As he looks to pick up the pieces from Monday's mauling at the hands of Melbourne, Warriors coach Nathan Brown is reminding his men that the pain of one horror half shouldn't wipe out the gains made in their nine previous halves.
The ANZAC Day thrashing will take some getting over but Brown is quick to point out that the Warriors only trailed 16-10 at the break and were coming off a creditable loss to the Roosters and three wins on the bounce before that.
Brown is well aware that conceding 10 tries in 31 minutes is unacceptable but he knows some of his younger players have suffered enough and he won’t be rubbing salt into the wounds with mass changes for this week’s Canberra game.
“We need to be mindful that coming into that game we all felt we were making some reasonable progress and at half-time we felt we were a touch unlucky not to be leading,” Brown said on Wednesday.
“If we called the game off at half-time we would have thought we were heading in the right direction but when that happens it certainly sets you back a bit.
“When the Storm find one or two players who aren’t on their game they don’t let up, where other teams do let up on you.
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“We had some individuals who really got knocked around a bit and the Storm can do that like no other team.
“We can’t ignore what happened and the group needs to understand that the second half is not where anyone wants to be as a sporting club or a business but we are playing the Raiders this week and we don’t want to forget that we were tracking OK.
“The key is we take some lessons out of it and move forward and we’re quite buoyant that the boys will respond positively.”
Three men who won’t get a chance to chase redemption are Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (concussion), Josh Curran (knee) and young winger Edward Kosi, who has been given a week to collect his thoughts after a night he’d rather forget.
Playing just the ninth game of his career, Kosi made two errors in the first half which led to tries and could not recover in the second 40 as the Storm went for the jugular.
“When things go bad on the wing it’s a pretty lonely place, whereas in the middle of the field there’s lots of people around you,” Brown said.
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“He copped some very nasty stuff on social media and our job is to help him move forward.
“It’s part of his journey as an NRL player - we all have some setbacks along the way. We need to be mindful that these guys are young and still learning their trade and he is far from the first guy the Storm have taken to task.
“We feel like it’ll do him good to have a week off and get his head around it.”
The Storm’s winning margin of 60 points was the third biggest in club history, while their tally of 70 points equalled the mark they set against the Dragons at the MCG in round five, 2000.
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Captaining the Red V on that fateful night was none other than Nathan Brown, hoping to avenge a heartbreaking defeat in the 1999 grand final but instead writing an unwanted chapter in St George Illawarra history with the club’s biggest ever loss.
“That’s a part of sport. You have your good times and bad times. Whether as a player or a coach we are fortunate to do something we love and we get a decent life out of it so sometimes when the bad things happen you just have to front up and cop it and move on,” Brown said.
“I’ve been involved in some great times and some tough times and tough losses but the ones like that [on Monday] generally happen in the first half and are a direct reflection of attitude, so for that to happen in the second half after we played the way we did in the first half was a new experience.
“I stand by what I said after the game about some players giving up but giving can be done in different ways.
“Some people get really down on themselves and withdraw from the contest, not deliberately but because they may feel that if they stay out of the contest then they can’t bugger it up any more.
“That’s not what we want as a football club. Our goal is to become a consistent top-four club because top-four clubs win premierships and that’s what we are all in the business for.”