Hamilton fans give Warriors important reminder ahead of Dragons match

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney says Roger Tuivasa-Sheck will have learnt plenty from last weekend's loss.
WILLIAM BOOTH/PHOTOSPORT

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney says Roger Tuivasa-Sheck will have learnt plenty from last weekend's loss.

Reports of a Warriors backlash may have been exaggerated.

That's if the throng of supporters that turned out to greet them in Hamilton on Thursday was anything to go by.

They are playing their first home game in the city on Friday night, against the St George Illawarra Dragons, and they were embraced by the locals at the end of a tough week, sparked by their bad loss to the Penrith Panthers in Sydney last Saturday.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is a young captain, but he is growing plenty.
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Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is a young captain, but he is growing plenty.

It was a scene that was not lost on coach Stephen Kearney, who has been at the helm now for eight months.

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"Coming back and being with the club, I've been overwhelmed by the support that the team gets all over the country, to be honest. It's a cold Thursday afternoon here, and to see the enthusiasm, and the kids and families wearing Warriors jumpers, it does mean a great deal to the group. 

Ryan Hoffman says one of the beauties of the NRL is you get to go again the next week.
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Ryan Hoffman says one of the beauties of the NRL is you get to go again the next week.

"I didn't understand how great the following was, but it's been a real eye-opener for me. We just want to make sure that we put in a really good performance for the local people."

It's clear, listening to the team's leaders, that last weekend's loss hurt, as you would expect, given they were leading by 22 points at halftime.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is still finding his feet as the team's captain, but is growing with every game, and said there were lessons for him to take out of the defeat.

 

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"It's about just trying to find a solution during those heated moments of time. Against the Penrith Panthers, we were going backwards, and there were moments where myself and the other leaders needed to step up. That was the massive lesson taken out of that game."

And like any good problem solver, Tuivasa-Sheck has something that he thinks could be an answer.

"We spoke a lot during the week about having a trigger call, where we can all come together and put our minds on one thing and our focus there. During the Penrith game, a lot of us were looking at our own individual errors when we needed to come together."

 

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Kearney said Tuivasa-Sheck would have learnt plenty from the Panthers game. 

"All experiences, good and bad, are an opportunity to learn, and Roger's a young captain, but he's also a young man, who is really thirsty to get better. 

"By his standards, he let himself down last weekend, and he's been wonderful this week, in terms of leading the guys around and making sure we get back to what we were doing previously."

Second rower Ryan Hoffman, who Tuivasa-Sheck replaced as captain this year, said it was one of the beauties of league - or any sport, really - that you get to go again straight away.

"Whether you win by 40 points, or whether you lose by 40 points, there's still rugby league on next week. Whatever happens on the weekend, you learn from it, you put it to bed, and you move on, and that's something we've done.

"It really hit the pride last weekend, and I think that's what hit everyone individually the hardest, so it's a chance for us to show a bit of pride."

In themselves, and in their fans.

 - Stuff

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