That's a really good point. These guys in the top team are under a microscope, and any flaws in their game will be a source of anguish for some fans...
How do players, in this high scrutiny, high criticism environment maintain healthy levels of hope for themselves to play well next game. Surely not with energy drinks and meds.
For me its really comes down to trusting your team mates to watch your back and cover each others weakness out in the middle.
If all players are always expected to be outstanding at every facit of the game, and needing no back up from the gut next to him, their weaknesses will be exposed, and the fans will focus on them in a negative way.
Its only natural to want to eliminate the weak members of the squad, cause we want to fucken win. But if they are all hanging each other out to dry, they will all look like they need a new club to bring out the best in them.
A good team player does the 1% plays, not for himself, but for his team mates. Without that there can be no sense of self worth in the squad.
How many times has a player made an error, or given away a penalty, only to then watch as the team clocks off and gives up a soft try?
That's very toxic to a players sense of self worth.
But if the team always lifted after an error, it would have the opposite effect. This is the culture shift we need to see.
But this can only happen when the coach has a hard line on errors, and doesnt pick error prone players week after week. Season after season.
Of the 600000 rugby league players in aus and nz, only 17 get grand final rings each year. Don't get depressed if your not good enough. You've got 599983 peeps in the exact same boat.