It’s the underlying impression you get from Willie Heta each time you spot him after a game, more often than not, in 2017 anyway, after his Orange Hawks outfit has shown flashes of brilliance along with splashes of mediocrity.
Sunday’s 52-24 derby loss to Orange CYMS was no different.
The two blues started well, physically matching the green and golds, but it didn’t translate to any form of parity – CYMS racing to 22-0 lead after 22 minutes.
The half-time siren sounded as Ben McAlpine slotted a penalty goal to make it 36-0 at the break.
It was all over then.
But the two blues came out firing, scored four second-half tries and kept CYMS to just three to prove to Heta both that his side is capable of matching it with the best in Group 10 and there’s still life left in Hawks’ 2017 campaign.
Only just though.
“I’m happy with parts of our game,” Heta said.
“But we’ve forced ourselves into a position where we’ve got to try and win the rest of our games now to make it in the five.”
Hawks are now three points adrift from the fifth-placed Cowra after the Magpies turned around last weekend’s 100-6 loss to CYMS and came up trumps in Lithgow on Saturday.
Heta believes if Hawks can start the remainder of the regular season matches with more intensity, than wins are around the corner.
“It’s hard to get them up, to start off well,” he said.
“We’re trying to build it up through the week and into the warm-up but like I said it’s on the day, whether we turn up or not and we made it hard on ourselves by giving away possession.”
The experienced five-eighth said the key was remaining positive, even when giving a half-time spray seems like the most obvious option.
“It’s hard to not get up them,” he smiled when quizzed on what the half-time pep-talk was like at 36-0.
“They’re already down on themselves … and I’m trying to stay positive.
“We’ve ended up putting a few points on the board but not enough.”
Hawks play Cowra, Lithgow and Bathurst St Pat’s to round out the season – all win-able games as Heta attempts to lift the two blues into the top five.
But that evasive consistency is the only thing that will get them there.
“It’s been our season, just being patchy. We’ve got to maintain it and that’s what it takes to win games, the boys are understanding that,” he added.