WARRIORS caretaker coach Tony Iro has made the startling claim that some of his players “turned it up” during Sunday’s horrible capitulation to Canberra.
The Aucklanders, finishing a bitterly disappointing season, led the Raiders 22-6 at halftime and then conceded six unanswered second half tries to lose 42-22.
“I thought a few of them turned it up, to be honest,” Iro tells Rugby League Week. “That performance was the sort of thing that’s been happening to us all year.”
Asked to expand on his suggestion that the Warriors gave up – a clear implication of the phrase “turned it up” – Iro said: “Look, there was effort there in the first half but in the second, we lacked a hard edge there.”
Iro says resilience will have to be “bashed” into his men in the off-season.
“This season, for one reason or another, we haven’t been able to compete physically or mentally,” Iro said. “There’s definitely a soft edge to the side.
“We’ve just got to let them go away and come back with a harder edge in October.
“Those nightmares from games past came back to haunt us. If there’s any consolation, there’s some real hard lessons learned from some young boys in the team.”
Asked how to get the hard edge required for 2013, Iro answered: “Training, being accountable to each other. This side’s got the potential to be a really good footy team but as I said, we have got a soft edge to us at the moment
“I don’t know, usually you just bash some hardness into them. I’m pretty sure that regardless of what happens next season, they’re in for a tough pre-season.”
Captain Simon Mannering did not think fitness was a problem. “A lot of it is attitude – you can do all the training you like, it’s whether you want to put it into practice on the field,” he said.
“I think it just feels, of late, we’ve got in the habit of defending very poorly.”
Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK