General Warriors aim high

sebastian_old

Guest
Warriors aim high
by: Aaron Lawton
Sportal


The NRL play-offs are beyond reach for the New Zealand Warriors this year but young five-eighth Jerome Ropati insists there is still plenty for the club to play for in the upcoming weeks.

The Warriors are set to host the struggling North Queensland Cowboys on Saturday night at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland and will be eyeing a victory to celebrate departing fullback Brent Webb's 100th first-grade game.

Heading into the clash fresh from a gritty 12-10 win over the Sharks last week, a win which coincided with departing veteran Awen Guttenbeil's testimonial match, Ropati says the side is desperate to give Webb an equally impressive send-off.

"We feel quite proud for Webby," he said.





"He's been a really big part of our club. He's been awesome at the back and it's kind of hard to replace a guy of his quality.

"Like we did for Awen, we are wanting to go out and play this weekend for Webby."

As for his own game, which has seen him flourish in the number six jumper this year, Ropati admits he has had to work hard to get used to the role.

"I feel like I'm improving game by game," he said.

The youngster, who stormed on the scene as a utility back at the end of 2003, attributes his rise through the ranks to head coach Ivan Cleary and assistant coach John Ackland.

"John Ackland and Ivan Cleary have helped me quite a bit with my game. They have helped me rediscover what the number six is all about," he said.

"Simple things such as passing and running with the ball and especially defence, I am learning to take them game by game.

"I want to improve in those areas and make sure that they become consistent before I do anything else special.

"I'm feeling pretty confident in the number six role but I still know that there is a lot of work to be done in order to be more consistent."

Looking ahead to Saturday's fixture against the Cowboys, Ropati says, although there are a number of dangerous players in the visiting side, his preparation has been to work on his own game.

"I think me and [halfback Grant] Rovelli have really been concentrating on our own games thus far," he said.

As for the fact that star playmaker Johnathan Thurston has been ruled out of the match through injury, Ropati still insists the Cowboys will be hard to dispatch.

"We have been up against quite a few combinations and I think Jonathan Thurston does give them a mental edge," he said.

"But, in saying that, me and Rovelli have really been concentrating on our own game."
 

warriors_ballboy_CEO_old

Guest
Yip bring on the weekend and the rain i want another warriors vs tigers type of match in that heavy as rain.
 

Jesbass_old

Guest
A nicely written article.

Bring on the weekend, but keep the rain at bay. Webb deserves a large crowd. ;)
 

Tajhay_old

Guest
nice article but i dont like how it says that ropati is improving every week......
 

Jesbass_old

Guest
Tajhay said:
nice article but i dont like how it says that ropati is improving every week......

Or that he's flourishing in the number six jersey, but still. :p
 

sebastian_old

Guest
This is not not meant to be sarcastic but i am curious, is Jerome actually getting better at 5/8 or not?
 

Jesbass_old

Guest
sebastian said:
This is not not meant to be sarcastic but i am curious, is Jerome actually getting better at 5/8 or not?

I think he is improving, but it's a slow process, in my opinion.
 

Rangatira

Guest
Read my post "We need More Australians"

I cannot see Jerome improve much more. He is at a level now where there aint much room left to further his improvements.

In his defence, certain people stuffed his career up by making him a utility first, rather than let him grow in his preferred position of standoff.
 

Jesbass_old

Guest
Rangatira said:
Read my post "We need More Australians"

I cannot see Jerome improve much more. He is at a level now where there aint much room left to further his improvements.

In his defence, certain people stuffed his career up by making him a utility first, rather than let him grow in his preferred position of standoff.

With that in mind, what do you attribute to his failure to re-assert his dominance now that he is back in the five-eighth position?
 

Rangatira

Guest
He was a utility fullback, a utility centre, and now a utility five eight.Never a master of one position in the backline. He next step which will be permanent is in the pack. Not on the field either.
Which to me is sad, cause we all loved him in bartacard.
ENGLAND maybe ???
 

kiwi man_old

Guest
i think that with a full off season behind jerome, and him working as a 5/8 during pre season training we may see him improve out of sight, remember he is young and still learning
 

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