Warriors hurting for Christchurch and Muslim community but not losing focus
Source: https://www.stuff.co.nz/news/111645138/-

2019-03-29 08:44:27

Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck found a visit to one of the two mosques targeted in the Christchurch terror attacks as "scary" and "daunting".

Last season's Dally M medal winner confirmed the Warriors' bus took a detour to the Masjid Al Noor mosque, on Deans Ave, en route to the team hotel on Friday.

Despite being given a heart-warming welcome from the Muslim community, Tuivasa-Sheck described the visit as surreal.

"It's supposed to be a place of holiness and prayer and you've got the Police guards out there with their big rifles so it's pretty scary just turning up.

"But then you see the flowers and all the cards that people have left there. It's awesome the way that Christchurch has come together and that they've done this for the Muslim community," Tuivasa-Sheck said.

The Warriors playing squad arrived in Christchurch on Friday ahead of their match against Manly on Saturday evening.

Just hours after Manly visited the mosque, the Warriors performed a powerful haka as a token of respect to the 50 victims who lost their lives.

Tuivasa-Sheck was struck by the welcome the team received despite the horrific events of March 15.

"For them, something tragic has happened here but they're still opening, they're still welcoming.

"They're still just talking about love and thank yous and appreciating everyone's support," Tuivasa-Sheck said.

He was optimistic Saturday's game would provide a welcome distraction from the sadness that has gripped the city follow the deadly terror attacks.

"Hopefully we can turn the focus away from what's happened and what can be a performance that can entertain the people of Christchurch."

Tuivasa-Sheck accepts it will be an emotional occasion - with a minute's silence to be observed before the match kicks off - but says the Warriors will not let the tragedy be a distraction.

"At the same time it's about focusing into our jobs and what we're doing at the time. If you start to drift away with what's happened and what's going to happen you lose focus and that's where you can cause errors," Tuivasa-Sheck said.

Following a solid start to the season with a 40-6 thumping of the struggling Bulldogs at home, the Warriors were hammered 6-34 by the Wests Tigers in Sydney last Sunday.

The Warriors middle forwards struggled to win the battle up front but their cause was not helped by constant errors.

Tuivasa-Sheck, who missed last year's Christchurch match against Manly through injury, will be urging his side to bring attitude and energy against Manly and remained confident they do not need to push 50-50 plays to bring points.

"You just go back to the basics, the simple things," Tuivasa-Sheck said.

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney has been forced to make one change with prop Sam Lisone to miss the Manly match and next week's encounter against the Titans through suspension for a crusher tackle on Tigers player Thomas Mikaele.

With the winless Manly this week and the struggling Titans the following, the Warriors desperately need four competition points from the two matches.

Warriors: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, David Fusitu'a, Peta Hiku, Solomone Kata, Ken Maumalo, Adam Keighran, Blake Green, Agnatius Paasi, Issac Luke, Bunty Afoa, Adam Blair, Tohu Harris, Lachlan Burr. Interchange (from): Jazz Tevaga, Leeson Ah Mau, Isaiah Papali'i, Gerard Beale, Ligi Sao, Chanel Harris-Tavita.

Manly: Tom Trbojevic, Jorge Taufua, Moses Suli, Brad Parker, Reuben Garrick, Kane Elgey, Daly Cherry-Evans (c), Addin Fonua-Blake, Apisai Koroisau, Martin Taupau, Joel Thompson, Curtis Sironen, Jake Trbojevic. Interchange (from): Manase Fainu, Jack Gosiewski, Corey Waddell,  Toafofoa Sipley, Brendan Elliot, Kelepi Tanginoa.

Back to the top ^

Related Articles (30)