Tuesday, May 21

Hang in there Warriors

An open letter to Warriors fans and players. Hang in there Warriors – we love you.

Sport is about character. Whether as a player, a coach, or being a fan of your favourite team. So when your favourite team goes through trying times, it takes character from the players, coach, and organisation to work their way out of it.

But it also takes character from the fan, who has to hang tough and turn up each week to show their support. You can’t have the sweet, without the sour. It just doesn’t taste as good.

If ever there was a side that needed their fans to show true character in the face of adversity, it’s the New Zealand Warriors.

Why?

Last year, having emerged from the horrors of a Covid imposed 3 years in Australia, the Warriors turned on what can only be deemed a generational season that provided enough good vibes to last a season or two. They rallied a nation. But after an okay start to 2024, things have gone downhill, and the club needs their fans more than ever to show their love, support and most importantly, some character.

Now, common sense applies – if all you are getting is sour for years and years, then no one will begrudge you taking a wee break. But the Warriors just delivered a season for the ages, and more importantly, they’re battling.

Think the season is already over….?

Cast your mind back to around this time last year… The Warriors were sitting on 10pts and had lost 3 in a row. Knights coach Adam O’Brien was about to get fired. The Rabbitohs were one of the favourites and coach Jason Demetriou was extending his contract. Things change pretty quickly in the NRL. If the Warriors scalp the Panthers this week, everyone will be talking them up again.

Despite losing to the Roosters last weekend, the Warriors actually won the last 65 minutes of the game 18-16. Unfortunately the first 15 minutes pretty much defined the outcome, but in most other years pre-2023, the final scoreline would have been 60-4, or worse. This side hung tough in extremely trying circumstances.

They’ve been absolutely blighted by injuries, had to put up with dubious officiating at best (they aren’t the only ones but they’re the most consistently impacted, particularly infringements by opposition sides being ignored), and they’ve struggled to find form. Errors and poor discipline haven’t helped their fortunes but they are still fighting – they aren’t rolling over and throwing in the towel. And you know what?

That… that is a damn team I want to support. That I’m proud to support.

That is character.

Sure, there’s improvement needed. But they are fighting to find it. And I’d rather hang in there with this team than most Warriors sides of the past. I love that they are battling. That’s character. And as a fan, I’m going to hang tough with them rather than only show up for the good times. Because it will make it all the more sweeter when things come right.

Hang in there, lads. I’m with you, as are many more of us.

We love you.

And we aren’t giving up on you.

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