Aussie league legend says Warriors need to be better mates

Matey. Warrio in waiting Kieran Foran shares a joke with coach Stephen Kearney. Photo / Doug Sherring
Matey. Warrio in waiting Kieran Foran shares a joke with coach Stephen Kearney. Photo / Doug Sherring

One of the NRL's finest-ever players says mateship is the key to the Warriors getting their breakthrough title.

Andrew Ettingshausen saw the Cronulla Sharks team he graced for so many seasons finally win a title this year, leaving the Warriors and Titans as the clubs yet to win the league premiership.

When asked on the Radio Sport Breakfast who would cross the line first, the man known as ET said: " The Titans have really bolstered their recruitment with a lot of cool players including Jarryd Hayne.

"But really, the Warriors should be up there, with such a talented squad, great players, and on their day they can beat anybody. If they can get their balance right the have got a shot. It's just the (lack of) consistency I don't quite understand.

"Obviously the halfback (Shaun Johnson) is an amazing player and you've got to have a good half to win a premiership."

Ettingshausen, a TV fishing personality these days, is in New Zealand promoting the Discovery Channel's Shark Week which begins on Sunday.

He said not much had changed at the Auckland NRL club over many years, where a team which could frighten the opposition almost always came unstuck.

"The Warriors always had a team you were never happy to play against," said the 51-year-old Ettingshausen, a one-time NRL pin-up boy who played more than 50 State of Origin and test matches and over 300 games for his beloved Sharks.

"I remember running out years ago...the Sharkies had a small squad of players, and you'd be walking out of the tunnel next to the Warriors who are like man mountains. It was amazing to think you could even beat them. But your defence would hold, and you'd win comfortably...and shock half your own team.

"They need to get the guys playing at seven or eight out of 10 every week, building that...I think in the end you've got to have a real good camaraderie. It's about mateship, it's about wanting to play for the guy next to you.

"You need to build that real close friendship, which you would think would be there with the Warriors with so many of them growing up together.

"At the moment everybody sits back and thinks the Warriors are a good chance but it probably won't happen soon. But I think they will shock everyone very soon and be holding the trophy high. The Warriors are a real chance every year."

- NZ Herald

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