Breakers and Warriors coaches share tips
They're arguably Auckland’s most popular sporting franchises, but that's where the similarities end between the all-conquering Breakers and the hot-and-cold Warriors.
However, both teams are hoping to learn a thing or two from each other, and it's their coaches leading the way.
Some of the country's best-known sportsmen were helping make Christmas a little more memorable for 200 sick children today, while their coaches were exchanging more than just phone numbers.
“As coaches we can always learn from one another, and different sports can try to cross-pollinate ideas a little bit, and I’m happy to have as many conversations as we want,” says Breakers coach Andrej Lemanis.
It is a philosophy that flies in the face of traditional coaching, where notes are jealously guarded, but both believe it's critical to share information.
“Knowledge now is so accessible, so it's not a matter of keeping stuff,” says Warriors coach Matthew Elliott. “It's the personal contact and the experiences of relationships, how you deal with situations. We were just talking about recruitment and retention then, so there's always something to learn from personal circumstances.”
Elliot's approach is appreciated by his players as well.
“He's pretty open to other sports too,” says Warriors second rower Feleti Mateo. “Obviously he let Manu box in the Fight for Life, so whatever can give us the edge we'll certainly take.”
The Warriors are looking to piggyback on the success of the Breakers, but maybe Father Christmas can help get that first NRL title.
“I think I have to look a little further than Santa for that one,” says Warriors halfback shaun Johnson. “That's a lot of really tough work to get that in. We're going through that at the moment – pre-season's been fairly tough. But I like to think I've been a good boy, so hopefully some good things will start happening.”
The new goal kicker and face of the franchise is looking to rebound with his teammates for a successful 2013.