Warriors can learn from Hawera's iron will

Last updated 05:00 26/06/2012

Well it was a weekend when the Vodafone Warriors couldn't lose because we had the bye.

So instead of being focused on the match I was able to travel to Christchurch with Warriors coach Brian McClennan and it as a great privilege to be his MC when he was the guest speaker at a Halswell Hornets Rugby League Club fundraiser.

As you know, I am a big fan of Bluey's so it was excellent to spend some quality time with him. And let me tell you, we are in good hands.

Sure we have had some teething troubles but believe me he's incredibly passionate about doing well with the team and I for one believe in his ability to deliver.

Let me tell you, we are all prone to having the odd moan when things aren't going our way. But while we were in Christchurch we visited the Burwood Spinal Unit and met a young man – he'd be in his 20s I guess – called Hawera Wall. He was seriously injured in a tackle playing in his first season of league and is now in a wheelchair.

And what an inspiration he was. Not one ounce of self-pity, not one ounce of negativity, just an incredible determination and positivity that left me full of admiration for the young fella from Taupo.

It's now my mission to get him up to Auckland to see the Vodafone Warriors play and I know that Bluey was also incredibly pleased to have met him. He'll be the first one with his hand up when we get him here to open up the changing sheds and introduce him to the team and make his day an incredible experience for him.

It was a real privilege to meet him and his attitude will stay with me for a long time.

As does the incredible courage of a young woman who lost both legs in the Christchurch earthquakes and who has sadly found herself back in Burwood recently. I've corresponded with her a bit and been for the odd visit and we could all learn a little something about facing up to adversity from her.

The Vodafone Warriors will have their work cut out for them at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday when the North Queensland Cowboys come to town. They smashed the Canberra raiders 48-18 at the weekend so will be coming on the back of good form indeed.

It will be a pleasure to welcome former Vodafone Warrior Brent Tate back to Mt Smart too. He is another who can teach us about not quitting. He's suffered some terrible injuries and has always faced them head on. His iron will has seen him return to the Queensland State of Origin team.

In other games Brisbane beat Souths 26-12 and Stephen Kearney's Eels got home 19-18 in golden point against Ivan Cleary's Penrith.

The Dogs were too good for the Storm, winning 20-4 but the result that really raised eyebrows was Manly flogging the Roosters. Brian Smith was apparently pretty confident his Chooks could do the deed but they should have stayed home and watched it on TV because they got smashed 52-14.

I'm writing this before Monday night footy has been played but Wests are travelling well and should have the goods on Wayne Bennett's Newcastle Knights but stranger things have happened.

As you know, I have long since sold the Mad Butcher business but my new boss Mike Morton keeps me busy so I am off to Dunedin on Friday for the opening of a new store.

The boss could not have timed it better because that means I will be able to get along and catch up with my good mate Jimmy Cowan whose Highlanders take on the Chiefs while I'm there.

But I'll be back in time for the game on Sunday and I'm hoping a good crowd will again turn up to cheer the boys on. So don't forget to save money and get your tickets early at the Mad Butcher stores in Manukau and Mangere.

And go the mighty Vodafone Warriors!

- Manukau Courier

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