Warriors prop Sam Lisone has been among the Kiwi club’s best forwards over the past month, and the secret to the increased venom in his carries and tackles has been a simple one.
Positive visualisation in the build-up to an event is no new phenomenon in sport, but it’s something Lisone has practiced for a number of years as part of his preparation for games.
Handwritten notes and time spent playing through scenarios in his head help the 22-year-old to focus on his job in the middle of the park – something he will need to do ahead of Sunday’s clash with a formidable Roosters front-row, which includes Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Sam Moa and Dylan Napa.
“It’s just a mindset, before the game I sort of paint pictures in my head about how I am going to run and how I am going to tackle, and then I just try and do it,” Lisone said.
“That way once I get the ball I am just all filled up and ready to go.
“I believe in writing notes before the game too, but I think for me when I see pictures I remember it more. When I draw pictures I remember it for a while.
“I will probably get hit one day, but I won’t really care. You are not always going to be the biggest and eventually there will be someone out there who is stronger than you.”
Just gonna add Sam Lisone to my list of people I never wanna tackle one on one 😳😂😂😂😂
— Eddy from the block (@Ekeuaki_91) June 11, 2016
In a tough season for the Roosters – who head into Round 15 sitting second-last on the NRL ladder – Napa has been a shining light.
So far in 2016 he averages 131.6 metres per game, with only three matches where he has failed to hit the 100-metre mark in yardage gained.
Waerea-Hargreaves, meanwhile, continues his comeback from an ACL injury suffered last season, but in five games this year the enforcer has increased his minutes each week, with the former Kiwi international averaging 130 metres per match.
Lisone said he and his fellow bookends had watched over plenty of film involving the pair this week, and is confident they can win the battle up front – despite the absence of usual starting prop Jacob Lillyman, who has been recalled to play for Queensland in Origin II.
Sam Lisone with the Sam Rapira runs #NRLWarriorsRaiders
— Stephen Gallagher (@SWTGallagher) May 21, 2016
“We go through it as a pack and this week we will try and get over the top of Waerea-Hargreaves in particular, who has been going well since coming back from injury,” Lisone said.
“As for Napa, well, we have seen what he can do to teams by himself.
“I just look at their carries, what type of carries they like and what I can do to help the team out in that area.
“It’s going to be a big job for us this week, but I think our middles are up for it.”