Thursday, September 5, 2013

Chiefs are letting team unity go to their heads

Kasey Beirnes
If you want to see a mark of the team unity the Six Nations Chiefs have found in what has the potential to be a championship year for the club, look no further than the heads of some of their players. Colin Doyle, Rob Marshall and Kasey Beirnes are all sporting Mohawks and there are more to come. Beirnes says there was a special feeling in the dressing room right off the bat this summer. “Walking into the dressing room at the beginning of this year was totally different than last year,” Beirnes said. “The demeanour seemed to be so enthusiastic. There was no segregation amongst players. Everybody was in, we were all mixed together having a great old time, right from day one. It was evident at the beginning of the year—I knew we were going to have a successful year just because of that.”

The haircuts are part of that collegiality, Beirnes says. “Coming to a Native reserve, we're kind of doing our role to fit in with them. It's always very common among a lot of the Native players on our team and it was just something that we felt was going to show we're here and we're committed to this. It was all part of that. Now we're here and I think there are three or four more guys who are going to get them [Thursday]. It's showing that we're coming together really well as a team.”

Now the players, young and not so young alike, just want to get the series going, to start playing the games. “It's tough to grasp right now. The jitters are here right now. It's hard to believe we have a full day [Thursday] before the first game even happens on Friday,” Beirnes said. “It's hard to get over that part. I'm anxious, I'm excited. We have a good group of guys. It's new to a lot of us, so we're actually enjoying the ride with everyone else.”

When the games do get going, Six Nations will be relying on their evenly balanced approach to offence to help them deal with the outstanding Victoria defence and goalie Matt Vinc. Beirnes says the scoring was spread around in almost every game. “There wasn't a game—I think Cody had one 5-goal game—but other than that it was, we had five players over 23 goals. That's a pretty impressive stat when you're looking at a team offence. We don't upset, when one person's not scoring it doesn't rattle them, we try to make other people better that are hot that night and that's the toughest thing to stop as a defence. We're doing well with that and hopefully it carries on into the next series.”

While it may feel like a long time for the players, the series will be here soon. Game 1 kicks off Friday night at 7 pm, the start time for all the games in the series. Word yesterday afternoon was that only single tickets and some standing room were available, and those are likely all but gone now. You can still the catch all the games via pay per view webcast.