Keighran still upbeat despite NRL omission

It’s been a wild few weeks for Adam Keighran, but he’s not letting his demotion to the Warriors Canterbury Cup side get him down. He played a handy role in the side’s first win of the season over his former team the Penrith Panthers at Mt Smart on Saturday, and post match was full of praise for his team mates.

“I really enjoyed it. It was a grind at the start, but I felt the boys responded well and went hard.” 

After conceding a try in the first two minutes, Keighran said that the Warriors stuck with their game plan of simple rugby league in the wet conditions.

“We just had to hold on to that ball, complete our sets and then chase the kick and D up. I thought we did that pretty well.”

Keighran was solid rather than spectacular for the majority of the game, and wore a few heavy shots from the Panthers when he was called on to kick downfield. However, he put in a stunning last 10 minutes to help guide the Warriors home, including putting through a perfect kick for Patrick Herbert to score the match-sealing try. Keighran also converted both of Herbert’s two scores from wide out in an assured display off the tee. 

Just three weeks ago, though, Keighran was the talk of the town after starring on the same field for the Warriors big first up NRL win over the Bulldogs. After parting ways with Shaun Johnson in the off-season, the club picked up Keighran to partner with Blake Green in the halves. However, Keighran was somewhat controversially made a scapegoat for the next two heavy losses by the Warriors, hence why he found himself back playing against his old team mates in the Canterbury Cup this weekend. However, he admits that it’s part of being a professional footy player.

“It was alright, especially this week. I didn’t think my performances were up to standard. That was shown by getting put back here. I can just take the confidence out of these games in reserve grade, and hopefully once I get my spot there again I’ll put the work that I’m doing here into practice.

The 21-year-old is full of praise for both the Warriors and his new New Zealand home. 

“The Warriors are a really family orientated club, they made me and my partner feel welcome straight away, so that made the move easier. I think that’s the main key, they look after you here.

“We had a great summer here, and got to do a bit of exploring. I’m hoping to get down to the South Island and get to a bit of snow, that’s what I’m looking forward to later on.”