Hugh McGahan

Hugh McGahan is a former Kiwis player and current columnist for the New Zealand Herald

Hugh McGahan: Men of vision, please step up

Feleti Mateo. Photo / Getty Images
Feleti Mateo. Photo / Getty Images

The Warriors are bottom of the table and there will be many who will claim they belong there.

I think this team is better than their position depicts and are close to stringing wins together - if they improve in certain areas. Altering these areas will prove the toughest to accomplish because where the mind is involved, change is difficult.

First, maintaining consistency is difficult, as this requires concentration throughout the game and reflects what happens at training. It also reveals the immaturity of people to maintain an attitude when it is needed most.

When the heat of the game increases either physically or through the opposition stepping up their intensity and speed, do you have what it takes to stay with them?

Being young does not mean you're immature; it's also not an excuse. Improvement in this area means you win the close ones like the Roosters 16-14, Rabbitohs 24-22 and Raiders 20-16.

Despite the final score, the Storm fixture on Anzac Day proves they need to maintain an attitude.

Warriors playmakers need to break the shackles and play what they see in front of them.

Shaun Johnson, Feleti Mateo and Kevin Locke must start creating opportunities by interrupting a set play, taking the calculated risk and doing something different; this is another aspect of vision.

These players do possess this quality but structure can block out creativity. Johnathan Thurston, Cooper Cronk and Daly Cherry-Evans all own the ability to read and play what's in front of them with high strike rates. It defines them without any burden of worrying about what will happen if it doesn't come off; they play it out.

Making changes when they need to be made allows a coach to send a message to his charges. In my opinion, if a player is not playing well, then he needs to improve at a lower grade as opposed to keeping his spot in the team to improve.

The message at present is that it does not matter if you're not playing well, you'll still be in first grade.

I like the attitude of Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire, who does not care if you are the captain or former captain; if you are not up to scratch, another player will take your place.

I am not second-guessing Matt Elliott because, as I have said on many occasions, Matt is a very good coach and the club is improving in a number of areas under his watch. But it's not as though there is not a good replacement for Konrad Hurrell. Ngani Laumape has proven there is depth.

These improvements are difficult because the mind starts to revert to conservatism and does not want to change. However, changing when you have the choice is better than changing when you are forced to.

Freedom to make change inspires a mind shift which helps in a cultural or environmental change. I think this is where the Warriors need to move - to shift them beyond their comfort zone.

- Herald on Sunday

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