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

Hugh McGahan: Warriors too inconsistent

Photo / Getty Images
Photo / Getty Images

Life gets that little bit harder for the Warriors after their performance at Eden Park yesterday.

The talk, the innuendo and criticism will be flying thick and fast in relation to anything to do with this club. Whether it is true or even relevant will have no bearing on why people will be venting anger. Few will be spared.

The Warriors lacked a killer mentality from the outset and, despite scoring first, this team let the opportunity slip by not taking advantage of the gale in the first half. There was energy and enthusiasm but not on a consistent basis.

Consistency is an asset every team requires and, unfortunately for the Warriors, the only consistency they possess is inconsistency.

The urgency they show at the start of games wavers not long after; it returns at stages but goes away with monotonous regularity. Like a lot of people who watch the club, I cannot understand or explain why it happens; we just know it does.

I feel sorry for Sam Tomkins who arrived in this country with accolades aplenty and I was one who sang his praises. I stand by what I said at the time in that this young man is an exceptional player. At the moment he is not delivering on that reputation - but it's not all his fault.

Every team who play the Warriors have a game plan and that is usually to shut down both Shaun Johnson and Tomkins. It does not explain some simple mistakes he is making but confidence will play a part; give him time. .

The other player who may be a little uncomfortable is Chad Townsend. He is showing signs at the moment that he is still feeling his way. Unfortunately this is not a competition where you can feel your way. You need to be confident, you need to take control. Try to feel your way and opposition players sense this, target you and send traffic your way both in attack and defence.

The Dragons were relentless in their willingness to get up and tackle as well as get up and support. Their wingers Jason Nightingale and Brett Morris were outstanding in all facets of play and were the difference between the two sides. In contrast, their opposites were found wanting whom along with their teammates, made mistakes and turnovers which ruled their night.

The NRL ladder displays two teams who were written off but now stand proudly on top. Wait until week 10 before we contemplate writing any team off.

These Warriors team are a very good side who need to find the element that will bind them. It will be hard to find whilst the attention of doubt surrounds them. They have found it before but they need to find it soon, or the gap to the top teams will once again be harder to close.

- Herald on Sunday

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

Hugh Joseph McGahan MBE was a renowned rugby league player and coach who represented New Zealand in no less than 53 test matches, captaining 17 of them. Beginning his career in Auckland he later moved to Sydney where he played over 100 matches for the Roosters, finishing his career in 1991 as captain-coach of the eastern Sydney outfit. Accolades were never far away from the impressive Kiwi lock and in 1987 McGahan jointly won the prestigious Golden Boot Award, the first row forward at the time to win the award. Hugh McGahan’s international career was similarly impressive coming to the fore in 1982 after scoring a remarkable six tries for the Kiwis against Papua New Guinea in Auckland. Hugh Mcgahan ended his career with distinguished honours as he was awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to rugby and later inducted into the NZRL Legends of League. He continues to write sports columns for the New Zealand Herald.

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