Tag Archives: Shaun Johnson

Not Very Good

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.

Continue reading Not Very Good

Terminated

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

Too Little, Too Late


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

This was no way to farewell a great

You are playing at home, against a team in the same spot on the ladder, with your season on the line. I would have thought that in itself would be enough motivation to leave everything on the paddock.

If that doesn’t get the competitive juices flowing, let’s throw in the fact that last time you played this team, they came back from 28–6 down at halftime to beat you. And then for good measure, let’s rule out their best player, then have their second-best player leave the field with an injury after 27 minutes. Does this sound like an opportunity you want to grab with both hands?

How about if one of the club’s most-loved players of all time was departing the next day, and the entire evening was meant to be a celebration of his achievements, an occasion designed to show him how much he means to you, to the club, to your team, to the fans and to his community. Surely there’s no way anyone could come in and out-enthuse you on a night like this. Of all nights, this is the one when you will give everything for the jersey and for your friend — the one they call The Beast.

Continue reading This was no way to farewell a great