Everybody loves a good bandwagon, and the Warriors one is once again pulling into the station. Experienced bandwagonner James Dann has some sage advice for those thinking of jumping aboard.
So the Warriors pulled out their best performance of the season on Saturday, demolishing last year’s beaten finalists the Brisbane Broncos at Mt Smart Stadium. After a string of abject performances, off-field drama, and the departure of popular centre Konrad Hurrell, expectations were incredibly low. But instead of driving headfirst off the harbour bridge, Andrew McFadden pulled a sharp handbrake turn, and with a couple of theoretically easy games coming up, the Warriors bandwagon is now hurtling towards the Top 8. For those of you considering jumping on, we’ve got some hot tips on how to best mount the Warriors bandwagon.
Tweet support at the players
The players have had a bit of a rough time of late, especially on social media. Tweet your support at the players, telling them that you’ve got their back. They’ll never know that just a month ago, you were calling them useless and saying they should be sacked.
It's a shame Lillyman didn't go out on the piss this week as well
— James Macbeth Dann (@edmuzik) May 1, 2016
Isaac Luke with some Michael Witt level fuckwittery there
— James Macbeth Dann (@edmuzik) April 16, 2016
The hipster’s choice
Pretty much every Warrior had their best game of the season against the Broncos. Shaun Johnson ran the show, scoring the first try and setting up two others. Manu didn’t cross the line but showed that he wanted to be back in the first team with a number of strong carries. David Fusitu’a scored twice and looks to be another gem unearthed from the Under 20’s system. But they’re the obvious choices. Impress your new friends with a soliloquy about Thomas Leuluai’s work-rate, or how having Bodene Thompson outside Johnson is key to the playmaker’s return to form. Say that you had your doubts about Isaac Luke, but if he’s going to continue to run the ruck like he did on Saturday, you’re a convert.
Buy yourself a jersey
As any Arsenal fan knows, buying a jersey is the best way to show that you have money and support a team. But if you don’t wanna seem like an opportune Johnny-come-lately fan, then hit TradeMe and find a retro jersey. We at the Spinoff have even provided you with a handy ranking of all the Warriors kits. If you can find one, I’d recommend the 2002 kit – when the team runs out for the Heritage round against the Roosters, they’re going to be wearing a replica of this shirt but you’ll be able to claim that you’ve been following the team through the good times and the bad.
Point out that Sir Graham Henry was sitting in the coach’s box
Big Ted, Rugby World Cup winning coach and oval-ball saviour, was sitting in the coach’s box for the game on Saturday. Did you see that? It’s very important to point this out and to give him all the credit for the win. It is also very important to place the Warriors’ win firmly in a 15-man context, as we all know that league isn’t a real sport compared to the code.
Even a casual Warriors fan will probably know about the Mt Smart Joker, a superfan who combines his love for the club with the popular character of the Joker. But maybe it’s time to give him a run for his money with a slightly more recent cultural reference – is New Zealand ready for the Mt Smart Minion?
Celebrate the Warriors way
After a win like that, you could be forgiven for having a Wendy’s burger with a Woodstock Bourbon on the side, whilst calling all your mates on your Vodafone mobile and dropping a cool hundy at SkyCity. Or you could party the way the Warriors would, with an irresponsible combination of energy drinks and prescription drugs, and forming an underground poker ring.
Have your excuses at the ready
Look, we know that you’re only riding this bandwagon while the going is good. So if you’re planning on dismounting the Good Ship McFadden at the first sight of a tough game, then get your excuses ready now. You could point out that the Broncos were backing up from Origin 1 and they had some tired looking players. You could fall back on fact that the Warriors are unburdened by Origin commitments and historically perform better through this period. You could let your attention drift elsewhere, what with the Euros and the Olympics coming up, until Solomone Kata’s thunderous thighs are only a distant memory, until you can no longer hear Daryl Halligan butchering Tuimoala Lolohea’s name whenever you close your eyes. Just be ready to leap back aboard the bandwagon for the first weekend of the Finals series…