I just want to take a moment to appreciate the little things. The little things that have seen the Warriors win five of their last seven matches and climb to sixth on the ladder. The little things that may be signalling a new era under Andrew 'Cappy' McFadden. The little things that have seen the Warriors become a team capable of winning those tough-to-win, edge-of-your-seat matches that can make or break a season.
The little things like scoring early points. In their last six matches they have scored a try in the 7th, 5th, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, and, wait for it, 3rd minute. It goes to suggest that the Warriors are coming into matches prepared and believing in their abilities. Rather than taking their time trying to build into a game they are coming out with a plan, identifying weaknesses in their opposition, and executing their chances early on to start on the front foot. It shows that the Warriors have plans and are capable of sticking to them (most of the time). Sure, I know that early points donít necessarily win games Ė the Warriors did lose two of those six matches Ė and we have seen some marvellous comebacks in the NRL over the years but, as I think anyone who has played a sport can attest, scoring or conceding early has a mental impact. No one likes playing from behind. It hits the confidence and, while it might not win the match, it sure can give you the foundations for a good results.
Another little thing Iíd like to reflect on is the effectiveness of the bench. Not only are the bench players having big impacts on the matches, the interchanges are seamless. †The game does not slow down, the structure and game plan is maintained, and the intensity remains throughout. Cappy has been mixing it up Ė starting the young boys and bringing the experience on from the bench for some matches, giving the experienced players a start and getting the younger boys involved from the bench in other matches. Whatever Cappy is doing, he is doing it well. The Warriors forward pack/bench combination has become a †massive weapon, an asset that wins games, since Cappy has taken charge (they've also been extremely adaptable - both when reacting to tough situations and with players stepping up when required to play out of position).
These are just a couple of little things Iíve been reflecting on and enjoying over the past few weeks. I would get into individual performances as well (how good has Manu been lately, and Lillyman has been a beast all season) but Iím going to leave that for another day. For now, I hope we keep seeing the Warriors do the little things right. If they do, they could go far under their current leadership.
What do you think? What aspect of their game has impressed you?†