Chris Rattue is a sports columnist for the New Zealand Herald.

Chris Rattue: Don't be fooled by the New Zealand Warriors

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Warriors Konrad Hurrell. Photo /  Greg Bowker.
Warriors Konrad Hurrell. Photo / Greg Bowker.

Konrad Hurrell has sorted out his attitude. All is well in Camp Warriors.

I jest.

I read a Herald on Sunday story about Hurrell with interest, and for a few brief seconds a feeling of hope swept through the body.

Then the weight of history stepped in, gave me a slap around the chops. Don't be so silly. You've heard it all before, pal. DON'T BE FOOLED.

The 2015 season was the year of giving up on the Warriors for this punter, and that sinking feeling hasn't gone away.

Been to that well of optimism only to be dropped from a great height once too often. There's no petrol of optimism left in this tank. You know what is going to happen. They will tank..

Two decades of being let down, of promises gone bad, have finally taken a toll.

It's got to the point where Warriors fans need to embrace their role as the jilted lovers of a loser club, like they do at American football's New York Jets and places like that. The Jets cop it from all sides because they are big noting failures. That's the Warriors.

Even the arrival of the truly amazing Roger Tuivasa-Sheck - who has already revolutionised the work-rate expectations for league fullbacks - didn't dampen my lack of enthusiasm. Nor has all the Aussie optimism about the Warriors due to the recruitment of Tuivasa-Sheck and Issac Luke.

There's always been big signings who were going to turn the Warriors into the meanest thing since George Foreman before he became a low-fat grill salesman. From Greg Alexander to Sam Tomkins and all the Quentin Pongias and Ruben Wikis and Steve Prices and Ryan Hoffmans in between. There were moments of hope, for sure. But only moments.

A lot of talk, and not enough action. That's the Warriors.

As for Hurrell - he's been a show pony so far. A damaging show pony at times, yes. But still a show pony, overall. To throw another animal saying into the mix, why are we supposed to believe that this leopard has changed its spots? Like the club itself.

Women's tennis needs a boost

Here's the big difference between men's and women's tennis.

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer need no introduction. They will never be forgotten. But who the heck is Angelique Kerber.

The Australian Open in Melbourne has done the trick again, producing some brilliant tennis at the Rod Laver Arena.

The semifinal between Djokovic and Federer was a classic, although not quite competitive enough to be an epic. Djokovic reached heights almost unimaginable. The third set produced a period of genius tennis, as the great Federer tried to mount a comeback.

The women's final between Serena Williams and Kerber is being hailed as a staggering Grand Slam upset, where some of Williams' tactics came undone. As Williams most rightly said, she can't always be at her very best. That's the beauty of sport.

A British writer described German Kerber - the world No 6 - as a relative unknown. The women's world top 10 is full of relative unknowns, apart from Serena and Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova. And as everybody knows, Sharapova's contests against Williams represent the most lopsided rivalry in history. Not to take anything away from the final, but women's tennis needs a few more household names and a return to the exceptional rivalries of old.

Pearce's problem with alcohol

Mitchell Pearce is not a bad man. Like a lot of alcoholics, he is undoubtedly a good man who does bad things because he has a serious problem with drink.

The Roosters and New South Wales playmaker has scarpered for an overseas rehab centre, in the wake of incidents captured on video where he forced his attentions on a woman and simulated a sex act with a dog.

I'm taking a bit of a leap, diagnosing Pearce as an alcoholic from this distance. But the signs are there.

Pearce's father Wayne, a great Balmain and Aussie league player, didn't drink alcohol. Wayne Pearce made a promise of teetotalism to his mother, having witnessed the behaviour and then early death of his own father who he described as an alcoholic.

Addiction is a genetic-based condition, the family disease, although as with all aspects of personality, it is a nature-and-nurture business. Addiction/alcoholism is not automatically passed on, but it looks as though Mitchell Pearce - who has had alcohol related issues before - inherited the condition which affected his grandfather.

Pearce has admitted to having an alcohol problem. It is probably in his best interests to concentrate totally on recovery for now, and worry about everything else later. The fact is, this incident will follow him forever. He can't do anything about that. But he can get well.

If things work out, he might even get the chance to make amends to his victims, and in particular the woman who received his unwanted advances.

- NZ Herald

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Chris Rattue is a sports columnist for the New Zealand Herald.

Chris Rattue writes about a wide range of sports for the New Zealand Herald. He has covered numerous sporting events for the Herald including Rugby World Cups and the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

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