Kieran Fo­ran adds win­ner’s touch

Papakura Courier - - OUT & ABOUT -

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.

Go to sir­peter­ if you want to sub­scribe to Sir Peter Leitch’s weekly email news­let­ter. It in­cludes in­ter­views, ar­ti­cles and com­pe­ti­tions.


Kieran Fo­ran in ac­tion against his former club Par­ra­matta Eels.

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