Chris Rattue: Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck will be a New Zealand sports great

Chris Rattue, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sunday, 5 August 2018, 2:04PM
There he goes again... Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was outstanding against the Dragons. (Photo / Getty)
There he goes again... Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was outstanding against the Dragons. (Photo / Getty)

There has never been a team like them. Not to my knowledge anyway.

The Warriors of 2018 are truly bonkers. One of the best things that could be said about Steve Kearney's wacky Warriors is that they have perfected the bounce-back, taking form reversal to a completely new level.

Blokes like young captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, who was stunningly good against the Dragons on Saturday, and redoubtable Aussie five-eighth Blake Green must wonder what they signed up for at times.

If Tuivasa-Sheck could sit still, he would have the best seat in the house to watch the craziest team in NRL history.

But when you are zigzagging for 200 metres a game it's difficult to keep an eye on all your mates.

Fullback is an exhausting position, especially the way Tuivasa-Sheck plays it, and yet the Warriors' No. 1 never runs out of gas.

RTS is so good that he is already well on the way, in my opinion, to usurping Simon Mannering or Stacey Jones as Warrior Number One.

As for some of the rest of them though...

Put it his way: The club's sports psychologist will need to see a psychologist by the end of the season.

It is difficult to recall any football team which is so extravagantly up and down so quickly and consistently. They can do peaks and valleys in a heartbeat.

The Warriors were so bad in the second half against the Titans last week that former State of Origin playmaker Jamie Soward quite rightly called them diabolical.

David Fusitua aside, the very same Warriors were magnificent in a heart-stopping victory against the Dragons, attack-wise in the first half and defense-wise in the second half.

Big try-scoring wing Fusitua tried to keep the diabolical theme going with errors I don't have the heart to reflect on.

Ironically, his blunders brought the best out in the Warriors who defended as if their lives depended on it, this very same team having run up the white flag against the Titans in the previous round.

None was better in Wollongong than little Jazz Tevaga, who was absolutely everywhere. The Warriors have also uncovered a gem in 19-year-old second rower Isaiah Papali'i.

It was all hands on deck, with big hearts and big tackle counts. Someone kept showing up, time and time again.

This made for gripping entertainment with the Warriors' season potentially on the line.

Having come so far this year, after six barren seasons, it will be almost too much to bear if they fail to make the playoffs again. The Warriors should make it from here, but then again, you never know with this mob.

The class act on Saturday was Tuivasa-Sheck.

The amount of ground he makes is groundbreaking for an NRL fullback .

He produced yet another try saving miracle tackle - something like his 10th for the year.

And it was a Tuivasa-Sheck kick-chase which encouraged his opposite Matt Dufty into committing a yellow card offence, the Warriors capitalising to set up the win.

Tuivasa-Sheck is growing into a legend. To give Jim Doyle his due, the former Warriors chief executive got the right man, absolutely, in his bid to start a Kiwi league revolution. It will go down as one of the most significant signatures in the history of our sport.

When it comes to RTS, I believe we are witnessing the emergence of a great New Zealand sporting career, a player who will be talked about with reverence beyond league for many years to come.

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