Cordner tackles ultimate leadership quest
BOYD Cordner fulfils his destiny today.
It was a path that dated back to the under-12s when he captained his first side. He has stayed on course having long been earmarked as a future Kangaroos captain.
“I’ve never sat down and said ‘I’m going to be a leader’,” Cordner said. “It’s something you’re born with and in your character.
“From a young age I had those skills. I have made a con- scious effort. You have the leadership and everyone can see it. They tout you as the next captain but if you’re at a young age and you have good leadership qualities but you don’t develop and you have the same leadership skills when I was 21 – I’m now 26 – people aren’t going to listen to you any more because you’re still doing and saying the same stuff.
“You have to grow as a leader. It comes with experience and life lessons.”
Cordner was given the harsh reality of leadership during last year’s State of Origin series. It was his first at skipper and the Blues’ capitulation in game three followed by the fallout which led to the axing of coach Laurie Daley left Cordner scarred for the first time in his career.
“The fallout from the 2017 Origin series really rocked me,” Cordner said. “It was the first time it all got to me. I was so wrapped up and I wanted to win so bad.
“Once that settled it motivated me more to be better. That’s what pressure does to me. It motivates me. I like it. I like it in my life. I want to be constantly tested and motivated. That’s what I do.
“(This series) I trusted my preparation and my team’s preparation. I was so focused on game two on how good it would be to win. It was win or nothing.”
Cordner’s club coach Trent Robinson recalled when Cordner shied away from replacing Anthony Minichiello as Roosters skipper just three years ago.
“Boyd was 22,” Robinson said. “I remember having an honest conversation and he was saying ‘I know I’m a future captain but I’m not ready yet. I need to develop myself more’.
“That showed maturity at a young age and he was right.
“He never asks anything from the players that he won’t do. He doesn’t ask, he demands that all of them lift.
“Sometimes it feels like the players don’t have a choice when he asks that. It’s a special moment to see from a captain.”
Kiwis captain Dallin Watene Zelezniak and Kangaroos skipper Boyd Cordner at Mt Smart Stadium yesterday ahead of their big Test showdown