Melbourne Storm’s assistant coach Ryan Hoffman has given fans an insight into Cameron Smith and Craig Bellamy’s touching act of sportsmanship as they addressed the Warriors following their match on Friday.
Melbourne captain Smith, coach Bellamy and assistant coach Hoffman were captured on the locker room camera speaking to the Warriors players after their 50-6 demolition at the hands of the Storm.
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Playing their first game since the shock sacking of Stephen Kearney, the Warriors looked like a deflated outfit both during the game and after.
The flogging has only compounded a difficult period for the Warriors who have been uprooted during the coronavirus pandemic, basing themselves in Australia away from family and friends.
Hoffman, who also played for the Warriors towards the end of his career, revealed why the trio decided to enter the New Zealand-based outfit’s dressing room after the game.
“It was tough. We wanted to go in there and show our appreciation and admiration for what they have been doing,” Hoffman told Fox Sports.
“Just to try and show some solidarity. It was very hard to not sound condescending or feel patronising to them because I’m sure they don’t want sympathy.
“I just wanted to let them know the admiration I have for Roger (Tuivasa-Sheck) and the team and what they are doing. To be honest I got a bit emotional in talking to them.”
Warriors re-commit to Australia stay
Meanwhile, Warriors players have re-committed to staying in Australia for at least another two weeks, allaying fears some of their stars could return home to New Zealand.
ARL Commission chair Peter V'landys and interim chief executive Andrew Abdo spoke to the Warriors playing group on Saturday morning about their concerns.
The assurance comes as the team cops a further blow with skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck charged for a grade one shoulder charge, which is set to cost him a week.
The fullback was pinged for his hit on Felise Kaufusi in Friday's loss to Melbourne, and will miss a week whether he takes the early guilty plea or unsuccessfully challenges the charge at the judiciary.
It adds more pain for the squad, which is already under significant strain after eight weeks in Australia and set to remain for the near future.