After last week’s stupendous defensive effort against Penrith, will the New Zealand Warriors back up on Saturday evening against the Melbourne Storm and prove they are the real deal.
Well, boys, what do you say? Are you a premiership contender or just another top eight hopeful? Do feel free to animate to those hardcore supporters that have stuck by the club through thick and thin over the years that it is the former. But remember, just because you have won three on the trot is not an acceptable excuse to lower your guard by way of over confidence. Forget the fact that Melbourne has had more dramas over the last couple of days. That could make them even more dangerous, potentially.
You must all have been tired after your heroics last weekend. No one could possibly blame you for that. After all, you completed sixty more tackles than your opposition. And you were hammered with an eleven to three penalty count against you. Yet, you hung tough and managed to pull off an unlikely victory. It was certainly stirring stuff. You have a right to feel aggrieved at the penalty count. Certainly your coach Ivan Cleary thought so, having gone to lengths to put an official complaint in with the NRL. Quite right of him, too.
Just think, if you handled what was thrown up against you last week, then you have every right to believe you have the goods to play like that every week.
You younger guys in the team have helped hold the fort mightily in the absence of some of your more experienced injured teammates. You must have thought that this NRL gig was pretty damn cool after what happened last week. But, just because you have four star players in the form of Brent Tate, Brett Seymour, Lance Hohaia and Kevin Locke coming back into the team is not a valid reason to slacken off mentally or physically.
So, do go out there and prove to everyone that you can handle the weekly grind of first grade football. Show us all that you have that something special about you.
It’s likely to be inclement weather conditions, which means having the long kicking game of Seymour to help play good percentage football will help your cause considerably. A good chase helps there, doesn’t it? Also a good sign of great teams is that the week after a great win, they back up the next week by doing the small things right. This means things such as a good kick and chase. No slipping, boys.
Your form is most definitely on an upward arc, so the crowds will come to support you (despite some small minded official that deemed it sensible to have an Warriors match on at exactly the same time as our other major sporting team in the All Blacks; surely someone from one of the codes could have had the foresight to avoid such a clash).
Teams have gone on to win premierships off the back of performances such as yours against Penrith.
So here’s your chance to back up this week against a tough opponent and prove that the winds are a blowing your way in 2010.