Enigmatic centre Krisnan Inu denies he was the Superman who saved the Warriors NRL campaign.
Inu’s last-minute try sunk Wests Tigers and propelled the Auckland-based outfit into an improbable preliminary final against Melbourne next weekend – the 22-20 upset going a long way to making up for the embarrassing week one finals loss to Brisbane.
A spectator for the Suncorp Stadium massacre, In…like the Warriors…was given a second chance due to others’ misfortune.
While it was an opportunity he thought would never come, Inu did his best to downplay his impact on a team now 80 minutes away from a grand final.
“They knew what they had to do, they knew they didn’t play their best game,” Inu said of his teammates after the 40-10 loss to Brisbane.
“I wasn’t going to be the Superman coming in and saving everyone, I was just going to do my part.
“Everyone knew they had to do a job and do it well.”
While he had plenty of friends, few did it better than Inu, who was a constant menace out wide for the visitors.
It was a stunning resurrection for the ex-Parramatta star who had struggled to find a home in the Warriors side, his opportunities limited mostly to fill-in appearances on the wing.
He only got a run against the Tigers when Joel Moon went down with an ankle injury against Broncos…becoming coach Ivan Cleary’s sixth-choice centre behind Moon, Jerome Ropati, Shaun Berrigan, Lewis Brown and Simon Mannering, and making the most of a surprise opportunity.
“At one point I did,” Inu said when asked whether he feared he’d never make it back into the side. I think the boys were going well and you can’t change what’s been going well so I was lucky enough to get my shot. We’ve had a top side all year and like you said I’ve only played centre once or twice and I was grateful enough to get my shot again and do the job for the boys. Ivan said every week to be prepared to the NSW Cup players. He knew the talent was there throughout the club.”
And what of the controversial touchdown with just 2:55 left on the clock against the Tigers, when a bomb sailed over to his side of the field, was spilled, before Inu regathered and had not one, but two attempts at putting it down?
“The ball went up, I did my best to try and get it and lucky enough it bounced in my hands, and I knew it was six-again so I just went for the try,” Inu said. He added, “I knew no one was on me so I just went with it with one hand, reached out and got the call our way so it was good.”
It’s why Cleary was comfortable with putting the talented yet inconsistent performer in for the Warriors’ biggest game of the year.
“I’m always sort of confident when Krisnan’s involved in stuff like that because he’s probably the only guy that can do that sort of stuff,” Cleary said of the try.
It’s a confidence that spreads to his teammates as well.
“He’s a big game player…he can put on some big moves and he had his chance to shine and he did,” backrower Feleti Mateo said.
“I’m over the moon for him…hopefully he can roll on with it next week.”
by Terence Johns