Could this explain some of the odd selections droppings recently? Can we read something into the last sentence? Obviously not all rosy behind the scenes…
Nz herald article:
Warriors senior forward Jazz Tevaga
says the team needs to be more united, admitting that the negative talk and on-field bickering went too far last Saturday with some "toxic sprays" during the 26-14 reverse in Canberra.
The Warriors have endured consecutive disappointing away losses, competing well for long periods only to be undone by familiar lapses.
Saturday's defeat was particularly exasperating, as the visitors fought hard to build a 14-0 halftime lead, before everything unravelled.
It continued a theme from much of this season and was the catalyst for some sniping among the squad.
said it was difficult to isolate one main issue, but the team was "pretty mentally weak" at times, which affected their ability to deal with adversity.
"When something goes against us, it has a snowball effect," explained Tevaga
. "And that's just built up of frustration. And then guys start spraying each other; there's been a [few] toxic sprays on the field. That's something we've got to get out of our game. We're working on that and being more composed and a lot more resilient."
Without looking for excuses, Tevaga
said the frequent dramas of this season had been a contributing factor, along with the pattern of poor results and so-near-yet-so-far performances.
"When things go wrong, it's just like, here we go again," said Tevaga
. "That's the feeling that we [were] getting prior to the Tigers [homecoming] match, and then the second half [on Sunday]. It has been ugly, but we've got to learn from that and get over it quickly."
Halfback Shaun Johnson
agreed there had been on-field tension, but felt it was a by-product of a campaign that hasn't got close to pre-season expectations.
"That's always going to happen," said Johnson
. "When you've had a frustrating year and we're all competitive and we all just want to win. You put so much effort into the preparation and you come up short on the weekend. You guys see 80 minutes - we have so much more than that."
Prop Addin Fonua-Blake
said there were no issues with the team culture – maintaining it "had never been better" – but agreed that their communication needed to be more positive.
"We know that no one's going out there to make errors," said Fonua-Blake
. "We've got to cut that bickering and all that sort of stuff out. I'm guilty of it as well and I've got to work on it, so I'll put my hand up. People are trying their best. But the more we can cut out little lapses, the better."
But despite the tension – and the defeats – the trio felt the team were on a generally upward curve, since the reset that came with the homecoming match.
There were some encouraging signs from the performances against Parramatta and Canberra, with Johnson
taking "confidence and belief" that they can match teams much higher on the ladder.
There was also an unmistakeable spring in the step to be back at Mt Smart, after the team arrived in Auckland on Sunday, along with a feeling that the short turnaround, with the second homecoming match against the Melbourne Storm on Friday (8pm), was the best possible recipe.
"It's timely that we come home, especially after that loss," said Tevaga
. "It's vital that we put in good performances when we're home, especially in front of our fans that have missed a lot of footy from us. We owe them good performances."
The Warriors had a sharp training on Tuesday at Mt Smart, in what will be their only full session of the week. Passing was slick as they ran combinations while Reece Walsh, restored at fullback, was particularly vocal.