Ten minutes with Brad Thorn is all it took for Tiennan Costley to significantly boost his knowledge of leadership.
The Westlake Boys’ High School First XV captain approached the legendary dual international while his team was on a lunch break during a training session with the Queensland Reds on a recent Australian tour. Costley shares some of the advice sought.
“Meeting Brad Thorn was like meeting God. He has such an inspirational presence. I was nervous, but he was really friendly. I asked him if he had experienced any lows during his career and how he had handled them. Brad told me you have to have a mindset of greatness. When he was losing a lot in Japan he formed a group which sought to change the mentality of the team and his will improved their results.”
Westlake is hoping to go one better in 2017. Last year they were tipped over by Rosmini College in the 1A final after topping the round robin. What lessons were learned?
“We beat Takapuna Grammar 95-0 in the round robin, but only 17-5 in the semi-final. You can’t take anything for granted. Every team builds and improves so you have to have the mentality of greatness even if things appear easy,” Costley responds.
This Saturday Westlake tackles Massey High School. Westlake beat Massey twice in 2017 and three times on their way to the North Harbour title in 2016. This should be a routine win for Westlake?
“Not at all,” Costley retorts.
“Massey are big boys who give it nothing less than 100%. They are a dangerous team who can score from anywhere at anytime. Were going to have to muscle up defensively to get a win,” he continued.
Defence was a big feature of Westlake’s 15-9 win over Rangitoto College last Saturday. Costley captures the final moments.
“We were defending our goal line for ages. Rangitoto really brought it to us as all teams do when they play Westlake. Westlake has a great history so everytime we play there is a target on our backs.”
Westlake has a young team in 2018 with the majority of the squad Year 11 and 12. Three players to watch closely are prop Sean Vete whose in his second year and enjoys calculus. Ethan MacDonald is a North Harbour age group representative loose forward with the height to cover lock and their are high hopes for rookie Chase Harris a versatile outside back with an extensive background in touch.
Costley is a third year lock and is known for his strong ball carriers. He has firm ambitions in 2018.
“My first goal is to ensure Westlake does well. As the captain I have a responsibility to do my best by the team. Personally I would like to make the Blues Under-18 camp and see where that leads,” Costley concludes.
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