the game should have been a strong indication that Friday night wasn’t going to be much fun for the almost 10,000 hardy souls who braved the conditions at Mt Smart Stadium. After a brief display of Warrior-ball, the match settled into a grind, against precisely the team you don’t want to be involved in a grind with, and Melbourne executed their gameplan far more efficiently than the men from Mt Smart.
For the past two weeks, the Warriors have been splashing around the shallow end of the NRL pool. First they dive-bombed the kids from Newcastle, then they effectively drowned the Roosters’ season. Now, on Saturday evening, the men from Mt Smart head out into the big, bad ocean for a face-to-face encounter with the NRL’s deadliest creature of 2016.
Any team that wins 10 games in a row is one to be respected, but this Cronulla side looks particularly fierce. After 15 weeks of the season, they find themselves atop the NRL ladder, having already taken a chunk out of the other teams currently circling the Top 4. In Valentine Holmes and Jack Bird, they boast two of the most exciting young players in the competition, and with the likes of Fifita, Gallen, Ennis, Lewis and Wade Graham, their forward pack is among the best in the business. Once they smell blood in the water, look out. Continue reading Deep Sea Diving
The Warriors rollercoaster is slowing to a halt. It’s nearly time to unclip the harness and step off the ride, time to get back on solid ground, to grab a toffee apple and some candy floss then watch on as those remaining duke it out for the ultimate prize.
When I first thought about writing this, I was tempted simply to post the picture above and walk away.
But the more I think about the game, the more intrigued I am about this match. You could even say I’m excited. Continue reading Tough times