- Apr 23, 2012
From the NZ Herald today ...
the 2nd positive story about Billy in as many weeks. I have my thoughts about his performance in 2013 (and Manu as well) what do you think???
League: Tupou in grand form to meet his old mentor
By Patrick McKendry
5:30 AM Saturday Aug 11, 2012
Bill Tupou's consistent play has resulted in seven tries this season. Picture / Richard Robinson
Standing across the park from Warriors winger Bill Tupou tonight will be a player he regards as a role model - and also a key threat to his side's aim of finishing the season on a winning note.
Cowboys centre Brent Tate, who played for the Warriors from 2008 to 2010, has fought back from his fair share of adversity - he has had three knee reconstructions - thanks to a toughness and mental strength the Warriors could do with right now.
After three devastating losses on the trot - the last one a humiliating 45-4 defeat by Cronulla at Mt Smart - the Warriors are really only playing for pride, although they still have a chance of making the top eight if they can stitch four wins together from their remaining four games.
Tupou, 22, who is nearing the end of his best season as a professional, said Tate was a big influence during his development.
"He was a big role model for me. Playing inside me at centre, he created a lot of opportunities for me. I think defensively he was good too. He helped me a lot when I started."
As the Warriors reflect on what might have been from the relative discomfort of 13th position on the table after making the grand final last year, Tupou is one who can have some pride in his season.
He has played every minute of his side's 20 games, more than any other winger in the competition, and although he is still occasionally out of place defensively, has brought a new consistency to his game in keeping with his 1600 minutes on the field.
Apart from a few defensive lapses, Tupou makes few mistakes - the NRL statistics department have him making 13 errors and no penalties conceded. By way of contrast, fellow winger Manu Vatuvei has made 32 errors and conceded four penalties in his 1248 minutes.
"That was one of my goals, to play every game and try not to get injured, to play consistently too," Tupou said. "The best thing for me now is to finish off the year well. Going into this game I think everyone needs to lift their head up and to play with pride and finish off the year properly.
"Playing for each other is the main thing. We've been through some hard times this year and I think we just need to go out there and play for each other and family and friends and to just have fun."
Wingers are expected to score tries and Tupou has also chipped in here with seven so far, the most he has scored in his three seasons at the Warriors. His try against the Sharks last weekend was one of the few positives for his club.
Centre Konrad Hurrell leads the club's try-scoring tally with 12.
Meanwhile, Tupou is preparing to get to grips with Queensland State of Origin player Tate, a player with a killer instinct.
"He's just one of those hard-working players who is determined to just do anything to win. He just does what he can for the team - just his power and strength, especially his kick returns, and helping out the forwards when they're tired. He's a guy you can rely on to get out of trouble."