Making hay whilst the sun shines is an expression used by American farmers, except they do not speak the word “whilst,” that is simple and effective advice meaning to get important work down whilst the time is ripe.
The expression can be applied to New Zealand Warriors young gun Ata Hingano, who has one year to have the sun of Kieran Foran shine on his hay fields before Foran departs to play for the Bulldogs next year.
Just 20 years of age, Hingano has big boots to fill as he looks to assume the playmaking duties of Foran, as he has inked a three-year extension with the Warriors. Hingano resisted the temptation dangled by the Melbourne Storm that included not just money, but a chance to leap up the ladder. Apparently, he wants to view the future with the Warriors with himself alongside halfback Shaun Johnson.
There may be a case for saying he also wanted to avoid the excessive notoriety of playing in the big city, although the scrutiny of playing rugby at any level in New Zealand could be described as comparable.
The Warriors have not committed to slotting Hingano in Foran’s spot just yet, and if they do decide to add someone with more than Hingano’s six games’ worth of experience, he just might find himself spending some time on the bench as part of his continued development.
In all sports, assuming the role of a departing star is fraught with peril. Comparisons are inevitable and fans expect immediate Foran-like performance from a Foran replacement.
For his part, Hingano feels he is ready for a frontline role and to put the developmental stage behind him.
The Warriors are soliciting Foran’s assistance in developing Hingano in the form of sharing his vast football experience and Foran has agreed to act as mentor to Hingano for the remainder of the 2017 Telstra NRL Premiership competition.