Player Shaun Johnson

Shaun Johnson

Shaun Johnson 2011 Tigers.PNG

Great story, aint no secret I think so..

https://rugbyleagueweek.com.au/he-can-become-a-great/

WE all know he has an abundance of flair. But Warriors half Shaun Johnson is now proving he has the toughness and level head to go with it as he strives to be the leading halfback in the NRL.

And he has received the backing of the best Kiwi No.7 of them all, with Stacey Jones insisting the 23-year-old is now the complete package. Jones says toughness was the final piece of the Johnson puzzle and he now has all the tools to enter the realm of greats.
Johnson played with a groin strain in the Warriors’ 24-16 win against the Titans last Saturday and then battled through an ankle injury to steer his side to victory.
“He is definitely showing a new toughness and that completes the package,” Jones says.
“He has the ability to read the play, the speed, the flair. . . he could become one of the great halves.
“Let’s not forget he is still only 23 and his best footy is still ahead of him.
“I spoke to him last week and he was filthy on himself for not winning us the game against the Bulldogs in round 10. That shows the hard edge he has developed to his game.”
Johnson reveals how new coach Andrew McFadden, a former halfback himself in his NRL playing days, laid it on the line to him about what he expects from  his chief playmaker.
“‘Cappy’ (McFadden) is straight to the point and he really gives it to me, which is what I need,” Johnson says.
“He understands that I am a different style of player to what he was, but he is getting the best out of me every week. He said he doesn’t expect me to score the flashy 100 metre tries or take intercepts. But he does expect me to be in every play in every game, and to play tough.
“You get a good indicator of how every NRL side is going by how the halfback is performing.
“I am getting there, and the team is really starting to find its feet.”
McFadden hails Johnson’s toughness and says the Kiwi Test half has taken his advice on board.
“Shaun didn’t have any training sessions until our last captain’s run, and for young players that can sometimes really put them off,” he says. “So to go out and perform like that against the Titans under duress was really special.
“Sometimes you have to play hurt, and it is good to see him doing that.
“Shaun gets judged on whether he scores tries and makes breaks. But we really focused on the simple things that make him a good player, which is getting his hands on the ball and finding ways to get into the game through basic things like support play . . . and just running when the team needs him to.
“On the back of that comes all the things that people love to see, but we just want a consistent effort from him each week.”
Johnson has made no secret of the fact he wants to be one of the great halfbacks and McFadden is backing him every step of the way.
“Shaun wants to be the best. He is determined to do that, and I want to help him get there,” McFadden says.
“He is a real student. He likes talking about halfback play and how to develop that. He is very skilful and talented, but he still needs that direction.”
Johnson insists playing through injury is a necessity for him if the Warriors are to reach their potential.
“I want to be out there every week with the boys, and be part of something that I think can be pretty special,” Johnson says. “No NRL player takes the field 100 per cent. It is just the nature of what is a really tough comp.
I didn’t have any needles. That probably would have made it worse.”
- JOEL GOULD & TONY ADAMS
 

john nick

1st Grade Fringe
Mar 28, 2020
2,008
tauranga
Yeah, the info we got at the time way bang on.

The club was too honest in response to reporter questions over his contract future, which triggered Shaun getting his back up about it. They should have known it would triggered Shaun, given he was a pretty well known quantity by that point. I don't disagree with their actual plan though - don't give Shaun everything on a platter and make him earn his spot, as every footballer should.

Even from his responses in the interview, its obvious he still thinks he deserved special leniency or attention, which is super entitled. Definitely doesn't sound like he handled the situation well. So it is probably a good thing for both parties that he is gone.

Super depressing to think it all played out that way though.
I agree.Didnt get the nickname "Princess " by accident ;)
 
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#robbiemears

1st Grade Fringe
Sep 1, 2015
195
For those interested, here’s a reminder of the inside story on SJ I got at the time of his leaving. I posted this shortly after his departure...

For those wondering why the club was so reluctant to make a hard play at keeping SJ beyond 2019, understand that the reasons lie deep below the surface. Connecting a few dots from posts I've made over the years based on info I've been told by those very much in the know might help fill in some of the gaps.

A couple of seasons ago, I was discreetly informed that within the Warrior's playing group, there was a fundamental floor in the leadership team. Apparently, it was very hard to identify at the time as it was deep-seated and key people within the playing group were very nice, which masked some of the issues.

However, it was increasingly clear that the aspiration of the senior long-term players (who were the constant throughout all of the change and inconsistent performance) to influence the culture and lead the way was approximately zero.

It's pretty evident who that indicts: the recent player purge has seen a number of high profile long-term players moved on. Apparently, these are all good guys and obviously have talent, but for some reason they didn't want to take responsibility, nor did they want others to step up around them and grow a constructive environment.

This was why external players were being picked as leaders, such as Hoffman and, subsequently, RTS.

At the time, SJ tried to step up and bring some genuine intent to lead but he was pushed back because of his approach as it made the established players feel uncomfortable. It seems that this peer rebuke sent SJ off in the other direction. Over the subsequent years, his attitude towards training along with his leadership aspirations waned.

By his own admission, Elliott failed to pick this senior player issue up and wrote it off as being cultural and something best dealt with over time. Once he realised change was needed and started to push these guys to uncomfortable places, they had the ear of the owners. History shows that their complaints were invariably heard.

But by then, the damage had been done. The senior players were not leading the club with sufficient aspirational intensity.

It was at that point that a cull was instigated. It was recognised that the young players coming through should not be stifled and had to be given the responsibility to change the approach of the club. Jazz is very much a product of this thinking. What he lacks in size, he makes up for in commitment, competitiveness and spirit.

But back to SJ.

As talented as he is, it was believed that in some ways SJ is symptomatic of the bad old ways of player power. His erratic form and his failure to go above and beyond at training quickly became a major issue for the fresh set of eyes that have descended upon the club and have been charged with turning fortunes around.

They are determined not to repeat the mistakes of previous administrations.

Rather than force SJ out of the club, the intention was to have a frank discussion with him about some of his perceived failings and what can be done to get him to the next level. To do that, SJ needed to accept some constructive criticism and be willing to open up about whatever it is that's been holding him back.

This conversation was meant to happen upon his return to NZ from the UK tour when SJ was scheduled to visit the club for routine medicals. However, sensitive and angered about the media speculation, SJ refused to sit down with Smith without his manager around and an antagonistic tone was quickly set for what was to come.

Once the decision was made to let SJ go, I understand that there was a sense of optimism that one more piece of the old brigade jigsaw puzzle would now be missing.
 

BeastMode

Warriors 1st Grader
Mar 7, 2015
7,321
“I do take ownership. They are not all to blame in this. Maybe I wasn’t the easiest to deal with at times, maybe I was a bit entitled.”

POS knew what was required to be successful and has the experience and results. He told Shaun that he had to earn his money. Someone thought he was bigger than the club...

I don’t know if the aim was ever to get rid of Shaun. It was as much about challenging him to step up and reach his potential. Shaun reaction proved he was not mature enough to do what was needed at the time...

Everyone needed to move on. We were going nowhere with an attitude of ‘I’ve already made it’. Shaun also needed greener pastures to grow his game.

“everyone needed to move. We were going nowhere .”

2018 was an AMAZING year for us. Even Shaun himself said there was a buzz in the group. He was looking forward to coming back and having a real crack in 2019. Management got way ahead of themselves. They took that year for granted thinking it was all SK’s “trust the process” . Issac Luke was massive that season as well. Johnson played some vintage football. Remember that game against Canberra. Down by 13 with 10min to go. Luke scored a barge over try, the sort of try Egan could only dream of doing. SJ scored two consecutive drop goals with less than seconds remaining? That’s the value you get from having marquee players like Luke and SK. They win you games. That year it looked like the club finally got it right.

But the finals was a disaster. Even Shaun admitted ownership for his bad performance. It seemed like the catalyst for an over-reaction by management without properly reviewing the season as a whole. And they drove home the philosophy of no one is bigger than the club. I thought the treatment of both Luke and SJ at the time was insulting . Telling them both their services were no longer required? when we had no back up to replace them? How we looking at the hooker and halves spot right now?

Question - is this philosophy of no one is bigger than the club a by-product of New Zealand’s tall poppy syndrome??

If you look at the US - idols are exactly that - idolised. The NBA as a classic example. Teams would give ANYTHING to get a marquee player. Especially unattractive small markets. They treat their stars like gods. Small markets know their place in the hiring window. The question then becomes are we a small market in league? Given the whole country as our talent pool is it correct to think of ourselves as a big market player instead?? Maybe this is the debate?.. history tells us we are not a big market when it comes to getting Aussies - but we can more than hold our own with homegrown talent .. but we are severely lacking in talent right now...

I wish CG would give an interview and the interviewer asking these type of questions so we can fully understand the thought process going through his head
 

Stalefish540

.
Contributor
May 13, 2017
2,590
Mt. Smart
For those interested, here’s a reminder of the inside story on SJ I got at the time of his leaving. I posted this shortly after his departure...

For those wondering why the club was so reluctant to make a hard play at keeping SJ beyond 2019, understand that the reasons lie deep below the surface. Connecting a few dots from posts I've made over the years based on info I've been told by those very much in the know might help fill in some of the gaps.

A couple of seasons ago, I was discreetly informed that within the Warrior's playing group, there was a fundamental floor in the leadership team. Apparently, it was very hard to identify at the time as it was deep-seated and key people within the playing group were very nice, which masked some of the issues.

However, it was increasingly clear that the aspiration of the senior long-term players (who were the constant throughout all of the change and inconsistent performance) to influence the culture and lead the way was approximately zero.

It's pretty evident who that indicts: the recent player purge has seen a number of high profile long-term players moved on. Apparently, these are all good guys and obviously have talent, but for some reason they didn't want to take responsibility, nor did they want others to step up around them and grow a constructive environment.

This was why external players were being picked as leaders, such as Hoffman and, subsequently, RTS.

At the time, SJ tried to step up and bring some genuine intent to lead but he was pushed back because of his approach as it made the established players feel uncomfortable. It seems that this peer rebuke sent SJ off in the other direction. Over the subsequent years, his attitude towards training along with his leadership aspirations waned.

By his own admission, Elliott failed to pick this senior player issue up and wrote it off as being cultural and something best dealt with over time. Once he realised change was needed and started to push these guys to uncomfortable places, they had the ear of the owners. History shows that their complaints were invariably heard.

But by then, the damage had been done. The senior players were not leading the club with sufficient aspirational intensity.

It was at that point that a cull was instigated. It was recognised that the young players coming through should not be stifled and had to be given the responsibility to change the approach of the club. Jazz is very much a product of this thinking. What he lacks in size, he makes up for in commitment, competitiveness and spirit.

But back to SJ.

As talented as he is, it was believed that in some ways SJ is symptomatic of the bad old ways of player power. His erratic form and his failure to go above and beyond at training quickly became a major issue for the fresh set of eyes that have descended upon the club and have been charged with turning fortunes around.

They are determined not to repeat the mistakes of previous administrations.

Rather than force SJ out of the club, the intention was to have a frank discussion with him about some of his perceived failings and what can be done to get him to the next level. To do that, SJ needed to accept some constructive criticism and be willing to open up about whatever it is that's been holding him back.

This conversation was meant to happen upon his return to NZ from the UK tour when SJ was scheduled to visit the club for routine medicals. However, sensitive and angered about the media speculation, SJ refused to sit down with Smith without his manager around and an antagonistic tone was quickly set for what was to come.

Once the decision was made to let SJ go, I understand that there was a sense of optimism that one more piece of the old brigade jigsaw puzzle would now be missing.
Regardless of his percieved flaws, which he seems to have ironed out by going to a professional Aussie club. The long and short of it is, we havn't looked remotely threatening with ball in hand since he left and it's painful to watch.
 

matiunz

All Out!
Contributor
Jul 15, 2013
7,584
Sydney
After hearing SJs view above I think all parties were to blame and I can also understand each parties view point. The article(s) in the media were the major catalyst in it all going sour.
Think the manager probably saw dollar signs at the thought of SJ being a free agent and probably inflamed SJs anger.
In the end it’s sad how it all went down and its Still weird seeing SJ not as a Warrior but it’s happened and we’ve all gotta move on
 

wizards rage

1st Grade Fringe
Apr 18, 2016
3,275
Tauranga
“everyone needed to move. We were going nowhere .”

2018 was an AMAZING year for us. Even Shaun himself said there was a buzz in the group. He was looking forward to coming back and having a real crack in 2019. Management got way ahead of themselves. They took that year for granted thinking it was all SK’s “trust the process” . Issac Luke was massive that season as well. Johnson played some vintage football. Remember that game against Canberra. Down by 13 with 10min to go. Luke scored a barge over try, the sort of try Egan could only dream of doing. SJ scored two consecutive drop goals with less than seconds remaining? That’s the value you get from having marquee players like Luke and SK. They win you games. That year it looked like the club finally got it right.

But the finals was a disaster. Even Shaun admitted ownership for his bad performance. It seemed like the catalyst for an over-reaction by management without properly reviewing the season as a whole. And they drove home the philosophy of no one is bigger than the club. I thought the treatment of both Luke and SJ at the time was insulting . Telling them both their services were no longer required? when we had no back up to replace them? How we looking at the hooker and halves spot right now?

Question - is this philosophy of no one is bigger than the club a by-product of New Zealand’s tall poppy syndrome??

If you look at the US - idols are exactly that - idolised. The NBA as a classic example. Teams would give ANYTHING to get a marquee player. Especially unattractive small markets. They treat their stars like gods. Small markets know their place in the hiring window. The question then becomes are we a small market in league? Given the whole country as our talent pool is it correct to think of ourselves as a big market player instead?? Maybe this is the debate?.. history tells us we are not a big market when it comes to getting Aussies - but we can more than hold our own with homegrown talent .. but we are severely lacking in talent right now...

I wish CG would give an interview and the interviewer asking these type of questions so we can fully understand the thought process going through his head
I think yes, we reached the top 8 in 2018 but it was thought that that was our ceiling. Yes we could have kept SJ and the culture and been a 6-10 team every year.

But we had the capability of being top 4 if the players treated it as professionally as Australian players. SJ showed he was comfortable as it was so if the club was serious about being a contender, he had no future.

In our last game on the weekend, 8 of the 17 players were Australian, with more to come in the future (Walsh, etc). Our 3 major signings last year were all Australian. We are building a professional culture based on the Aussie way that is capable of top 4. Everyone is accountable. If the Maumalo, Fusitua, SJ’s, etc are not ‘all in’ then they will find they have no place, no matter how big a star they are.
 

Dunedin warrior

1st Grade Fringe
Nov 10, 2014
1,075
It was poorly dealt with by the club at the time.

As much as I love him, SJ has always been sensitive to criticism or indeed even the perception of criticism. Telling him that he was going to have to wait and perform for a new contract offer was hardly going to go down well.

We had no Plan B when we released him and our attack has suffered ever since.
 

Defence

Warriors 1st Grader
May 9, 2012
5,958
Time has proven that we needed him more than he needed us.
One thing I always liked about Sj and it really comes through in this podcast (I watched the whole thing) is that he really did love representing the warriors and the kiwis- it would be great to see him pull on one of those jumpers again before hanging up the boots.
 

Vancent

It is what it is...
Contributor
Sep 10, 2012
1,564
BrisVegas
Time has proven that we needed him more than he needed us.
One thing I always liked about Sj and it really comes through in this podcast (I watched the whole thing) is that he really did love representing the warriors and the kiwis- it would be great to see him pull on one of those jumpers again before hanging up the boots.
It’s an interesting call that. I’m split so can’t completely agree or disagree.

I mean he made the finals in his new Team and bowed out first game after another listless performance. It was Warriors v Penrith 2018 all over again.

Noted - we’ve not played finals since but nor did we the six years before that when he was here.

Right now I see it as a ‘draw’....

Either way it’s a sad and disappointing end to what could have been a great one club career here - but it’s not in the Ali Laui’ititi league of bad calls....
 

Defence

Warriors 1st Grader
May 9, 2012
5,958
It’s an interesting call that. I’m split so can’t completely agree or disagree.

I mean he made the finals in his new Team and bowed out first game after another listless performance. It was Warriors v Penrith 2018 all over again.

Noted - we’ve not played finals since but nor did we the six years before that when he was here.

Right now I see it as a ‘draw’....

Either way it’s a sad and disappointing end to what could have been a great one club career here - but it’s not in the Ali Laui’ititi league of bad calls....
A draw??
I wouldn’t call it a knock out victory but 2 finals appearances and a player of the year award has him well ahead on points that’s for sure.
 

Billy Teets James

1st Grade Fringe
Mar 12, 2016
1,883
Perth, Australia
SJ was a feel good story. Come up through our junior system to become a genuine superstar of the game.

We hadn't seen anyone like him since Stacey Jones.

I was sad when he left. I never thought he was arrogant and up himself.
Just thought he was super sensitive. I remember the ads they released of the players reacting to the retro og jersey that they would wear the next season. And SJ crying Looking at it lol. Took him back to his youth and why he loved the team so much.

Nek minit, He's gone.... Some say the club handle his departure the right way.

I don't.
I remember Wayne Bennett talking about how he approaches each player differently. Depending on their mental states. Some have had hard upbringings. Some have depression. Some have confidence issues. Every player has a different personality.

He's best asset was his ears. He'd sit & listen. Not say a thing. Let them get it all out. Go home , Process it all and plan how to address each player to build confidence in themselves and to over Come their mental hurdles.

He did this as a father figure. And not as a business.

Not everyone's the same. We saw with this with Darius Boyd.
He got mocked for being a prima donna. While suffering from severe depression most his life.
Wayne brought the best out of him.

I think they fucked it up with SJ. Because of how sensitive he is.
He's not arrogant , Quite the opposite if you follow his social media.

We could of been a little more discreet with the contract negotiations. And kept it in house.
They should of waited til he returned and sat down face to face with him.

Yeah, His form was hot & cold. He was still the best chance we had of winning a trophy.

It's good to have the hard no nonsense style of coaching/management the Aussies bring.

But have some balance. Learn to be more open minded to the mental /physical/spiritual side of our nz players. We're a lot softer over here Lol. We do need to harden up.
It's easier said than done. We have the highest youth suicide rate in the world.
Most Polynesians put God before everything(Case in point - Ali Lauitiiti. They took it as he didn't care about the club. He did. He just put God & family before it)

When we get a coach who can work all this out. Plus integrate the harder Australian edge and keep the players focused and to buy into its systems. We'll have one hell of a team.

Until then , We will forever be climbing a hill in rollerskates.
 

Juju

1st Grade Fringe
Nov 9, 2012
1,653
SJ was a feel good story. Come up through our junior system to become a genuine superstar of the game.

We hadn't seen anyone like him since Stacey Jones.

I was sad when he left. I never thought he was arrogant and up himself.
Just thought he was super sensitive. I remember the ads they released of the players reacting to the retro og jersey that they would wear the next season. And SJ crying Looking at it lol. Took him back to his youth and why he loved the team so much.

Nek minit, He's gone.... Some say the club handle his departure the right way.

I don't.
I remember Wayne Bennett talking about how he approaches each player differently. Depending on their mental states. Some have had hard upbringings. Some have depression. Some have confidence issues. Every player has a different personality.

He's best asset was his ears. He'd sit & listen. Not say a thing. Let them get it all out. Go home , Process it all and plan how to address each player to build confidence in themselves and to over Come their mental hurdles.

He did this as a father figure. And not as a business.

Not everyone's the same. We saw with this with Darius Boyd.
He got mocked for being a prima donna. While suffering from severe depression most his life.
Wayne brought the best out of him.

I think they fucked it up with SJ. Because of how sensitive he is.
He's not arrogant , Quite the opposite if you follow his social media.

We could of been a little more discreet with the contract negotiations. And kept it in house.
They should of waited til he returned and sat down face to face with him.

Yeah, His form was hot & cold. He was still the best chance we had of winning a trophy.

It's good to have the hard no nonsense style of coaching/management the Aussies bring.

But have some balance. Learn to be more open minded to the mental /physical/spiritual side of our nz players. We're a lot softer over here Lol. We do need to harden up.
It's easier said than done. We have the highest youth suicide rate in the world.
Most Polynesians put God before everything(Case in point - Ali Lauitiiti. They took it as he didn't care about the club. He did. He just put God & family before it)

When we get a coach who can work all this out. Plus integrate the harder Australian edge and keep the players focused and to buy into its systems. We'll have one hell of a team.

Until then , We will forever be climbing a hill in rollerskates.
It does seem like we're a club who's decisions always turn out wrong in hindsight...
 

Billy Teets James

1st Grade Fringe
Mar 12, 2016
1,883
Perth, Australia
It does seem like we're a club who's decisions always turn out wrong in hindsight...
I remember a James Gavet interview talking about the culture at the club. And because of how soft SJ was he was the perfect target for a certain group of players.

James saw it as jealousy as SJ was the face of the club. SJ would go into his shell. Avoid this group at all costs. Even sit and eat by himself.

Then we'd see a photo of him sitting by himself and automatically say he's a arrogant prick and a princess.

Totally the opposite.

Apparently Manu sorted this all out with the leadership team. No more bullying. May be the damage was done and it was to late.

And the management saw it the same way as we did when we saw the photos & heard the rumors. He was lazy and disinterested.

Who knows.
 

gREVUS

Long live the Rainbows and Butterflies
Contributor
May 8, 2012
8,388
mighta been,coulda been, shoulda been. sorry to kill the feelgood buzz, but how long do u give a player to find his feet. When he left, it was his choice to walk, he was the player who refused to play out his final year. Sensitive yes, mishandled, very likely, but just like Mannnering and Manu, achievements and there is only one that counts in the NRL, - zero.

i wish him the best, but i think his best is behind him, and don't think him returning would be good for the warriors
 

gREVUS

Long live the Rainbows and Butterflies
Contributor
May 8, 2012
8,388
I remember a James Gavet interview talking about the culture at the club. And because of how soft SJ was he was the perfect target for a certain group of players.

James saw it as jealousy as SJ was the face of the club. SJ would go into his shell. Avoid this group at all costs. Even sit and eat by himself.

Then we'd see a photo of him sitting by himself and automatically say he's a arrogant prick and a princess.

Totally the opposite.

Apparently Manu sorted this all out with the leadership team. No more bullying. May be the damage was done and it was to late.

And the management saw it the same way as we did when we saw the photos & heard the rumors. He was lazy and disinterested.

Who knows.
never heard that story, thanks for that.
 

Dunedin warrior

1st Grade Fringe
Nov 10, 2014
1,075
It’s an interesting call that. I’m split so can’t completely agree or disagree.

I mean he made the finals in his new Team and bowed out first game after another listless performance. It was Warriors v Penrith 2018 all over again.

Noted - we’ve not played finals since but nor did we the six years before that when he was here.

Right now I see it as a ‘draw’....

Either way it’s a sad and disappointing end to what could have been a great one club career here - but it’s not in the Ali Laui’ititi league of bad calls....

Agree on the Ali one being a bigger call, but SJ carried the Sharks to the playoffs last year and has still been paid the same amount of money.

Meanwhile we’ve missed the playoffs two seasons running and are 50/50 I reckon this year. We are also no closer to finding a quality half three seasons later, probably four seasons considering what’s on offer this year. When you’ve produced two quality halves in 25 years and fluked Maloney, you need to think carefully about how you are going to replace them.
 

6Again

1st Grade Fringe
Jul 1, 2020
560
Agree on the Ali one being a bigger call, but SJ carried the Sharks to the playoffs last year and has still been paid the same amount of money.

Meanwhile we’ve missed the playoffs two seasons running and are 50/50 I reckon this year. We are also no closer to finding a quality half three seasons later, probably four seasons considering what’s on offer this year. When you’ve produced two quality halves in 25 years and fluked Maloney, you need to think carefully about how you are going to replace them.
That’s the sad thing out of all of this, we still haven’t found an adequate replacement for him after 3 years on yet we have the forward pack now he could be very damaging playing behind.
 

bringmethehorizon

1st Grade Fringe
May 8, 2012
470
North Shore
I remember a James Gavet interview talking about the culture at the club. And because of how soft SJ was he was the perfect target for a certain group of players.

James saw it as jealousy as SJ was the face of the club. SJ would go into his shell. Avoid this group at all costs. Even sit and eat by himself.

Then we'd see a photo of him sitting by himself and automatically say he's a arrogant prick and a princess.

Totally the opposite.

Apparently Manu sorted this all out with the leadership team. No more bullying. May be the damage was done and it was to late.

And the management saw it the same way as we did when we saw the photos & heard the rumors. He was lazy and disinterested.

Who knows.

Just a little tidbit that I didn't think much of at the time, but it falls in line with your information.

I was given the opportunity with a mate and about 40 others to have dinner with the Warriors at one of the SkyCity restaurants.
We were at a table with Albert Vete and Pat Sipley (and later Hayze Perham who turned up late cos he was playing Fortnite)
SJ being the popular guy, was the only Warriors sitting at a packed table of fans.
Throughout the night, Albert and some others (cant recall) would make loud comments about/to SJ - "Hey Shaun bro, I heard you got some new shoes from Nike, can i have your old ones", and telling us that he had a room full of sponsors gear that he never wore.
We then got told by the wait staff that dessert wasn't included tonight, and someone called out "Hey Shaun bro, can you shout us dessert?"

I took it as banter, but who knows, could have been the jealousy/bullying that is being referred to.
 

Fonzie

1st Grade Fringe
Apr 22, 2018
688
Just a little tidbit that I didn't think much of at the time, but it falls in line with your information.

I was given the opportunity with a mate and about 40 others to have dinner with the Warriors at one of the SkyCity restaurants.
We were at a table with Albert Vete and Pat Sipley (and later Hayze Perham who turned up late cos he was playing Fortnite)
SJ being the popular guy, was the only Warriors sitting at a packed table of fans.
Throughout the night, Albert and some others (cant recall) would make loud comments about/to SJ - "Hey Shaun bro, I heard you got some new shoes from Nike, can i have your old ones", and telling us that he had a room full of sponsors gear that he never wore.
We then got told by the wait staff that dessert wasn't included tonight, and someone called out "Hey Shaun bro, can you shout us dessert?"

I took it as banter, but who knows, could have been the jealousy/bullying that is being referred to.
It sounds like harmless banter at a personal level, but you would never get junior players taking the piss like that with senior players at another club. They would more likely be avoiding eye contact
 

ramps

1st Grade Fringe
May 2, 2013
826
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
SJ was a feel good story. Come up through our junior system to become a genuine superstar of the game.

We hadn't seen anyone like him since Stacey Jones.

I was sad when he left. I never thought he was arrogant and up himself.
Just thought he was super sensitive. I remember the ads they released of the players reacting to the retro og jersey that they would wear the next season. And SJ crying Looking at it lol. Took him back to his youth and why he loved the team so much.

Nek minit, He's gone.... Some say the club handle his departure the right way.

I don't.
I remember Wayne Bennett talking about how he approaches each player differently. Depending on their mental states. Some have had hard upbringings. Some have depression. Some have confidence issues. Every player has a different personality.

He's best asset was his ears. He'd sit & listen. Not say a thing. Let them get it all out. Go home , Process it all and plan how to address each player to build confidence in themselves and to over Come their mental hurdles.

He did this as a father figure. And not as a business.

Not everyone's the same. We saw with this with Darius Boyd.
He got mocked for being a prima donna. While suffering from severe depression most his life.
Wayne brought the best out of him.

I think they fucked it up with SJ. Because of how sensitive he is.
He's not arrogant , Quite the opposite if you follow his social media.

We could of been a little more discreet with the contract negotiations. And kept it in house.
They should of waited til he returned and sat down face to face with him.

Yeah, His form was hot & cold. He was still the best chance we had of winning a trophy.

It's good to have the hard no nonsense style of coaching/management the Aussies bring.

But have some balance. Learn to be more open minded to the mental /physical/spiritual side of our nz players. We're a lot softer over here Lol. We do need to harden up.
It's easier said than done. We have the highest youth suicide rate in the world.
Most Polynesians put God before everything(Case in point - Ali Lauitiiti. They took it as he didn't care about the club. He did. He just put God & family before it)

When we get a coach who can work all this out. Plus integrate the harder Australian edge and keep the players focused and to buy into its systems. We'll have one hell of a team.

Until then , We will forever be climbing a hill in rollerskates.
 
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