Warriors coach Nathan Brown elated with win while having one eye on the future

Peta Hiku played his first game for the Warriors in four months and led the team to victory. Picture: STUFF SPORTS.

Warriors coach Nathan Brown gave the club’s fans a glimpse of the future in the 18-16 win over Wests Tigers.

After seven losses in a row, it was a spirited win from the young Warriors team against a side that was still hoping to make the finals.

Brown said afterwards that over the remainder of the season he’ll continue to look towards 2022, as well as hunt for wins.

“After the Souths game last week when we got a real touch up, we wanted to finish the year off strong,” Brown said.

“We did want to get some of our younger players more experience, so that they get to build into the preseason and understand what first grade is all about.

“But we also wanted to win some games, we haven’t put the cue in the rack and said we don’t want to win, but we’ve also got the future of the club to look at too.

“There have been two or three clubs that have been kind and offered to loan us players, because of the situation we’re in and we’re grateful for that.

“But loan players aren’t going to help us build our club for next year. We want to win, but I’d like to win with our own players.”

The Warriors battled back from being 10-0 down at halftime to score 18 unanswered points and Brown said at the break he still believed his team could win.

“We were quite positive because I thought the back end of the half we’d worked our way back into it and started to win the arm wrestle.

“But we just weren’t rewarding ourselves with the end of our sets.

“We were confident that if we did keep winning the arm wrestle and finish our sets better, threw some more numbers at them, a bit more shape, we could score a couple of tries, which turned out to be the way.

“It was a result that should be good for our younger players in particular and our fans back in New Zealand, they got to see a new generation of players that they’re going to see over the next two to five years.”

This was the Warriors’ first game post Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, who has returned to New Zealand to prepare for his career in rugby and Brown was asked if the spirit of Tuivasa-Sheck was still alive in the team.

“He was a popular member of the club and he’d been through some tough times with the club, the last two years in particular,” he said.


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