The NRL season has been full of obstacles and unknowns for the New Zealand Warriors, with a lot of uncertainty. But under the cover of external concerns, one player has taken his game to another level.
If you're looking for flashy or spectacular plays, Tohu Harris probably isn't your guy.
The Warriors second rower is not going to put on some fancy footwork and leave the defender grasping at air very often, he doesn't get to run it from the back fence and, while he's a skilled offloader, he's not likely to throw a miracle pass to put a teammate in for a try. That's not his job.
Harris' play largely flies under the radar until you look at the final stat sheet and see he's run for almost 200m and made more than 40 tackles - a standard outing for the ever-consistent 28-year-old.
The comfort in consistency is something that has eluded Warriors fans for the best part of the last decade. Between their grand final appearance in 2011 and the end of the 2019 season, the club won 81 of 192 matches – often threatening to make the playoffs again, but only managing to do so in 2018.
Since then, the only things fans have been able to rely on is the workrate and overall performance of fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and, in 2018, winger David Fusitu'a scoring a try most times he took the field.
While Harris was strong in his first two seasons with the Warriors, in 2020 he has firmly asserted himself as one of the elite second rowers in the NRL. Harris has been a leader on and off the pitch for the Warriors in their bizarre season, and has been leading by example.
His 668 made tackles are the most among second rowers this season, and sixth-most in the competition – with hookers making up the top five. He has made more than 200 tackles more than the next best Warriors player – with hooker Wayde Egan making 450.
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He has also run for the fifth-most metres among forwards (2589); second at the club behind Tuivasa-Sheck who leads the competition with 3076m.
In both made tackles and running meters, Harris has contributed more than 10 per cent of the Warriors season totals.
But while he has been heavily involved and is just one of three Warriors to feature in all 15 games of the season so far (with Adam Blair and Jamayne Taunoa-Brown), there has not been a lot of negative play. Harris has conceded just six penalties and committed 13 errors in his 15 appearances, which is made more impressive by his role as an 80-minute player.
"I don't care if I have five runs in the game, it's about whether I'm doing my job that's required of me for the team," Harris said earlier in the year when asked about his individual form.
In a season where there have been so many unknowns and obstacles to overcome, Harris doing his job to the highest level has been one of the few things the team has been able to depend on both on and off the pitch.