Wednesday night was one of those nights. A re-run of that awful movie that’s screened far too often in cinemas throughout Warrior Nation in recent years. The opposition seems unstoppable, the men from Mt Smart can’t make a tackle and the game is lost before you’ve really registered what is happening.
It was a horrible night, one that brought back so many awful memories of seasons past. Six years of failure all rolled into one continuous loop of missed tackles and knock-ons. A never-ending collection of heads in hands and shirts pulled over the eyes and the frustration and the tears and the doubts and that feeling you get what you think it must be your turn to experience that winning feeling and it doesn’t seem fair that you can care this much about something and try so hard to give it everything you’ve got, to dedicate your time and money to something you can’t control without experiencing the joy and the absolute ecstasy of seeing all your dreams come true. It doesn’t seem fair.
Continue reading What Goes Up Must Come Down
The Anzac round is one filled with remembrance. It’s a time to reflect on the lives of those who have come and gone before us, a time to honour the sacrifices they made for their country and for everyone who calls it home. It’s a time to consider the impact of not just the Anzac campaign, but of all wars, both then and now, and wonder why we can’t all get along. Lastly, it’s an opportunity to showcase the honour in battle, in fighting the good fight, no matter whether you win or lose.
And while Tuesday night did not end in celebration for those of us who reside in Warrior Nation, there was much to be proud of. In perhaps their most committed performance of the season, the men from Mt Smart travelled to enemy territory and found themselves leading the table-topping Storm at the 65-minute mark. The Warriors weren’t flashy — instead their performance felt rather Melbourne-like — but they were dedicated, and when they had opportunities to score, for the most part they took them. Continue reading Don’t Look Back In Anger
Some might argue that altitude training is best scheduled for the preseason. The theory makes perfect sense: build your fitness to a high level before the games start, and then simply maintain and recover during the gruelling 26-week grind that makes up the regular season. But, even if you only take a passing interest in the Warriors, when you consider their results in recent years, an alarming pattern shines brighter than a full moon in the middle of the desert: year after year of slow starts and mid-season surges, followed by catastrophic collapse after catastrophic collapse as the finish line approaches. Clearly the status quo isn’t working. All signs point towards the need for some new tactics.
So, after spending four rounds based at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, USA, I return to Warrior Nation with both a renewed lung capacity and a sense of endurance that certainly did not exist upon my departure. Again, you may wonder why anyone would voluntarily decide to leave the comfortable shores of Warrior Nation from Round 4 to Round 7, why anyone would forego two opportunities to sit in hope with nervous excitement in the East Stand for winnable games against Parramatta and the Gold Coast. To give that up for a little extra fitness sounds crazy, I know, but if you dig a little deeper, the rationale becomes clear.
Continue reading Altitude Training
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.
Continue reading No Surprises