Warriors taking extreme measures to make top eight

Posted On May 26 2020 by

first_imgThe message is simple – work hard.Players have started on an even keel competing to impress at the upcoming trials ahead of game one of the season against South Sydney Rabbitohs in March.”There was a gap we needed to close in certain areas, hence why we made a decision on the back end of the year to bring someone to the club like Alex (Corvo).” says Kearney.”It’s pretty demanding but that’s because that’s what the game asks for and the boys have really responded.”Part of that demand before pre-season was training mixed martial arts at a New Lynn gym under jiu-jitsu black belt Steve Oliver. The idea was to work combatively on defence – not unfamiliar to Rugby league.In 2013 the official tackle coach to the Bulldogs NRL team and the New South Wales Blues was Brazilian jiu-jitsu professor Marcos Neve, the Rabbitohs have called on jiu-jitsu specialist Marco Villela, and last year the Melbourne Storm were known for their jiu-jitsu and MMA sessions.”During the off season before pre-season I’d send a few of them along to learn some new skills, it was about the defence aspect.” says Kearney.”They’re on wrestling mats which is a little bit softer than the ground and there will be times particularly in the long turn-a-arounds we’ll use the facility.”It’s quite clear that the adoption of Melbourne Storm’s winning culture is being filtered into the Warriors – both in the squad and coaching ranks, something new recruit Tohu Harris is already accustomed to.”All this training is pretty familiar, my first couple of years were under Alex Corvo and without sounding negative, it’s been tough – there’s no way around it.” says Harris.Despite the 2017 NRL premiership title under his belt with the Storm, the second rower says after nursing injuries the pressure is high to earn a starting spot for game one of the season.”There’s a lot of competition for spots but if you look past the trials you might find yourself watching the boys run out in round one, so you have to make sure you’re always training as well as you can.”The Warriors will hold their first trial match in Rotorua against Melbourne on February 17, then travel to the Sunshine Coast for their second trial against the Gold Coast Titans.last_img read more