General The Fai Effect

Jesbass_old

Guest
I don't want to go on about this - it's been mentioned in speculation time and time again. How has the tragic disappearance and death of Sonny Fai affected the players, especially considering the lack of closure from the absence of a body?

It's hard to define, but the continued training photos of the players, (Price, Ropati, Matulino, and Vatuvei spring to mind especially), wearing their Sonny Fai wristbands suggests that it's still playing on their minds.

I just saw a commercial for 20/20, where they interview Many Vatuvei, showing various clips of him on the field, laughing with his girlfriend, etc. Then they said "the tragedy that he'll never forget" and showed him in tears. I know that both the loss of Sonny and the loss of his grandfather have been huge driving factors for him that have had a massive impact on him.

I guess the sight of Manu, a gentle giant if ever there was one - a huge guy physically, and always keen for a laugh - in tears made me realise just how much of a battle some of these guys are going through.

It isn't an excuse for their performances, but it has to be acknowledged as a contributing factor. I really feel for the guys.
 

ToiletDuck_old

Guest
Hmmm. I don't really like to speculate, but whenever this comes up I keep going back to the U20's...and why the same doesn't apply to them.
 

Jesbass_old

Guest
Hmmm. I don't really like to speculate, but whenever this comes up I keep going back to the U20's...and why the same doesn't apply to them.

I don't know that it necessarily doesn't. It's entirely possible that they've just responded differently. They're a tight unit, and perhaps the likes of Matulino are more effected because they're in a more fish-out-of-water situation being away from their usual U20 mates. Who knows - Price and Wiki have taken it among the hardest, so I think it just comes down to different people reacting in different ways.
 

Tajhay_old

Guest
i really really dont wanna use this as an excuse...

soon enough we will have excuses to say that our halfback cant see well through his right eye hence why he never uses our right wing...

it has been a factor im sure...but we could also have harnessed this better...im sure it would have had a different effect to most players...some would have dedicated each game to him..others would be down a lil....

we were **** all year...look at the management..ffs just today we released kemp today and made him look like the scapegoat for the underperforming backline/halves...

2009 has been the worst year for the warriors in its history.
 

insulinboi_old

Guest
The ironic thing is that after 3 great trial wins and winning the first 2 games, everyone seemed to feel that Fais death had influenced them and was a possible catalyst for our good form.

Now that we suck, we are saying that fais death is a possible catalyst for our bad form.

I'm not sold on our season being any different if the tragic event hadn't occured (excluding his skills on the field, obviously). Our recruitment this year has proved to be a dud, our treatment of players has been poor, Stacey's experiement didnt work etc etc. Obviously we will never know had it not happened, but I think our failures this year are more to do other issues.
 

DanKokoro_old

Guest
I have the same opinion as TD, Tajhay, and insulin boi. It obviously has affected the players on a personal level, but i don't think it has (or should have) a significant effect on their on-field performances. Manu Vatuvei was apparently hit hard by the tragedy and yet he's been our best and most consistent player all year.

Perhaps it played a small part.. but there have been so many other bigger issues this year that I think it's near the bottom on a very long list as to why we've been so sh*t this year.
 

KeepingTheFaith_old

Guest
Don't think anyone can really say either way what effect it had on the team. I'd say some have managed to fight through it and not let it carry over to their on field performances while others have failed to do so. It's an individual thing.

My biggest concern about it was always the large amount of downtime league players can get. That leaves a lot of time to reflect and it could be argued back and forth whether or not that sort of thing had an effect on their mental preperation as far as not being 100% focused on the upcoming games. It's all speculation.
 

leeds_warrior_old

Guest
Only the players themselves will know how much it's effected them.

Something like this always has a huge effect on the team, it could go 2 ways either the team has a really bad season or they could play a really great season. Unfortunetly it's been a bad season.

If you look at Wakefield though in our league the deaths they've suffered in the last year or two has seemed to spur them on in away and their having a great season.

Thats just my opinion anyway
 

insulinboi_old

Guest
Only the players themselves will know how much it's effected them.

Something like this always has a huge effect on the team, it could go 2 ways either the team has a really bad season or they could play a really great season. Unfortunetly it's been a bad season.

If you look at Wakefield though in our league the deaths they've suffered in the last year or two has seemed to spur them on in away and their having a great season.

Thats just my opinion anyway

On a totally unrelated note, leeds, How would I get hold of tickets to the London/Castleford game on sep 6? Is it cheaper to be booked beforehand or can you just rock on up and pay at the gate?
 

Jesbass_old

Guest
As I said in my original post, it isn't an excuse for the bad season, and it shouldn't be used as one. I think a few people have taken the OP to imply that this has been a major factor in our on-field performances.

Incidentally, insulinboi - Iafeta has a theory on that. It situates around the players tiring themselves out in those first 5 matches before the NRL caught up with them. But this isn't really supposed to be "Warriors season 2009 performance" thread.

I was more caught by the humanity of Manu crying on national television. I wasn't trying to make a footballing statement per se, but one of life. I'm concerned by how the players have been affected as people. As team mates, close friends, and football "uso"s of Sonny, how are they affected emotionally? Of course, this will impact their football either positively or negatively, but it affects every other aspect of their lives, too.

I think to the different way in which I personally have responded to death in the family, compared to my other family members. I find it interesting that both times I've lost a family member, I've been the one who has done hard yards in order to allow others to grieve first, despite the fact that I'm the youngest. I don't do it consciously, but it just comes naturally.

I wonder if it has taken some time for Sonny's death to hit home for some players. Remember, just 8 months ago, he was celebrating Christmas with his family.
 

leeds_warrior_old

Guest
On a totally unrelated note, leeds, How would I get hold of tickets to the London/Castleford game on sep 6? Is it cheaper to be booked beforehand or can you just rock on up and pay at the gate?


Usually it's the same price you could maybe get a cheaper ticket on the day. When I went this season there was loads of empty seats so getting a seat would be no problem. So you could just pay on the day. If though you'd rather get it before to know for sure you'll get a ticket you could get one from the Quins ticket office.

Hope that helps.
 

sebastian_old

Guest
No doubt It's been a hard factor for some players to deal with but as for this season's demise, even viewing individual performances It shouldn't have affected their onfield play to this strong of a degree. I point the blame of this season's terrible demise on the management's terrible handling of players leaving the club & Ivan Cleary's coaching flaws, not Sonny Fai's death. I, In my time have have never seen players mucked around by a club to such a extent since the bad old days & have no doubt If we kept even Witt who was the most undervalued player, we'd be fighting it out for a Top 8 spot.
 
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mrblonde_old

Guest
I do wonder things along the lines of Jesbass' original post: Does anyone talk about Sonny with the players or is there the "I'm a man I don't talk about this stuff" thing going on? I wonder if talking about the deceased is something encouraged/discouraged by cultural/religious taboos/practices Do they still have Sonny's locker as he left it and if so is that a good or bad thing? Making a shrine - sort of - to a lost loved one/friend can get out of hand and actually freeze the grieving process.

I actually think it's played with the management's heads quite significantly. In regards to that, wonder what happened/was said to get the Warriors to press the Play button on their attack Sunday?
 

insulinboi_old

Guest
Usually it's the same price you could maybe get a cheaper ticket on the day. When I went this season there was loads of empty seats so getting a seat would be no problem. So you could just pay on the day. If though you'd rather get it before to know for sure you'll get a ticket you could get one from the Quins ticket office.

Hope that helps.

Cool. Theres a subway stop right outside the stadium aye?
 

KeepingTheFaith_old

Guest
I do wonder things along the lines of Jesbass' original post: Does anyone talk about Sonny with the players or is there the "I'm a man I don't talk about this stuff" thing going on? I wonder if talking about the deceased is something encouraged/discouraged by cultural/religious taboos/practices Do they still have Sonny's locker as he left it and if so is that a good or bad thing? Making a shrine - sort of - to a lost loved one/friend can get out of hand and actually freeze the grieving process.

I actually think it's played with the management's heads quite significantly. In regards to that, wonder what happened/was said to get the Warriors to press the Play button on their attack Sunday?

It was said they tried a few different things at training to liven it up and Ivan said for them to go out and enjoy themselves against Canberra.

All this talk about how the players were taking it, but what about Cleary and the coaching staff? When it originally happened and Cleary was interviewed he was really struggling to hold it in. It doesn't take much for these sorts of things to filter through to an entire team.
 

MarkW_old

Guest
Some of us who can remember as far back as 1992 will recall the tragic death of the Penrith player Ben Alexander - brother of Greg Alexander.
It's interesting to compare the fortunes of the Panthers following Ben's death with that of the Warriors.
Penrith went from grand finalists in 1990 to Prem winners in '91- then in '92 they simply dropped off the radar until the late 90s.

I know it's not as simple as blaming the form of the team on that single event, but it definitely had an impact, especially on Greg who left the club
in 94 to join the Warriors to kickstart his career again.

Obviously the circumstances surrounding the loss of Ben and Sonny are quite different, but both clubs would share a similar emotional upheaval
after a loss so closely connected to the players.

The Warriors poor form for most of this year cannot be attributed soley to losing Sonny though. The unimaginative gameplan and odd selection
policies have certainly all helped turn the season into a bit of a nightmare.

I really hope 2010 can be viewed as a fresh start for the Warriors players and management alike. This year has been a big learning curve for Cleary
and he needs to steer the ship in a new and positive direction for the year ahead.
 

Northern_Union

Guest
Some of us who can remember as far back as 1992 will recall the tragic death of the Penrith player Ben Alexander - brother of Greg Alexander.
It's interesting to compare the fortunes of the Panthers following Ben's death with that of the Warriors.
Penrith went from grand finalists in 1990 to Prem winners in '91- then in '92 they simply dropped off the radar until the late 90s.

I know it's not as simple as blaming the form of the team on that single event, but it definitely had an impact, especially on Greg who left the club
in 94 to join the Warriors to kickstart his career again.

Obviously the circumstances surrounding the loss of Ben and Sonny are quite different, but both clubs would share a similar emotional upheaval
after a loss so closely connected to the players.

The Warriors poor form for most of this year cannot be attributed soley to losing Sonny though. The unimaginative gameplan and odd selection
policies have certainly all helped turn the season into a bit of a nightmare.

I really hope 2010 can be viewed as a fresh start for the Warriors players and management alike. This year has been a big learning curve for Cleary
and he needs to steer the ship in a new and positive direction for the year ahead.

Yeah i still remember when the news came through on the radio that Ben had been killed in a car accident. I still remember seeing guys like Greg, his brother, Mark Geyer, Craig Issard and the others, tough as nails footballers crying at the funeral. Sad memories.
 

Iafeta_old

Guest
Jes, I've brought this point up myself. Coach Cleary has inferred that he wanted the lads to play with freedom earlier in the season, but it didn't happen. Had they shut themselves off as a unit?

From an organisation behaviour and HR perspective, this could only be classified as a nightmare. John Hart puts it perfectly, there's no textbook for this. I think there is a clear trend to suggest it has an impact, if you look at the 3 trials and first 2 games, the Warriors were fantastic. They seemed to be buzzing for Sonny. But you can't last on that, and while initial vengeance or memorial faith subsides reality hits home. I have my suspicions that certain players have been affected more than most. Do I blame them? No. And it's one of numerous reasons why I feel happy to give all at the club another chance in 2010.

The only recent memory of an incident like this was the Penrith Panthers. They go from being a dominant force in the early 90s to also rans. Greg Alexander loses his brother and goes from being one of the top players in the NSWRL to basically finding as far away as he could get to come to the Warriors. Greg's career hit an upward slide as he left the Warriors because the time away gave him time to reflect and naturally grieve.

The human psyche is magic but has so many pitfalls. Consciously every day I want to give my best to my employer, but I know certain things tick off dry spells as far as overall optimum performance go. I see it in my employees and the issues they face are not ones of losing a mate. Some respond well, some respond very well for a short period and then hit a lull. To think this could not have possibly had an effect is wrong IMO, a good example of the effect is this forum. Prior to the season, how many of us were really thinking about where the club would end up this season? How many of us were wondering about combinations, and teams, I remarked at one stage that this forum was the strangest I had ever seen it, there were no 'next week's team' or any of the fanciful fantasy discussions we have, it was one of remorse and reality. Our performance as fans doesn't have an impact on the field, but those blokes were closer, their emotions have a contribution to their performance, their preparation was scuttled by time lost... Overall, I think it is a massive contributory factor and one I am not prepared to strike off.
 

Jesbass_old

Guest
For the record, it was Ivan Cleary who made the textbook comment.

Apart from that, I agree wholeheartedly with what you've said.
 

2big2strong_old

Guest
For the record, it was Ivan Cleary who made the textbook comment.

Apart from that, I agree wholeheartedly with what you've said.


Actually, I've only heard Hart say anything about textbooks. I may be wrong but this is what I was thinking of...

"Sonny Fai's untimely passing is not something that's in any textbook and it had an horrific effect," Hart said.
"But none of these things can be excuses.
https://tvnz.co.nz/rugby-league-news/warriors-resigned-post-mortems-2881065

However I may remember hearing Cleary saying something like that the day after the death when he was strugling to hold back the tears.