So, twenty-eight points will get you into the finals, eh. That’s what everybody is saying. And you guys at the Warriors are on that so called magical number. But, this does not take into account point’s differential, and yours is currently plus two. Not too bad, but there are other teams around you on the table that have a healthier for and against than you.
Don’t be a stranger to the far superior accommodation that comes with a further two competition points, will you. Come out this weekend against Manly with your level of self-confidence inflated to its optimum capacity, thus allowing you to perform at the altitude that we all know you are capable of, all the while taking the splendid opportunity to nestle in to the strikingly cosy habitat offered up on thirty points.
This would eliminate a possible matchup with St George in week one of the finals, not to mention enhancing your chances of striding towards a top four finish in the regular season. A home final in week one would be nice, wouldn’t it?
Of course, to achieve this you first have to get a win over the former premiers. Though, you’ll need to improve on last weekend’s performance against the Newcastle Knights. But, then, I’m guessing that you already know this, don’t you.
It appeared against the Knights that you were down on your usual high standards. Mentally, you simply didn’t look like you were hyped up to the level needed. You weren’t over-confident after a fine display against Cronulla the previous week, were you? Remember, there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. Confidence being where you treat the opposition with the utmost respect, yet still believe in your ability to achieve what you are aiming for. Arrogance, as you would be aware of, is where you don’t take the opposing team seriously enough.
Perhaps this lack of mental ferocity on the day led to some of the mistakes that you would not usually commit such as missing touch from a penalty. There were errant passes and handling errors that would not normally committed. But just think, you pulled off a win against a side that played like their season was on the line (it was) and you did it when operating well below your best. Which it has to be said, seems to be grounds for optimism, wouldn’t you say?
As with most things in life, there was some good in your performance. Despite not being at your best you still managed to pull off a win. Your defence was of miserly proportions once again. Of the last seven matches, you have conceded no more than ten points on five of those occasions. So you continue to deliver when it comes to defence. Which you will need to continue on with against Manly.
They may no longer be the force they were in 2008, but they are still a highly competent side as well as being an extremely desperate one too. If the Sea Eagles lose this weekend their hopes of a top four finish will more than likely be extinguished. They won’t even be a certainty to secure a top eight spot. Surely added motivation for you to put out the flame of a finals contender and potentially disencumber yourselves of a possibly dangerous foe come finals time.
And you will be helped along by the fact that you will more than likely have a settled team on Saturday at Brookvale Oval. The only question mark is over the fitness of hooker Ian Henderson, who has an ankle injury, though he will be given until the last minute to prove his fitness. If he fails in his race to be in suitable shape for the match, this will mean only limited disruption to your combinations. And you do have Lance Hohaia as a potential replacement for Henderson, with the enticing prospect of Kevin Locke coming back into the team in his preferred position at fullback.
You have Manu Vatuvei in ominous try scoring form and itching to inflict as much damage on his opponents as is humanly possible.
Now all there is to find out is just how badly you want that top four spot come September.