Fitter but not better

Fitter but not better
This might sound like a beat-up on Warriors centre Konrad Hurrell – it is nothing personal however.

The guy seems like a good fella. He has all the attributes we like in pro sportsmen from a personality point of view. The problem is though, he’s missing the key ingredients to be a successful first grade player.

The NRL Nines over the weekend provided the perfect example of how Hurrell just won’t cut it at the elite level – at least not in a Warriors side that already has plenty of what he offers and could seriously do without his flaws.

Yes, he looks fit and should be commended for getting himself into good shape. The fact he wasn’t in ideal playing condition the past two seasons is baffling however. But he’s clearly done the work this off-season and deserves to be praised for it. But even a trimmed-down version of Hurrell still has the defensive errors in his game. He still offloads at inopportune times and lacks the vision to clearly read the play before or while it is happening. There were numerous cases highlighting this across the Nines weekend.

Then there is the issue of the raised-knee technique issues that came into question again over the weekend. The ability to bump off players is his best asset yet he was left devastated when Jake Trbojevic was left concussed on the ground having collected Hurrell’s thigh and waited nervously to find out what the match review committee thought of the act. He was subsequently cleared – Trbojevic got his head into an awkward position and contributed significantly to the end result – but the NRL warned the Warriors Hurrell’s technique was concerning. If he tries to remedy his technique, will it limit the effectiveness of his powerful charges?

The Warriors have the attacking qualities to win the premiership without Hurrell. If there are question marks around their premiership qualities however it is how they perform without the ball. Hurrell is a massive liability in that regard. Making their tackles, holding onto the ball and not giving away penalties will be what decides whether the Warriors can give the title a shake in 2016. If we’re being honest they are a much better proposition without Hurrell in the line-up in that case.
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Play The Ball
This article has been written by Dale Budge. Dale is a well known rugby league commentator and journalist, having covered the sport for over 10 years.

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Twitter : @playtheball


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