Warriors preach patience as the team looks to turn around 2022 season
HERRIMAN — With a 2-5 record on the year, and with just nine games left to play, patience in the process would seem difficult to ascribe to the Utah Warriors’ current state. But according to Warrior players, patience is one of the main things that needs to come about in order for the team to turn things around.
The message was pretty clear, following the Warriors’ latest loss to the Houston Sabercats last Saturday. Among several things was Utah’s inability to touch the ball down inside the try line despite at least four trips within 3 meters of the scoring line.
Had the Warriors converted on even half of those four possessions, the final 28-12 outcome could have swung much different — a fact not lost on Warriors forward ‘Olive Kilifi.
“The big thing with us is just patience,” Kikifi said. “I think when we get into our gold zone that we get that kind of ‘white line fever’ where we get excited, and we tend to panic and rush things. So a big thing for us this week is for us to be a little more patient when we get into those zones and more composed.”
Along with the lack of completing prime scoring opportunities where multiple passing and tackling errors that led directly to three of Houston’s four tries yielded last week. Cleaning up any of those instances would have made for a much different outcome, much like the failed scoring opportunities.
— Utah Warriors Rugby (@utwarriorsrugby) March 29, 2022
“It comes down to focusing on your job and working to do your job for your teammates,” said Warriors scrum half Danny Christensen. “We’ve got to come together and recognize that we have to work as hard as we possibly can on that field to maintain possession and get that ball across the line.”
As one could well assume from the quotes provided by both Kilifi and Christensen, the focus during this week’s practice session has been almost entirely the Warriors’ own execution.
“We just need to maintain possession and limit the errors,” Christensen said. “We are an exciting, dynamic team and we can be so lethal. We just have to limit our own mistakes, and that’s really just the game plan.”
“The important thing is that we just focus on us. That’s been the attitude all week,” Kilifi said. “Just cleaning things up, and if we just tweak them our results would have been much different over the past two games.”
The game plan alluded to would be for the visiting San Diego Legion, who the Warriors take on this Friday at 8 p.m. at Zions Bank Stadium. Games are typically tight and exciting when the two western conference rivals square off, which could very well be the case again this time around.
Friday Night Lights.
⚔️ San Diego Legion
📆 Friday, April 1
🕗 8:00 PM MT
📍 Herriman, UT
🏟️ Zions Bank Stadium
📺 KMYU, KSL Sports and The Rugby Network
📻 ESPN 700 & ESPN 960#ForTheNation || #RiseOfRugby pic.twitter.com/rbip67z9j6
— Utah Warriors Rugby (@utwarriorsrugby) March 28, 2022
“They’re a good team and we know we’re always going to get their best,” Kilife said of San Diego. “San Diego always gets up for us, so we know we have to bring our A-game to come away with a victory…but we’re focused on us and trying to get things right.”
UTAH WARRIORS VS. SAN DIEGO LEGION
Date: Friday, April 1
Time: 8:00 PM MDT
Where: Zions Bank Stadium, Herriman
Broadcast: KMYU, The Rugby Network
Radio: ESPN 700 and ESPN 960
Brandon Gurney is the Utah Warriors Team Reporter. With nearly two decades of experience covering BYU Football in print and on radio, Gurney brings a wealth of experience to the Utah Warriors beat. You can read all of Gurney’s stories on the Utah Warriors throughout the 2022 Season at WarriorsRugby.com
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