I’VE never been one to lean on cliches and their one-size-fits all view on sporting conundrums.
I’m normally loathe to repeat them but there’s no escaping the “one game at a time” analogy and it's relevance to us at this stage of the season.
Right now we simply have to win games. We’ve got 10 to go and we can’t rely on other teams beating each other for us to get to the playoffs.
The unpredictable nature of this ultra competitive league has left our destiny in our own hands. We know we’re going up against Adelaide, Brisbane and New Zealand for that fourth spot.
It’s unlikely any of us are going to reel in the big three and it’s probably too late for Cairns to make a run – though with the form their finding they can have a big say in the equation.
People always talk about “must win” games but, in reality, it’s very difficult to manufacture that sort of desperation. We’re no longer in that boat. We’ve got to win.
We’re not looking at series’ or anything like that because, percentage-wise we’re really bad. Our losses have been really bad losses so there’s no point pulling out the calculator to do the sums.
It makes it’s very, very simple. We can’t play for margins or rely on them anywhere else. We want to make the playoffs and for us to do that WE MUST BEAT ADELAIDE.
That’s what we’ve discussed. I want our players to play edgy, I want our guys to go in like it’s their last game. If we lose to Adelaide, lose to Brisbane, all of a sudden we’re four games off it and we’re not going to make it.
That’s what the senior players are driving, Whitey, Dave and Conk in particular, are trying to drive that mentality. I think it’s good when your senior players and leaders are feeling edgy about it.
We’re a really good backs to the wall team. We’ve been playing well against those top three teams but I think we’ve let our guard down at times against the others.
That’s not say the others are not very good teams. You only need to look at their recent results against those big three teams to see that. There are no easy games in this league but we have let ourselves down against sides outside that top three.
That’s what this week’s been all about. Forget Sydney last week and how good that was, we’ve got to back at up. We failed to meet that challenge after beating Perth on our floor three weeks ago.
There are always games that can come back to haunt you because you didn’t come out and play hard enough or with the effort and intensity that’s required.
If we don’t come out with that on Thursday we’re in trouble because I know Adelaide will. They’re guaranteed to come in with their chest puffed out to try and ram it down our throat.
It’s another cliche but… the ball’s in our court.