Coach's novel training trick helps team prepare for barrage of noise
The Warriors have been wearing earplugs at training this week as coach Andrew McFadden continues to search for new ways to keep ahead of the opposition.
Players ran through Tuesday's team session with earplugs in place, in preparation for tomorrow's clash against the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.
The experiment was to counter what is expected to be a noisy and hostile atmosphere generated by up to 40,000 Broncos fans.
"Cappy's getting us to talk a lot louder," explained back-rower Ben Henry.
"He's really game specific with how we train and there's going to be a big crowd there on Saturday night and there's going to be a lot of noise and it gets rowdy and you can't hear people, so I think this is a good idea. "It makes you even more aware of what's happening around you and what's in front of you as well."
Three months into his career as head coach, McFadden is earning a reputation as someone who thinks outside the square. The team's well-publicised scrummaging ploy is an obvious example of his tactical nous, but he is always searching for ways to replicate game conditions on the training paddock. In another example, he dunked footballs in a tub of water and threw them to players in preparation for expected wet conditions.
Henry said the ideas were always well received.
"They're things you don't really think of, but it helps when you come to the game and you know the ball is slippery and it gives you confidence when you've been dealing with a slippery ball throughout the week."
McFadden says the challenge for his side this week is to maintain the high standards reached in last Saturday's big win over Parramatta, against a powerful Broncos side that has had three consecutive defeats.
The Warriors are one spot above the Broncos in sixth position on the NRL ladder.
Fullback Sam Tomkins travelled with the side to Brisbane yesterday and will be given every chance to prove he has overcome a mild hip flexor strain incurred during training on Wednesday.
Broncos v Warriors
Suncorp Stadium, 9.30pm
Justin Hodges (c)
Corey Parker (c)
S Mannering (c)