How faith guides the Warriors, 'win or lose'

James Gavet says faith is a constant in the Warriors huddle.
PHOTOSPORT

James Gavet says faith is a constant in the Warriors huddle.

It was a catchy slogan, a cute jingle synonymous with the New Zealand Warriors in the early 2000's.

But for some players, "it's just a matter of faith" has become a way of life both on and off the field. 

The 2018 Warriors side have a strong Polynesian presence and "most of them" hold their faith very close to their hearts, prop James Gavet said.

A group prayer is said before and after every game, win or lose, and also before many training sessions as well, he said. 

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It's something that helps keep the group not only humble and grateful when they're in the winner's column, but focussed on the next job when results don't go their way - like Friday night's game against the Panthers.

"Most Pacific Island boys here, we grew up in the church," Gavet said.

"Some of us, myself included, have gone away from the church at one time or another and since come back but it's always been a strength of this group and of this club overall."

New recruit Agnatius Paasi is another member of the team who believes the side's connection to their respective faiths has added to the on-field success this season.

Having recently welcomed child number four, the 26-year-old said he has plenty to be thankful for.

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"It (religion) is a massive part of my life. We go every Sunday to the Manukau new life church, me and my partner try to instil our beliefs into our children," Paasi said.

Agnatius Paasi is back with the Warriors this season after three years playing for the Gold Coast Titans.
PHOTOSPORT

Agnatius Paasi is back with the Warriors this season after three years playing for the Gold Coast Titans.

"It's massive what I have been given, to be able to come out here every day and play footy for a living is incredible."

Having played together on the Gold Coast, Paasi said he also spends a lot of time off the field with fellow forward Leivaha Pulu who, among others, shares his beliefs.

"I like to hang around with James Gavet and Leivaha Pulu a lot. Faith is big to them as well and we talk to one another just to see how we are and make sure we are still on the right path. Just checking in makes a huge difference to how someone is feeling on any given day and helps us train and play better."

After being humbled 36-4 by Penrith on Friday, and slipping to eighth on the NRL ladder, times like this are where Gavet said the team fall back on their faith for strength. 

"We fall back on it in times of weakness, for sure," he said.

"It's a lot harder on the good days because when everything is going right it's easy but when you get a few curve balls thrown your way, you find that you're back on your knees saying a lot of please and sorrys."

With the team's finals hopes now in the balance, they will travel to Brisbane with extra motivation ahead of Sunday's round 18 clash with the Broncos. 

 - Stuff

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