Kieran Foran adds winner’s touch
Friends tell me I am a cheerleader for the Vodafone Warriors, especially when they lose, which let’s face it, is more often than not. The same people tell me I’m always reminding them it’s just a game.
Well here’s a surprise, I am about to do the same thing, except that we won.
What a highlight it was to have some truly inspirational people along to the game at Mt Smart on Sunday. These were just ordinary folk, and I am sure they would not mind me calling them that.
They came to Auckland, and well done Sky City and Air NZ for making it happen, from places like Kaikoura, Christchurch, Culverden and even Ward, which I admit to never having heard of.
And all of them had extraordinary tales to tell, though they would dispute it.
They were the volunteer fireman who held the hand of a young crash victim and got her through her ordeal, and the bulldozer driver who put his own life at risk cutting firebreaks as the flames licked around him.
So yes, the Warriors won, but it is those men and women I take my hat off to.
That said, I did leave with a grin on my face when we beat the Parramatta Eels 22-10, going back to back for the first time since I can’t remember.
It was a triumph of discipline because things started to go against them a little in the second half, with a couple of calls that once upon a time would have frustrated them and seen them go to pieces.
This time they stuck to it, and the crowd of 13,000 – 3000 more than at the Titans – loved it.
The Warriors, often justifiably, take a hammering about defence, but on Sunday it was good, certainly the best I’ve seen in a while, and their completion rate was much improved too.
Of course all eyes were again on Kieran Foran, fronting against the club he walked away from last year to address personal problems.
He seemed a little quiet in the first half, but I for one believe his presence is playing a part in our improved showings, and he still finished his work with two try assists.
More of the same will do me, and we will probably need to lift again because we have the Canberra Raiders next week, followed by the Storm, who demolished us earlier this year at our place.
That is the Anzac round game, and even after that, when we return to Mt Smart, our visitors will be the Sydney Roosters, so the opposition has gone up a class.
But you can only beat who is in front of you, and that leaves us with a three-three win-loss record to start the season, a good deal better than we have managed in recent times.
The Sharks beat the Storm in a repeat of last year’s grand final, and not many saw that coming. But the biggest upset was the Tigers, now led by former Warriors coach Ivan Cleary, who have been rubbish, but who tipped over the North Queensland Cowboys.
So every dog has its day, and let’s hope we have a few more of them, because truth be told, I quite like this winning feeling.
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Kieran Foran in action against his former club Parramatta Eels.