Richie Barnett on league

Opinion and analysis from former Kiwis captain Richie Barnett

Richie Barnett: Inu not pulling his weight

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LACKING: Krisnan Inu's ability to turn games isn't enough to keep his place in a side that needs every member working all the time. Photo / Brett Phibbs
LACKING: Krisnan Inu's ability to turn games isn't enough to keep his place in a side that needs every member working all the time. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Inu lets his team down failing to match brilliant plays with solid work when he's off the ball.

When I watch Krisnan Inu play I tend to find myself thinking: "What is going through that bloke's head?"

We all know Inu is a brilliant player capable of doing remarkable things with the ball in his hands. He has that rare ability to turn games. But, sadly, the thing that really defines him as a player is his work off the ball - or rather lack of it.

Fans all see the brilliant plays Inu can produce, but what they don't see is the amount of time he isn't involved in the game and doesn't try to get involved. To me, that's more the issue than the errors he made against the Storm, even though they were costly.

I watched Inu really closely when he went to fullback on Wednesday night. On nearly every set when the Warriors were attacking the line, the ball would go right and then left, and Inu would be kind of wandering about.

I'd think, "Well, he's probably going to find somewhere to attack," but he simply never put himself in a position to run the ball. He just dawdled around. People can cop a side losing, but not when someone doesn't pull their weight.

There's no doubt losing Kevin Locke so early was a major blow in that game. He would have found a way to convert the team's dominance into a reward. The Warriors tried to do it, but they just didn't have the help at the back.

It's tough comparing someone with one of the greats of all time, but the fact is Billy Slater played a huge part in the Storm, turning their opportunities into points. Slater comes up with the brilliant plays and scores, but the real reason he's such a champion is that he works so incredibly hard off the ball.

If only Inu could take a little of what Slater does and add it to his own game the Warriors would be the better for it.

As to whether you can leave the guy in the team after Wednesday night, well, they're running out of options. But given the careless way he plays I'd be reluctant to give him another go.

They must go back to "you have to earn the right to play in this side". They need players who give everything they can and I guess that's why Inu wasn't in the side earlier in the year. Coaches just can't cop what he does off the ball.

If Inu is prepared to put his head down and get dirty and prove he wants to work hard for his teammates, that's great. If not, they should put someone else in the team, like Konrad Hurrell.

Hurrell might be a bit green, but he'll bust his arse while he's out there and I'd rather play with someone like that.

The reality is that the game against the Storm was an absolutely outstanding performance by every player in the team except Inu. It was a game the Warriors should not have lost.

- NZ Herald

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