General Cleary has the engine tuned up

sebastian_old

Guest
Warriors league team




Graham Lowe: Cleary has the engine tuned up

Friday June 23, 2006


Back in the days when I had a real job, as an auto electrician, I had a customer who always made me scratch my head.

His car was perfectly in tune, yet he always wanted to tinker with it to try to see why it was working so well.

He would constantly unbalance the carburettors and alter the timing, and sure enough, the car would once again cough and limp into my workshop needing to be fixed again.

I tried to get it through to him that if it wasn't broke, he shouldn't try to fix it.

I reckon Warriors coach Ivan Cleary is now in a similar situation. His footy team has shown that it isn't broken, and it's important that he shouldn't be tempted to tinker with it.

Sure, it will need the odd rev up and points change before the end of the season, but it is travelling smoothly at present, so it's more about the direction it is heading than the state of the engine to get it there.

The Warriors are not yet in the Ferrari class in this NRL race, but they are travelling well and the pit crew should leave it that way.

It's apparent that two gutsy (and consecutive) wins have put a spring in their step and they look an entirely different team when they play with confidence.

With 22 points now up for grabs in the remaining rounds, and the positive signs shown by the Warriors in the last two games, they are about to embark on their real test.

The critical target is to get two points off the Rabbits in Sydney on Sunday.

I don't see this as too big a problem. In fact, South Sydney must feel like a rabbit in the headlights trying to cross a busy motorway, knowing they are up against a side brimming with confidence and power, having recently rediscovered their long-lost attacking ability.

Last Sunday, against the Knights, they demonstrated an array of attacking and defensive skills that reminded me of their run to the grand final in 2002.

This Warriors line-up have the ability to deliver a killer blow not only to the struggling Rabbitohs but to any team in the competition.

There is plenty to like about how Cleary has gone about his job this year and you can't help but feel relieved and pleased for him after the last two games.

He has had plenty of pressure on him because his team were not delivering anywhere near their potential. Not only that, no one seemed to be stepping up to make the difference between winning and losing.

Maybe they were spending too much time in the garage, changing parts that weren't actually broken, just not getting enough fuel (or whatever it takes) to have them humming game after game.

This can happen when a coach is trying to squeeze that extra bit out of his power plant.

But Cleary has gone about things in a quiet and studied way and has managed to turn around a group of players who have often looked like they wouldn't back themselves in a one-person race.

But just as footy is a game of inches, in many ways the remainder of their season will be a game of minutes.

The club should feel confident they can win these next two games, against the Rabbitohs this weekend then the Panthers back at Mt Smart Stadium.

But it is the challenge of keeping the Warriors players confident that is Cleary's biggest test at the moment.

In recent weeks, he has been able to maintain a regular line-up, which has contributed a great deal to his team's consistency.

But of equal importance, the Warriors' growth in confidence now has a few teams looking over their shoulders.

There is still a long way to go and injuries can devastate a side. But hey, the dog can now see the rabbit, which it hasn't been able to do for a while.

I'm not sure if Cleary has whipped them with barbed wire (they have certainly deserved it at times) or given them a cuddle, but whatever he has done it is working.

In fact, on Sunday they looked like a team intent on playing football and desperate to win.

While that might sound a little silly, for much of the season they have looked like a team who were playing to please the statisticians.

It has been said that making a team is one thing, while becoming a team is another.

Cleary's men are finally showing all the signs this year of becoming a team. And Cleary must be delighted at the way his senior pros - Ruben Wiki and Steve Price - have stepped up to the leadership.

All is not lost for season 2006 and even more importantly, these Warriors have begun to show that as hard as it still may be, they have the ability to win a play-off spot still.
 

sebastian_old

Guest
Well that article gives ya hope especially since we did beat the rabbits.
 

teariki_old

Guest
sebastian said:
Well that article gives ya hope especially since we did beat the rabbits.

It's starting to sound damn right prophetic now that the Warriors have put on 4 in a row :)
 

AmeriKiwi_old

Guest
2003 was the last time the Warriors won 3 in a row... anyone know the last time they won 4 in a row?
 

warriors4life_old

Guest
Yeah, and if we can take it out over the Dogs then the Eels await the week after for 6 in a row. But I shouldn't get too ahead of myself.
 

warriorfaithful*_old

Guest
warriors4life said:
Yeah, and if we can take it out over the Dogs then the Eels await the week after for 6 in a row. But I shouldn't get too ahead of myself.

Nothing wrong with hoping lol!
 

Jesbass_old

Guest
AmeriKiwi said:
2003 was the last time the Warriors won 3 in a row... anyone know the last time they won 4 in a row?

The last time we won three in a row was the same time we last won five in a row, right on the back end of the 2003 season. ;)
 

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