Harris tells all on his knee injuries
Tohu Harris has revealed the bizarre cause of the knee injuries that have sidelined him for nearly two months.
As well as identifying the simple blueprint the Warriors must follow to finally secure a spot in the finals when they face Penrith on Friday night, Harris on Thursday spoke of the run-of-the-mill activity that resulted in him missing seven matches with meniscus tears.
The 26-year-old back-rower has been named on the bench and could start at Mt Smart Stadium after missing seven matches.
The rangy Kiwis international was due to return against the Dragons in round 21 only for the right knee to give way in training.
Surely the first was the result of an awkward tackle or a sidestep gone wrong against the Sharks, and the repeat perhaps a friendly-fire incident in training? Not quite.
"It wasn't anything that was, like a big impact or anything like that, it was just walking and it went," Harris said
Sorry, did you say…walking?
"It was both the same thing, just walking and they went on me so, yeah, it was a bit strange," said the former Melbourne Storm second-rower, poised to make his 15th appearance for the Warriors on Friday.
"There's nothing I could do about it. I just have make sure my legs are as strong and stable as possible, have it as part of my weekly routine from now on and get on with it."
The Warriors cannot wait for Harris to "get on with it" either, especially if he can pick up against the Panthers where he left off against the Sharks. He contributed 41 tackles (his average is 34.4 at a shade under 90 percent efficiency) and 80 metres from 12 runs in 79 minutes.
Importantly, Harris is set to be reunited with halfback Shaun Johnson and reinstated centre Peta Hiku in a right edge that proved dangerous during the Warriors impressive start to the season.
"He's a very composed individual, highly skilled and capable," said Warriors coach Stephen Kearney, who hasn't ruled out starting Harris but can't commit to how many minutes he will get.
“What I know about Tohu is he’s a pretty experienced campaigner, he's very efficient with his energy.
"But he hasn't played in seven weeks and it's a big physical team we're playing against, so he might need a spell at some stage out there."
Regardless of how many minutes Harris gets, he knows all he can do is concentrate on executing the little parts that make up his big job.
And that, in a simplistic nutshell, is the aforementioned blueprint that the Warriors have found so difficult implementing as they've lost five of their last nine matches.
"For the most part we're defending well it's just a few times we have really good sets and there might be an individual thing or one area where we are not doing as well as we could do," Harris said.
The Warriors can still secure a home final – mathematically they can still make the top-four to earn two playoff lives – but Harris refuses to look beyond the Panthers.
"I guess it would be great for the club, great for the city to be able to play here [in the finals] but we can't look too far ahead as a team because if we look past the team at hand, they'll tear us apart, especially a team like the Panthers. I can't say it enough, they're a dangerous side.
"We can't control [other] results. We can only control how we turn up and I think that's been the most frustrating part - that we haven't turned up with the right attitude and right effort at certain times."