Nai­tanui drama no flag dis­trac­tion

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Workplace -

with Josh Kennedy THE feel­ing in the rooms post-match after a great win against Hawthorn last Fri­day night was bit­ter­sweet.

Of course we were de­lighted with the win against Hawthorn, but it was soured a lit­tle by the in­jury to ruck­man Nic Nai­tanui.

At that stage we were still cling­ing to a bit of hope that he hadn’t dam­aged his ACL, but scans on Sat­ur­day showed the worst.

We re­ally felt for Nic. He was just work­ing his way back from Achilles surgery and apart from be­ing a very im­por­tant part of our team, he’s a great bloke, a real team man and very pop­u­lar with the rest of the guys.

We know how hard he’s worked to get back play­ing and it’s dev­as­tat­ing for him to miss this fi­nals cam­paign as well as most of next sea­son.

Over the next few weeks it’s the most ex­cit­ing time of the year and the rea­son play­ers put them­selves through the tough pre-sea­son that we do. Every train­ing ses­sion is geared to­wards play­ing fi­nals and hav­ing an im­pact.

We have given our­selves a good chance to have a run at it in fi­nals and to be in with a chance of win­ning the club’s next pre­mier­ship.

Nic will now miss that op­por­tu­nity and we’re all dis­ap­pointed for him.

But the na­ture of this busi­ness is that we have to get on with it and fo­cus on mak­ing the most of the chance we have cre­ated for our­selves.

We’ll have to do that with­out Nic on the field, but he’ll re­main around the play­ing group of­fer­ing every sup­port.

Nic is ob­vi­ously one of the best ruck­men in the game, but when he was side­lined and re­cov­er­ing from Achilles surgery we won each of our five games.

We still missed him, but found another way to get the job done and that’s what we have to do now.

In his ab­sence Scott Lycett re­ally stepped up and he’ll ben­e­fit from that ex­pe­ri­ence.

We fin­ish our qual­i­fy­ing cam­paign against Ade­laide in Ade­laide on Fri­day night and we’re all look­ing for­ward to that.

It has been an ex­cit­ing run in the last three weeks with strong wins over Fre­man­tle, GWS and Hawthorn, so that gives us great con­fi­dence go­ing into the game against the Crows. They are in sec­ond spot on the lad­der and it will be a big chal­lenge at Ade­laide Oval.

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