The word “irony” is often misused in journalism – and music. Almost none of the situations described in Alanis Morrisette’s 1996 hit song Ironic, for instance, are actually ironic.
So it was NOT ironic that the day after Krisnan Inu played his second consecutive match-winning role for Canterbury at the weekend, the Warriors took on Melbourne.
That was just a co-incidence – but a telling one.
Inu’s fate in Auckland was sealed with his appearance in the corresponding match at AAMI Park on Anzac Day. Switched from centre to fullback for the injured Kevin Locke, Inu fumbled in his own territory with a one-handed carry at a crucial stage of the game.
“Moving Kris to fullback didn’t work out for us,” coach Brian McClennan said afterwards. “I haven’t said anything to him yet.” Asked what he would eventually say to Inu, McClennan answered: “That’s between me and the player.”
Those words might well have been “you’re dropped”.
A couple of weeks later, after he was scheduled to play at Belmore Sports Ground with feeder team the Auckland Vulcans, Inu found himself training there instead with the Bulldogs. He’s our highest profile mid-season transfer of the season, if you don’t count Willie Mason of course.
“It happened real quick – I just told my manager I wanted to play some first grade,” the 25-year-old said on radio at the weekend.
But hang on a minute, Krisnan, you were in first grade on Anzac Day. That wasn’t so long ago!
“I knew the Warriors had signed a few players for next year and I just felt that if they had a few players for next year, I’m not sure where I’m going to be,” he explained.
“You’ve got no-one to blame but yourself. I just felt I had a point to prove to the fans and myself. If you want to be on the field, you’ve got to play good.”
Inu has certainly done that in a 30-12 win over Sydney Roosters and a heart-stopping 23-18 success against South Sydney, bagging a total of 25 points from three tries, six goals and a field-goal.
During the interview on ABC yesterday, Inu said of NRL.com’s own Daniel Anderson – who coached him at Parramatta – “I think I was a bit of a headache to Ando.
“The last few days, my focus has been on preparation. I think I had a bit too much fun (earlier in my career), taking a few things for granted.
“It’s time to grow up and get serious. Have fun at the same time but do the hard stuff as well.”
And so while we all turn our eyes to Origin, while Brisbane ends a three-match losing streak at the expense of Wayne Bennett, Melbourne marches on, Canberra experience internal rumbles, Gold Coast enjoys an early spring and Manly’s premiership defence continues, Krisnan Inu stands, grinning broadly, at the centre of it all.
A man who smiles as he lines up kicks and at just about every other opportunity, salvaging his career by growing up and getting serious?
That might actually qualify as real irony. We’ll consult the grammar video referee....