As I sat in the rain and prepared myself for the final game of the season, all I asked for was an enjoyable 80 minutes. I wanted something to give me hope that 2017 might be different, some sense that next year — the real next year rather than the promise of ‘next year’ — might come close to living up to expectations. I hoped to witness a group of players fully committed to give something back to the fans who braved the weather to watch them one last time in 2016, a group of players who respected the efforts of Thomas Leuluai enough to send him out on a high note, enough to have him kicking a goal from the sideline as time expired while the Mt Smart faithful stood as one to applaud.
But, most of all, I just wanted to smile.
Continue reading Seven Minutes or Less
Another week, another loss. Familiar shadows of sorrow are falling on Warrior Nation. A season that started slowly, gathered momentum and eventually promised so much, is now hanging by the murmur of a prayer.
The trip to North Queensland was always going to be tough, but the men from Mt Smart made things extra hard for themselves. In the first half especially, dropped ball after dropped ball piled on the pressure and the Cowboys took full advantage. For the second consecutive week, the match was all but over by halftime. You simply cannot win NRL games with only 40 per cent of possession, particularly away from home against the defending champions.
Continue reading It’s Not Dark Yet, But It’s Gettin’ There
Sunday is War Day, a day when we attack, we defend, and every slice of territory is hard fought. It’s yet another crucial battle in the quest for playoff glory. The rewards are enticing — these two points could well be the most important loot of the season for either squad — and it will take every ounce of skill available to either army if they are to come away victorious.
The Warriors got the win at home in Round 17, but this Titans army looks very different from that which ran out onto Mt Smart back at the beginning of July. They’ve called in the cavalry, are expecting a bumper home crowd and will feel very confident they can get revenge.
Continue reading Clash of Clans
Another week, another golden point loss.
With the Cronulla defeat still fresh in the memory, this weekend hurts just that little bit more. Not just because the Warriors came so agonisingly close to the two points for the second time in three games, not just because it was against a Manly squad sitting below them on the ladder, but because it is a match the men from Mt Smart will look back at and wonder how they didn’t win, wonder why haven’t finally broken the Perth hoodoo.
After a rocky start, when for a brief moment it felt like the torrential rain was about to drown everything that has been good about the past few months, the Kiwi side worked their way back into the match and hammered away at the Manly door waiting for it to break down. It nearly did. On multiple occasions. But somehow the Warriors left WA with nothing to show for their efforts. Continue reading Golden Raindrops