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2 days ago
As a senior player for the New Zealand Warriors, Logan Swann feels some responsibility for the way they play and when the team play poorly and lose, it's not easy to take.
"I'm a very harsh critic of myself and so is my dad (Gene). I set high standards for myself and when you miss those goals it's not good," he told League Correspondent.
At this stage of the season he is happy but would like to improve.
He'd like the team performance to improve too and feels the best way to see that happen is to work on his own game, lead by example and offer whatever communication he can on the field.
Complacency has possibly been a problem in the side in the past two games ? a narrow win over North Queensland and a loss to Penrith.
"I know every game is going to be tough, every team in the NRL is tough and there's no way we should be taking any of them lightly.
"There's been a lack of attitude the last two games and as senior players we have to work on that. I don't know why it happened ? it's hard to stay up for every game ? but we can't let it happen again."
Swann has played 129 games for the Warriors since his debut in the season-opener against Brisbane in 1997.
Only Stacey Jones with 177 games has appeared more often for the club and in the NRL.
He's off contract this year. Aged 27, there's the possibility he could sign off his career with the Warriors and it's a prospect he is happy with.
"As a kid you dream of playing for one team all the way through and when the Warriors came along nine years ago that was my dream," he said.
"I'm keeping my options open but the taste of finals in the past two years has been good and, really, I'm dead keen on staying.
"There is confidence in the team now, we know we have skilful players ? lots of natural flair ? and it's a young side. If I can see my career out here well, that's every home-boy's dream."
He still has aspirations to add to his 25 Kiwi test appearances, too.
At 21 he was elevated straight from reserve grade to the Kiwis by then-assistant Warriors and Kiwis coach Frank Endacott and basically played, if he was fit, for club and country, 19 consecutive tests.
Then Gary Freeman preferred Henry Perenara in 2001, and lack of NRL performance saw him overlooked in 2002. That was partly due to a break of nine weeks that followed a poor return from the game against the Bulldogs in Wellington in round six last year.
Things were not comfortable between him and coach Daniel Anderson, the man now in the Kiwi reins.
Swann didn't want to dwell on that other than to say that those things happened when players get dropped and that things are now better.
"I'm looking at improving my game because I believe I have more to offer and, definitely, I want to be in the Kiwis again."
Spectators have noticed Swann's increased defensive workload and less of the flashy off-loads.
That's partly down to the way play has flowed and partly to changing his role to suit the game the team play.
"I don't want to force passes that give the opposition six points. You learn to do what's good for the team, mould your play to suit."
"When you have more confidence in the guy standing next to you, it breeds. Morale is high. There's a belief we can do it (reach the finals) again.
"The seniors have to lead the young guys around the field, talk and direct them.
"One of the most important things I've learned is how much communication means on the field, letting your team-mates know what's happening. You have to lead with the ball and without it."