CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 18: Ata Hingano of Tonga charges forward during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup Quarter Final match between Tonga and Lebanon at AMI Stadium on November 18, 2017 in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

Culture Shock

It’s official. The New Zealand rugby league have the worst culture in the history of the sport. New Zealand captain Adam Blair, coach David Kidwell and vice-captain Shaun Johnson seemed to blame everyone from the media to their own fans for their premature World Cup exit, just not themselves. Poor form indeed.

This problem doesn’t exist extend to the international team but the Warriors too. The Warriors have long been a team where a player goes for that one last big paycheque and can give minimal effort in doing so. I think this is where the term “being paid while on holiday,” originates from. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Isaac Luke – I’m looking at you.

Hingano set to fly coop

Ata Hingano is set to be cut by the Warriors and is looking to join an Australian based club in the NRL with rugby union not on his agenda. Hingano is one of the most naturally talented footballers to come out of New Zealand in recent years and will excel outside the toxic culture that currently pollutes the Warriors.

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The great JT echoes my call

A few weeks ago in my column, you would have seen me tell Mitchell Pearce to suck it up and learn from one of the best in Cooper Cronk. It appears future immortal Johnathan Thurston agrees with my claims. Last night the two-time premiership winner told Seven News “Mitchell Pearce has never been able to close out the big games, this is something Cooper would have helped him with.”

Sam Kasiano – the world’s best prop?

A story in the Daily Telegraph on Monday week stated Sam Kasiano is set to return to the form which once saw him the game’s best prop. While I don’t deny Kasiano may succeed under the guidance of new coach Craig Bellamy, I don’t agree with the latter statement. Even during his prime, in which he won Dally M prop of the year honours in 2012, Kasiano has never been the world’s best prop… nor has he ever been among the world’s best props.

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As tough as they come

Just over a month since breaking his leg in the Grand Final, North Queensland hardman Shaun Fensom has returned to training. He’s only on a light training load but hey, that’s not bad for a broken leg! This is the man who once played and trained with a ruptured ACL and broken arm during his decade-long tenure with the Canberra Raiders.

The perfect foil for Shaun Johnson?

Blake Green is an astute signing for the New Zealand Warriors and may be the perfect foil for Shaun Johnson, much as he was for Daly Cherry-Evans this season. Green is not the signing the Warriors needed though. With the weakest front row rotation in the competition, the club would have been better off targeting a high-profile forward. There’s just no good in throwing the bank at a half when you have no go forward.

1 COMMENT

  1. Not forgetting they have at least signed Tohu Harris, Adam Blair, Matiu Love-Henry, Agnatius Paasi and Leivaha Pulu for the forwards this year, plus Cherrington is a hooker. I really think they are weaker in the backs than the forwards, especially if RTS does head off to union.

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