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Thursday, 10 November 2016

Where have i been and Plans for the future

The 17th of September was the last time I posted on here, it really feels like a lifetime ago but I have just been struggling to put pen to pad recently.
I have stopped and started my 2016 Warriors season review multiple times as well as my piece on the Kieran Foran signing, but not to worry as I hope to have both of these completed and uploaded very soon.

Why is it taking me so long you may ask?
Well, life sometimes just gets in the way of our plans and screws with our routines, and like right now just feels like it has been going downhill.
Some members of my family have been/are going through difficult times and the fact that I haven't been able to fix or even help them has knocked me for six.

So when I've tried to sit down and write, my head has just been flooded with everything else that is going on, and I haven't been able to focus on what I'm trying to write,
Which to be honest frustrates the hell out of me because when shit like this goes down, my writing is my escape, my way of destressing and I really need to get back into a routine.

Now, this isn't a woe is me story as I am thankful for what I have in my life and I know there is a lot of terrible things happening to nicer, better people than myself.
I also know that as long as I do my best to love and support my family, we will get through all the struggles and come out the other side stronger.
I wanted to put all of this out there so I can hold myself accountable for keeping a routine in place and not flaking out and giving up.

So I am in the process of taking back control, not only of my writing but my life in general.
I aim to be writing on here at least once a week, now that is going to be a lot easier during the NRL season, but I want to branch out into different topics since we have a few months until the season officially starts.

As to what I will be writing about, well I'm not too sure yet.
Maybe I can start writing about my thoughts on current events, other sports, and teams that I follow and just about what's going on in my life.
If any of you have thoughts or ideas, let me know as I'm open to suggestions.
I also aim to get back into my exercise and eating right, I find that I write better after a workout so I am going to ensure that I get out to the gym or for walks as often as I can.

So with my plan in place, you will be hearing from me more often, and in my first step, I got a new picture of me for the blog as you can see at the top of my blog.
I love it, and if you ever want something like that for yourself, you should check out the artist Ross Payne his website is www.animatics.co.nz

It's great to finally be writing again, and I will talk to you again shortly.



Sunday, 18 September 2016

NRL 2016 Round 26 Review: Embarrassing showing sums up 2016 for Warriors

Copyright Photos: David Joseph / www.photosport.nz
With all 2016 playoff hopes dashed the Warriors had one game left before they could turn their focus onto 2017.
A good performance against the Parramatta Eels was required to try and end the season on a positive note but an embarrassing 40-18 loss just served to plunge the dagger further into the hearts of the Warriors faithful that sat in the heavy rain witnessing a truly amateur performance.

For the first 20 minutes, the Warriors appeared to have come to play pushing out to a 12-0 lead.
Then the errors that have plagued this team came back and the Warriors went from bad to worse and found themselves constantly on the back-foot yet again.
Defensively the Warriors were found out and as a result were punished.
A lack of desperation was present yet again and the Warriors just appeared to put their heads in the sand and give up in what was a bitterly disappointing way to close out the 2016 season.

My Warrior of the game goes to Simon Mannering yet again, in comments duplicated from Round 25 Simon appears to be the only player putting in 100% every game week in and week out, I wonder how tempted he has been to test the market and move to another NRL club as I'm confident that any of the other clubs would sign him if they were the chance.

My Warrior who needs to improve is a tie this week between Ben Matulino and Jacob Lillyman.
The senior front rowers have been lacking all season and I would rather release both of them and sign another prop that is willing to put in the effort week in and week out grinding the metres instead of having the back line do it.

Sitting in the rain, losing the feeling in my hands due to being cold and wet, I thought back to the Golden-Point loss to the Cronulla Sharks where the Warriors were fighting for every metre and defending aggressively.
Where did that team go?
Going from taking the first (at the time) placed team to the wire to losing the last four games in a row conceding 151 points and only scoring 70 points themselves.
To go from playoff contenders to an embarrassment, where did it go wrong?
Was the middle of the season improvement just an illusion, a series of games where the Warriors were more lucky than good?

I cannot honestly say, the Warriors need to have a serious look at every facet of their organisation in the oncoming months in order to actually be competitive in 2017.
Be it coaching changes, roster changes, a change in preseason
training or a change in training in general.
Whatever can be fixed Warriors please go and fix it!

So that's the Warriors 2016 season all done, I will be writing a 2016 season review shortly so be on the lookout for that in the upcoming weeks but before that, I will leave you with some questions.

How would you describe the 2016 season?
What changes would you make for 2017?
Do you give the Warriors a chance of succeeding next season?

Let me know your thoughts below.




Thursday, 15 September 2016

NRL 2016 Round 25 Review: Lack of effort eliminates Warriors from Playoff race

Copyright Photo: Shane Wenzlick / www.photosport.nz
With the Penrith Panthers getting a close victory over the Gold Coast Titans, the Warriors still had a chance to compete in the 2016 playoffs, all that was needed was a win over the Wests Tigers to keep them in contention.
With their season on the line and playing at Mount Smart you would expect the Warriors to pick their performance up a level but the Warriors threw away a 24-18 lead to lose 36-24.

Yes, there were two Warriors tries denied by the NRL Bunker but I believe only one of them should have been allowed anyway as the try from Solomona Kata did have a forward pass involved.
Even if both of those tries had been allowed, the Warriors would most likely have still fallen away in the final 10 minutes.
As a fan in the stands, it was incredibly frustrating to watch the players just jog towards the defensive line when returning kicks and the majority of the side appeared to have an apparent lack of urgency and desperation.
In what has been a consistent trend for the past month the Warriors continually dropped the ball and put themselves under extra pressure.

I feel like a broken record as I have been saying the same thing every week but I will say it again, the Warriors cannot win games if they continue to make schoolboy errors and have a lacklustre defense.
The visible lack of effort is a serious concern for the future of this club and I think the coaching staff will have to seriously look at their current squad and possible start to think about moving some of the dead weight.

My Warrior of the game goes to Simon Mannering, in a team full of men who appear to not care, Simon continues to give it 100% and tackle everyone that crosses his path.
Simon deserves a team that will try and match his dedication and for the past five years at minimum, he has not had that support from his teammates.
Hopefully (and in typical Warriors fan speak) the team will be better for not only Simon but for all the fans as well.

My Warrior who needs to improve is Ben Matulino, I don't know what has happened to Ben this season but after a player of the year season last year, he has simply failed to show up this year.
As a former prop, I've always have a soft spot for the front rowers and generally give them more leeway when reviewing games but Ben has been a disappointment to me and if I was in the Warriors management and coaching staff I would possibly be looking at moving Ben on.
Perhaps in the offseason, the Warriors staff can pinpoint where Ben has gone wrong this season and get him back into form.

With the season now over the Warriors face the Parramatta Eels in a match with nothing but pride on the line for both clubs.
The Warriors will need to come out strong and put on a good display for the ever suffering Warriors fans to end the season on a high.

What were your thoughts on this match?
With the end of the season near, what changes would you make to the Warriors?
Would you bring the young players up for the last game of the season now that the Warriors are our of the race?

Let me know below.


Friday, 26 August 2016

NRL 2016 Round 24 Review: Warriors outplayed and outclassed in Townsville

Copyright Photo: Getty images


The Warriors travelled to Townsville to face the North Queensland Cowboys in a must-win match to keep their playoffs hopes alive and for the second week in a row when the Warriors had the chance to control their own destiny they crumpled under pressure.

The Warriors were outclassed by the Cowboys who dominated them in all facets of the game.
They kept the pressure on the Warriors and kept them camped in their own half for the majority of the game and the Warriors were never in the contest losing 34-6.

The biggest issue in the past fortnight has been the Warriors handling errors.
For two weeks in a row, the Warriors have dropped the ball early in their sets and almost always when they are in their own half.
When you give any team let alone the reigning premier Cowboys, all the possession and territory you are going to struggle to compete.
The Warriors were bullied into submission and the Cowboys made them look like amateurs.

Shaun Johnson went missing in this game and left Ata Hingano to attempt to lead the side around on his debut.
Ata was one of the only highlights in this match, he got more minutes than he was expecting and when Shaun threw up the white flag, Ata showed signs of fight but unfortunately the Warriors forwards were never in the game.
The forward pack has been laughably average, Ben Matulino has offered nothing to the Warriors all season and Jacob Lillyman has been a shadow of his former self since returning from State of Origin duty.
If I was involved with the coaching staff, I would be dropping both Matulino and Lillyman and bringing Bunty Afoa and either James Gavet or Toafofoa Sipley into their spots.
Watching this game it looked like the Backline was doing the majority of the hit ups
when you get the third tackle and Blake Ayshford is taking the hit up instead of a big forward you just have to scratch your head.
It just looks and feels like the team has given up on the season with the exception of maybe 3 or 4 players who still seem to be putting the effort in.

My Player of the day goes to Simon Mannering, Simon was out there tackling anyone who crossed his path, if the rest of the team just put 15% of the effort that Simon does on game day the Warriors would be a much-improved team.
There were times in that game where you could see the frustration on Simon's face at the performance the rest of the team was putting in.

My player that needs to improve goes to the entire team.
Heading to Townsville was always going to be tough but when the season is on the line you need to show up.
I don't really know what else to say but the Warriors team of last month needs to return quicksmart.

So after that loss the Warriors playoff hopes now fully rely on them not only winning their last two games but the Titans need to lose their last two games.
Could it happen, well yes there is a chance but the Warriors need to quickly return to form and ensure that they drastically improve for the last two rounds.
This week the Warriors return to Mount Smart and face the Tigers who haven't played well since the loss of James Tedesco but they did put the Warriors to the sword in the first round so they are no easy beats by any means.
I am picking the Warriors to win by 10.

What were your thoughts on the game?
What changes (if any) would you make to the team?
Would you bring Ata Hingano into the starting lineup?
Do you think the Warriors are going to make the eight?

Comment below and let me know what you think.


Wednesday, 17 August 2016

NRL 2016 Round 23 Review: Warriors fail to show up in woeful performance

Copyright Photo : Fiona Goodall / www.photosport.nz
The largest crowd of the season came to Mount Smart expected to witness a win over what has been a disappointing Rabbitohs outfit who were on a 9 game losing streak.
Instead, however, they were forced to witness a hapless Warriors side lose 41-22 in what was the Warriors worst performance since Round 11.

The game did start well with the Warriors dominating the Rabbitohs for the first 10minutes, forcing repeat sets and scoring through Solomona Kata.
Then the game started to unravel, the Warriors attack was filled with handling errors, the forwards had no go forward and were bullied all night and the last tackle options were woeful, I am not a halfback but I do not understand why every last tackle option had to be a grubber kick into the in-goal area, when you look at the Warriors right edge attack consisting of David Fusitu’a and Ken Maumalo, why not put a kick up and let them use their height advantage?

The Warriors defense was sub-par, there was no line speed, no urgency or desperation, and their defensive positioning was school boy level at best.
With the season still very much in limbo to see the Warriors perform this poorly was dishearting and with how tight the top 8 currently is this loss may very well come back to bite the Warriors and their playoff aspirations.
Watching this game live at Mount Smart the main thing I was most disheartened by was the perceived lack of effort or care shown by the majority of the team.
When the Rabbitohs finished their sets with kicks to the Warriors goal line I sat in disbelief as I watched the Warriors backs try and get the Warriors out of their own half as all the forwards just walked back slowly like it was a training run.
As a fan it felt like they didn’t care, I could only pick two forwards that looked like they were trying their best and they were Albert Vete and Ryan Hoffman.
Overall this game was a huge disappointment and this team has a lot of work to do to get back to the level required to make the playoffs.

My Warrior of the day was hard as there weren’t many options to choose from but I choose Albert Vete.
Albert was the only front rower that offered any impact with his carries, Albert has come a long way this season and I hope that his performances start to rub off of Ben Matulino and Jacob Lillyman who have not offered a lot in recent times and the Warriors need their whole prop rotation to be performing if they want to take advantage of the backline they possess.

My Warrior who needs to improve goes to Tuimoala Lolohea.
In a woeful Warriors performance Lolohea by far had the worst performance, he never seemed to be in the right position defensively and the Rabbitohs took advantage.
He needed to show some guts when defending as a lot of the tries that the Rabbitohs scored may very well have not happened if he put his body on the line, he is young and talented but he still has a long way to go and I still believe that he should not be used as a Fullback.
He has been dropped for this week’s game and I think it is the right call, I’m sure he will come back stronger from this setback.

This Round the Warriors travel to North Queensland to face the reigning premier Cowboys in what will be the Warriors last away game unless the reach the playoffs
.
The ramifications of this matchup have increased after the Warriors loss in Round 23, the Warriors really need the win here and if there is ever a good time to play the Cowboys in Queensland it might be now as their form has not been that great for the past month.
If the Warriors can return to the form they had from Round 12-22 they can walk away with the victory but if the Forwards decide to not show up again the Warriors are going to be in for a long night and possibly another year of failing to reach the playoffs.

What were your thoughts on the Warriors performance?
Do you think dropping Tuimoala Lolohea is the right call?
How confident are you that the Warriors will make the Top 8?


Let me know below.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

NRL 2016 Round 22 Review: Hayne Plane fails to fly in Warriors Victory

Copyright Photo: www.photosport.nz
The Warriors kept their playoff dreams alive with a 24-14 victory over the Gold Coast Titans.
With upcoming fixtures against the Cowboy’s and an impressive Tigers outfit, this was a much-needed win for the Warriors with the bottom half of the top 8 being so tight.

All news leading up to this match was in regards to the returning Jarryd Hayne.
After two years chasing dreams away from the NRL, Jarryd had an inconsistent return; there were glimpses of the old Jarryd Hayne but the ring rust seemed a bit too much for him to overcome and the Warriors took advantage.
Overall the Warriors played extremely well; I believe this was their second best overall performance just behind the Round 16 loss to the Sharks.

It only took six minutes for the Warriors to score via a trademark David Fusitu’a diving corner try.
The game went back and forth for the rest of the first half with the scores being level 10-10 going into half time.
The Warriors were quick out of the gate in the second half with a nice try to Simon Mannering.
From there the Titans fell apart as they threw two intercepts back to back leading to two tries to Solomona Kata with the second try being an impressive solo effort by Kata.
After Kata’s last try the Warriors had a firm grip on victory and the Titans just could not get themselves back into the game.

The Warriors improved on all fronts in this performance, the defensive line has yet again improved, the days when the Warriors let soft tries in appearing to possibly be over.
The team appears to be confident and have belief in the man beside them in the defensive line and this needs to be a constant theme on game day.
They were threatening on attack and have reduced the error rate, these are all facets of their game that they need to keep up if they want to not only reach the playoffs but have some success in the playoffs.
If the Warriors continue to play this way a lot of teams will start to look over their shoulders.

My Warrior of the day goes to Solomona Kata, in a match where he was facing a close friend in Konrad Hurrell.
He had a big task marking Konrad who has started to play like he did in his first few season at the Warriors but Solomona was completely up to the task keeping Konrad on the back foot and was always testing the line when he got his hands on the ball.
And his fend for his solo effort try was one of the best I have seen in a long time.
In the past two weeks Kata has started to return to his try-scoring ways after having a bit of a drought and with him returning to this form the Warriors have legitimate scoring threats in every position in the backline.

My Warrior who needs to improve this round again goes to no one, I just cannot pick out a player that let themselves down in this game and I hope that this is a trend that continues for the foreseeable future.
Although I do hope that the goal kicking improves this week as Tuimoala Lolohea did not have a great night with the boot.

This week the Warriors return to Mount Smart to face the Rabbitohs, even though the Rabbitohs have been a shadow of the team we have come to expect in the past few season they are still a threat.
If the Warriors can stop the likes of Sam Burgess getting easy metres up the middle and keep the defensive line speed up to reduce any chances Greg Inglis has of breaking the game open then the Warriors have a good chance of adding another win to the tally which would also make it the sixth win in a row at Mount Smart.
I’m picking the Warriors to win this match by 11-20 points, I may be slightly optimistic but I think this Warriors side is on a roll and the Rabbitohs will not be able to hold them back.

What were your thoughts on the Gold Coast match?
Do you think Jarryd Hayne is going to return to his Hayne Plane form before the season is over?
Where do you predict the Warriors to be on the Ladder at the end of Round 26?

Comment and let me know.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

NRL 2016 Round 21 Review: Warriors break Golden Point Hoodoo

Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.nz
Well, it took 3 attempts but the Warriors have finally won a game in Golden Point and it came from a moment of Brilliance from Shaun Johnson.
The big assist came from Solomona Kata when he successfully stripped the ball in a one on one tackle mere moments before Shaun took advantage of a rushing Panthers defensive line to score the game-winning try in a much needed 20-16 victory.

The win moved the Warriors back into the top eight and kept their season alive.
It’s fair to say that the Warriors should have closed the game out as they were leading 16-8 late in the second half until Josh Mansour scored two tries back to back to level the game.
Both sides took turns attempting field goals unsuccessfully largely in part to both sides ignoring the marker rules and being offside taking advantage of the whistle-shy referees too scared to give penalties in Golden Point.

The Warriors improved their defensive line thanks largely to the returning Bodene Thompson and Albert Vete.
The error rate reduced and the Warriors took advantage of the chances they were given on attack.
With how tight the competition is at present the Warriors need to keep their eye on the ball as it is possible that a one-off performance could spell the end of their playoff aspirations.

My Player of the day goes to David Fusitu’a, it would be a cop out to give this to Shaun for the game-winning try but I believe that David had a strong game scoring a double and helping keep the right edge defensively tight.
Every time the Warriors give David a challenge he keeps knocking them for six, regardless of if he playing Fullback, Wing or now Centre he continues to contribute.
With Roger Tuivasa-Sheck possibly being close to a return David may have now found his permanent home in the centres which could very well be where he will find himself all next season.

My player who needs to improve….. Well, I can’t actually pick anyone that I was disappointed with, the team played well as a unit and I cannot pick anyone out for major criticism.

This week the series of must-win games continues for the Warriors as they head over to the Gold Coast to face the Titans.
The week leading up to this clash has been filled with news with calls for Golden Point to be removed, Konrad Hurrell’s first game against the Warriors and his impending clash against Solomona Kata and in perhaps the biggest news for the Titans the signing of Jarryd Hayne and the Titans decision to add him to the bench for this weekend’s matchup.
I am picking the Warriors to win this contest narrowly.

In regards to Golden Point, I’m really not swayed either way, it be an exciting part of the game when a team scores an amazing try to earn the victory but it can also a boring kick-fest.
I think one solution would be to remove Golden Point from the round robin matchups at least.

The Konrad vs Kata clash should be exciting to watch, with Konrad returning to the performances he use to give in a Warriors jersey a few seasons ago.
The move to the Titans has rejuvenated Konrad and I still think it was the best decision he could have made.
Solomona Kata will have his work cut out for him marking Konrad but I am confident that he will keep him contained.

And the lastly Jarryd Hayne is now a Gold Coast Titans.
I am surprised that the Titans were the team to nab Hayne but I guess the Titans fans can thank Daly Cherry-Evans for walking out on his deal with the club as that gave them enough money to become the top bidder.
I don’t expect much from Jarryd of the bench this week against the Warriors or for that matter the rest of this season but I think with a full preseason under his belt he could help make the Titans title contenders.

What were your thoughts on the performance against the Panthers?
Which position do you think David Fusitu’a should play for the rest of this season as well as next season?
What are your thoughts on Golden Point?
And lastly, how do you think Jarryd Hayne will perform for the Titans this weekend?

Let me know below.







Thursday, 28 July 2016

NRL 2016 Round 20 Review: Late fight back not enough for Warriors

Copyright Photo: Mitch Cameron / www.photosport.nz
The Warriors lost 26-22 in their second Golden Point defeat in a row in what was their third Golden Point loss in Four Games.
The 26-22 scoreline was flattering for the Warriors as the Raiders were on their way to a large victory until Thomas Leuluai and David Fusitu’a clawed the Warriors back into the game.
Unfortunately, the Warriors continued their recent trend and could not close out the game and succumbed to the third try of a Jarrod Croker hat trick.

The Warriors showed intent on attack but lacked execution and failed to convert on the chances that the Raiders gave them.
The defensive line speed was not to the level we have come to expect in the past two months and hopefully, this is not a sign of the return of the end of the season slide the Warriors presented us with last season.
If the Warriors can improve their line speed and start to threaten on attack again, they still will have a chance to play finals football.
I believe they need to win at least four of the last six games which with their run home is still manageable.

My player of the day goes to Thomas Leuluai.
He played his heart out and when the Warriors needed a miracle he brought them back into the game by just simply attacking the line (Which is a subject I am going to mention below).
The Warriors are going to miss Thomas next season; he is the settled solid Ying to Shaun Johnson’s Yang.
His defense is underrated for a half and whoever is going to take his place next season has a lot to live up too.
I’m still not sold on Tuimoala Lolohea being five-eighth next season but I am happy to be proved wrong.

My player who needs to improve goes to Shaun Johnson.
Shaun needs to get back to attacking the line, my memory may be fuzzy but I do not recall Shaun running even once in this game.
When Shaun hits the line he puts the defense in two minds which opens up opportunities not just for him but for the entire team, if the Warriors are to play finals football Shaun needs to step up and return to his attacking form.

This week the Warriors return to Mount Smart to face the Penrith Panthers in a must-win match.
Both teams are neck in neck in the quest to make the eight.
The Panthers always seem to perform against the Warriors so this will be a tough battle.
If the Warriors can improve their execution and put pressure on Nathan Cleary the battle will be half won.
Andrew McFadden has selected an interesting side with Tuimoala Lolohea moving to fullback with David Fusitu’a going to centre and Blake Ayshford being sent to the interchange.
I’m not sure about the side as I like David at fullback and I think having a centre on the interchange is a waste of an interchange spot but will don’t know what Andrew’s game plan is until we witness it unfold on Saturday night.
I’m picking the Warriors to win this won by 6 and hopefully we do not witness another Golden Point heartbreaker.

What were your thoughts on the game?
Who was the standout player for you?
Who was the disappointment?
What do you think of McFadden’s 17 for the Panthers game?
Let me know below.


Saturday, 23 July 2016

NRL 2016 Round 19 Review: Perth Curse Continues

Copyright Photo: Daniel Carson / photosport.co.nz
The Warriors made the long journey over to Perth to play the Manly Sea eagles in Round 19, and the horrible track record the Warriors have playing in Perth and also playing in Sea Eagles continued with the Warriors losing in Golden Point 15-14.
Both of the Warriors defeats in the past month have been in Golden Point, which shows that the Warriors have improved and are no longer a 60minute team, this team now needs to focus on closing games out and if they find themselves in Golden Point situations again how to set up for the wind (No props sitting at first receiver and trying to kick field goals).

The Weather for this game was miserable and the Warriors made the game a lot harder for themselves with some poor defence and the Sea Eagles scored some quick tries and took advantage of the Warriors poor discipline and slotted a penalty goal.
Bunty Afoa continued his dream start as a Warrior scoring two tries back to back bringing the Warriors back into the game at halftime only being behind  14-12.
The second half was a tight encounter with the only points scored via an Issac Luke penalty goal.
The Warriors had a chance to take the game with Solomona Kata failing to dive on the ball over the line and then minutes later Manu Vatuvei was forced over the sideline.
Then in what was one of the most confusing moments in this contest Sam Lisone stood in at first receiver on the last tackle and made the worst attempt of a Field Goal I’ve seen in many years.
After that disaster, both teams went into Golden Point and after a few missed attempts, Daly Cherry-Evans broke the Warriors fans hearts when he finally slotted the winning field goal.

Firstly as a former prop I had dreams of getting a game-winning field goal but I was never stupid enough to try and do it in an actual game, I have no idea what Sam Lisone was thinking and I really hope that Sam finally starts to understand that he is not a playmaker and focusses on getting the Warriors going forward with big runs.

Secondly the Warriors have improved in the past month and are now no longer a 60 minute team but the Warriors need to improve their ability to close games out, in both Golden Point losses it looked like the Warriors were clueless, if the Warriors want to be a consistent threat in the NRL they need to improve their execution, which brings me to my last thought…..

Thirdly the use (Or lack Thereof) of Tuimoala Lolohea.
Lolohea was not used until the 82 minute of this game and has again been named on the bench for Round 20.
Now unlike a lot of the Warriors fans I do not think Lolohea is going to work for us in the halves as I feel his game style is too similar to Shaun Johnsons and if you look at when Shaun plays his best, it is when he has a stable half partner.
Now I could be completely wrong and the two of them in the halves could be a master stroke, but in regards to where he should be playing right now I would be playing him at centre and moving Solomona Kata to the wing and I would move Manu Vatuvei to the bench and use him as a Forward of the bench as Manu’s time on the wing is done but the Warriors can still use him for his metre gaining ability up the middle.

My Warrior of the day goes to Bunty Afoa, this young man as done nothing but impress me in his first two games.
His defensive game, attacking ability and general game day attitude are all remarkable for a young man at the start of his career and I think he will be putting a lot of pressure on the senior members of this team and make them fight for their spot in the game day 17.

My player that needs to improve goes to Sam Lisone.
I'm sorry to mention it again but Sam you are a prop forward, you may (Like most props I know) think that you have all the playmaking skills in the world but in reality, you don’t and you need to leave the pretty stuff to the backs.
You do not see Charlie Gubb trying to be a playmaker, do yourself and the Warriors a favour and follow in Charlie's footsteps, please.

The Warriors travel to Canberra to face the Raiders in what is a must-win game for them now.
Another lost could see the Warriors fall out of playoff contention.
The last truly horrible performance from the Warriors was also against the Raiders so they will look at making amends for that performance.
The pundits and experts have all picked the Raiders to win this one but I have a feeling that the Warriors are going to fire for this game and pick the Warriors to win by 12 or under.

What were your thoughts on the Perth performance?
Do you think Tui best position is five-eighth?
What would you do with Manu?
And lastly, if you were in Sam’s shoes would you have tried to kick the game-winning field goal?


Let me know you thoughts down below

Sunday, 10 July 2016

NRL 2016 Round 17 Review: Victory in Mannering Milestone

Copyright Photo: Fiona Goodall / www.photosport.nz
Round 17 saw the Warriors face the Gold Coast Titans in a hard fought encounter.
In a match that was not only Simon Mannering’s 250th game as a Vodafone Warrior but also the 250th game played at Mount Smart Stadium, the Warriors came from behind to defeat the Titans 27-18.

The Titans were quick to silence the boisterous Warriors fans with a quick 90 meter try to Josh Hoffman from a poorly placed grubber kick from Blake Ayshford, Blake made up for his error a few minutes later with an 85-metre intercept try.
Both teams went back and forth until the Titans got their second try by using Nene Macdonald’s height advantage over Tuimoala Lolohea.
An Error from the Titans gave the Warriors a sniff and they took it with both hands with Tuimoala Lolohea scoring with mere inches to spare in the corner making it 10 all at halftime.
Both sides traded penalty goals in the first 20 minutes of the second half and the game was on a knife-edge until Shaun Johnson took advantage of a gap in the Titans defensive line and scored a 60-metre try.
Bodene Thompson scored minutes later to take the game out of reach for the Titans who did finish the game with a late try to Cameron Cullen.

Overall it wasn’t the best display from the Warriors but they managed to claw their way back into the game and take advantage of the Titans errors.
Their defensive line was a let-down and they need to regain the defensive line speed that has been so impressive in the past month.
The forwards need to focus winning the battle up the middle because the backline will not be able to be unleashed if they are continually on the back foot.
But on a positive note the Warriors are playing tough and getting results, they also no play for the entire 80 minutes instead of falling off in the final 20minutes which will worry a lot of teams that have to face them in the upcoming rounds.

My player of the day goes to Bodene Thompson.
Yet again Bodene put in another impressive display, I would place him as my player of the year so far as although he may not be scoring the fancy tries he is making a lot of the metres each week for the team and is always high up on the teams tackle count.

My player who needs to improve this round goes to Charlie Gubb.
With Ryan Hoffman being ruled out of the game with a virus, Charlie made the move to the starting lineup as Lock and I’m not sure if he was uncomfortable in that position or if he is not fit enough to be playing big minutes.
I'm sure the performance of debutant Bunty Afoa did not help matters as Bunty played a tremendous game and kept Charlie on the sidelines with his performance.
Both Charlie and Bunty have tremendous abilities and will have big futures with this club and I'm confident Charlie will learn from this game and come back strong in the weeks to come.

This win took the Warriors into the top eight and with a bye in Round 18 the Warriors get another two points and will stay in the eight.
The road home is not that bad for the side with only one game against a current top four side so if the Warriors continue to play the way they have in the past 6 weeks they have a very good chance of playing finals football for the first time since 2011.
Round 19 sees the Warriors travel to Perth to play the Manly Sea-Eagles in what will be a very tough game.
The Warriors have not had a good time in Perth but this Warriors team has shown that they can overcome adversity and I believe they will be leaving Perth with the victory over what has been a disappointing Manly team.

What are your thoughts on
the game vs the Titans?
Who do you think had the best performance?
Where do you think the Warriors will end up on the ladder by the end of round 26?
Let me know down below.




Saturday, 2 July 2016

NRL 2016 Round 16 Review: Warriors go down in Golden Point Nailbiter

Copyright Photo: Mitch Cameron / www.photosport.nz
After a tough performance in round 15, the Warriors travelled to Cronulla to face the first place Sharks.
The Warriors have had three wins on the trot but the Sharks have been playing well and are currently on a 10 game winning streak.
My thoughts before the match were optimistically hopeful of the Warriors pulling out an upset but I can honestly admit I was worried that the Warriors would get dealt too by the well-oiled Sharks team.
Thankfully that was not the case as the Warriors were the better performing team on the night but lost by a James Maloney field goal in golden point.

The Warriors elected to move Tuimoala Lolohea to the bench and start Jonathan Wright on the wing in what was, in my opinion, a strange choice given how key Lolohea has been to this Warriors side this season.
In the first 30 minutes, the Warriors made too many errors but the improved defense we have witnessed from this side the past month keep the Sharks from scoring from these errors.
The Warriors crossed first with Blake Ayshford taking advantage of a nice break from David Fusitu’a and then moments later Jonathan Wright went over after Shaun Johnson broke through the Sharks line.
With ten minutes to go in the first half, the Warriors appeared to have a lapse in performance and the Sharks took advantage scoring back to back tries through Michael Ennis and Ricky Leutele to take the lead into halftime 12-10.
The Warriors looked to come out in the second half in the same way they started the first half until Jonathan Wright dropped a pass with no one in front of him, the Sharks again took advantage of this and went the length of the field and were awarded a penalty try after Simon Mannering held back Jason Bakuya.
After a lot of back and forth, Thomas Leuluai managed to get across the line and a penalty goal by Issac Luke tied the match up and took the game into golden point.
Both teams had chances of taking the match in golden point before James Maloney slotted a horrible looking field goal to get the eleventh win in a row for the Sharks.

This game was by far one of the better performances by the Warriors this season, yes there were still silly errors and penalties and at times the defensive line fell apart but this team has shown that they can play arguably the best team in the NRL this season at their home ground and push them to the limit.
I believe that the Warriors were the better side on the day and if Lolohea was starting instead of Wright and the penalty try wasn’t awarded that the Warriors would have walked away with the win.
The penalty try is a head scratcher for me as I don’t believe it was the right call, it should have been a sin-binning to Simon and a penalty as you could not say that the Sharks were certain to score in that situation.
Overall I was happy with the performance, there is still lots to work on but the remaining games left for the Warriors this season is not that bad with only one game left against a current top four side so they still have a chance to get into the top eight (Especially once the Eels have their points deducted – if that ever actually happens).

My player of the game goes to Simon Mannering, Simon was on fire in this game with the only mistake being the penalty try.
He made 69 tackles in this match (The most by any player this round) and gives his all every game, I think standing down as captain has helped him focus on getting back to the level we expect from him as Warriors fans.
If he continues to perform like this the Warriors will be climbing up the ladder in no time.
My player who needs to improve is Jonathan Wright, his ball handling is in need of a lot of work, you can give him a pass of the dropped intercept and perhaps even the second intercept attempt (I think the correct call would have been to dive on the ball instead of trying to scoop it up), but dropping the ball when you are metres from the try line with no defenders in front of you is soul destroying for a fan to witness.
I think Wright is a decent footballer but should only be making the Warriors side as injury cover and should never get the call up over Lolohea again.

This week the Warriors face the Gold Coast Titans at Mount Smart Stadium in what is the 250th game played at Mount Smart and also Simon Mannering's 250th game.
This is yet again another must win for the Warriors and this special occasion will only help the Warriors run away with the win here, so I'm picking the Warriors to win 13+.

What were your thoughts on the game vs the Sharks?
Was the penalty try ruling correct?
Would you have Jonathan Wright in your lineup?
What’s your score prediction against the Titans?


Comment and let me know.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

NRL 2016 Round 15 Review: Warriors pushed to limit in messy performance

Copyright Photo: Fiona Goodall / www.photosport.nz
After back to back impressive results, the Vodafone Warriors had a lot of momentum going into their Round 15 clash with the Sydney Roosters.
The last time these teams faced each other resulted in a Golden Point victory to the Warriors and this matchup proved just as tight with the Warriors holding on to win 12-10.

The Roosters defense was impressive and they keep pushing a Warriors team that has scored 86 points in the past fortnight backwards.
The Warriors lost Ken Maumalo to the sin bin and lost Thomas Leuluai for the game with a head knock, Albert Vete was also taken off for a concussion test and going into half time the Warriors only had 2 points from a penalty goal with the Roosters leading 4-2.
The second half was more of the same, the Roosters let themselves down with penalties for continually slowing down the ruck and this kept the Warriors in the game with Issac Luke kicking two more Penalty goals.
Shaun Johnson showed some of his brilliance to score the Warriors solo try for the match and after that it was a waiting game with both teams trading the ball and trying to snatch the victory but despite how messy it looked the Warriors got the job done.

This was the first time since July 2015 that the Warriors have won three matches in a row but to call a spade a spade this was a sloppy performance from the home side.
Losing Thomas Leuluai early in the first half to his head knock did not help the Warriors cause as when he left the Warriors appeared lost on attack.
Shaun Johnson was not 100% fit and it showed in his game as he did not attack the line like he has been the past fortnight but he played smart and only hit the line when he saw an opportunity like when he opted to run on his own on the last tackle and scored the Warriors only try.
David Fusitu’a disappeared when he was moved to fullback after Thomas Leuluai left the field and Tuimoala Lolohea at times looked out of his depth playing in the halves.
Ken Maumalo had a shaky start to his return to first grade with his sin-binning but when he returned to the field he made some solid runs to help the Warriors start their sets strong.
The quick line speed of the past fortnight vanished and the silly errors that plagued this team in the early stages of the season crept back into the game.

But it’s not all negative though as this tough grinding win is a win the Warriors would not have gotten earlier in the season.
This display of toughness and the ability to hold onto a lead no matter how slim is what is required in the weeks to come.
The way the Warriors kept plugging away and not dropping their heads when an error was made was to be commended as for too long this side has been known for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
The return on Jacob Lillyman next round after State of Origin duty will be a welcome return as his hit-ups were sorely missed.

My player of the game goes to Issac Luke.
When Thomas Leuluai left the field Issac took on a bigger playmaking role in this game and was effective running out of dummy half and got the Warriors out of trouble many times.
In the past month, Issac has finally started to return to the form that was expected of him during his time with the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come as the Warriors need Issac to perform like this consistently as they claw their way back into the playoff hunt.

My player who needs to improve this week is David Fusitu’a.
After an amazing game last week David had a lot of expectations placed on him and he just didn’t deliver, the move to Fullback seemed to take him out of the game completely.
He needed to insert himself into the game and he just didn’t, maybe we have been spoilt with Tuimoala Lolohea playing at Fullback as he constantly gets involved.
David is young and still getting used to playing first grade so he will learn to get more involved.

This round the Warriors are heading to Sydney to face the Cronulla Sharks in what is surely going to be a tough encounter.
The Sharks have been in tremendous form and after a 10 game winning streak sit atop the NRL Table.
The Warriors will need to play exceptionally well to get the win but the Warriors enjoy being the underdog so this game could be theirs to take.

What did you think of the game against the Roosters?
Who stood out for you in this match?
What do you think are the Warriors chances this week against the Sharks?

Comment and let me know.



Wednesday, 15 June 2016

NRL 2016 Round 14 Review: Fusitu’a shines in Newcastle

Copyright Photo: Paul Seiser / www.photosport.nz
After an impressive performance in Round 13 against the Brisbane Broncos, the Vodafone Warriors made the journey to Newcastle to play Newcastle Knights.
The Warriors were expected to continue in the same form they displayed last round but with some early errors made in the first half the Knights were keeping themselves in the game and by halftime were only behind the Warriors 22-14.
The second half started and David Fusitu’a arrived with three tries back to back and the Warriors put their foot down and ran away with a 50-14 victory.

Well, what can I say about this result?
The Warriors were always expected to come away with a large victory over what has been a woeful Knights team but I think what impressed me more was the defense.
In the first half, the Warriors made some errors and silly penalties in their own half but kept the Knights from scoring.
The line speed was impressive for the second week in a row; the team shifted sideways as a unit and did not leave gaps for the Knights to target and by the time the second half had started the Knights were completely out of options and to the Warriors credit they did not let the pressure off and continued to score.
Was it a perfect performance? No definitely not, the Warriors still continue to have handling errors in their game and if they don’t eliminate those they could find themselves in trouble against the top four sides in the NRL.
The missed talked and penalties have reduced dramatically and I think this is an ongoing sign of the attitude change this team has had, Attitude makes a huge difference and if the Warriors keep this attitude on board I feel that the playoff-bound clubs will be watching over their shoulders as a confident Warriors team is a dangerous team.

My player of the day goes unsurprisingly to David Fusitu’a.
After scoring two tries against the Broncos last week, David turned it up a notch and bagged four tries in this match.
With Manu Vatuvei nearing retirement age for a League player David is putting his hand up to take the Beast’s try-scoring heroics over.
He is fast, strong and his ability to score in the corner continues to amaze me, unfortunately, injuries have plagued his short career so far but if he can keep healthy he will be a key contributor to the Warriors for years to come.

And for the second week in the round I could not pick a player that needs to improve, I have watched this game countless times now and I find it hard to nitpick a player that let the team down simply because right now this team is playing for each other and I'm hoping this is a trait that is going to stick around.

Round  15 sees the Warriors return to Mount Smart Stadium and play the Sydney Roosters.
The Roosters have been uncharismatically poor this season but this does not mean that they will be easy beats for the Warriors, just remember it took a Golden Point try by Roger Tuivasa-Sheck for the Warriors to defeat them in Round 5 earlier this season.
The Warriors need to be prepared for a tough physical battle in the forwards and need to bring the same defensive mindset from the past fortnight if they are to come away with the victory.
I'm expecting a Warriors win here but I don’t see it being a blowout like the past two rounds and the Warriors will win by around 10 points.

What are your thoughts on this performance?
Is David Fusitu’a going to be the Warriors new Beast?
How do you see this weeks game going,  A Warriors blowout, close win or a loss?

Comment below and let me know.

Monday, 6 June 2016

NRL 2016 Round 13 Review: Warriors too much for Bumbling Bronco’s

Copyright Photo: www.photosport.nz
The Vodafone Warriors turned Horse Whisperers in their round 13 match-up
 with the Brisbane Bronco’s running away with a 36-18 victory at Mount Smart Stadium.
Andrew McFadden stated during the week that the Warriors needed to have a more positive attack in order to increase the team’s confidence which will, in turn, improve their defensive efforts.
The Warriors were granted a free licence and they took it with both hands.
Right from Albert Vete’s first hit up you could clearly see that the team’s attitude had vastly improved.
The attitude and commitment from this team showed in this match has been something the fans have been begging for since the beginning of the season.
The Warriors no longer looked lost on attack, the forwards were chewing up the metres which let Issac Luke get a roll on from the play the ball, this caused the broncos to constantly be on the back foot.
With the forwards dominating Shaun Johnson finally got attack the line and be the devastating attack player that he is known to be.

Everything seemed to work for the Warriors in this game, most of the offloads stuck, they gave themselves plenty of attacking opportunities and after 21 minutes they were 18-0 up after some clever plays from Shaun Johnson scoring a try himself and setting Bodene Thompson up for another, Jacob Lillyman scored the third from a nicely placed grubber from Issac Luke.
The Broncos tried to get themselves back into the match with a try to Alex Glenn and before the end of the first half they had two tries pulled back for forward passes to go into halftime 18-6 down.
The Warriors have folded from here in the past but two minutes in the Warriors were over again through an amazing diving try by David Fusitu’a.
The Warriors scored three more tries through Ryan Hoffman, David Fusitu’a, and Solomone Kata and the Broncos could only manage two more tries to Jordan Kahu and Tevita Pangai but the Broncos were never in this match and were possibly lucky to only have lost 36-18.
The Warriors line speed was the best I have seen for month’s maybe even years, missed tackles were few and far between.
The silly errors and penalties that have plagued this side this season were gone.

My player of the day goes to Shaun Johnson, with the forwards doing the hard yards up front he had free reign in this game and he took full advantage, an attacking Shaun is a dangerous Shaun and the fans will be hoping that this version is here to stay this season.

As for my player who needs to improve, well I cannot pick a player who needs to improve this week as I can’t point out anyone who let the team down, this was the first complete team effort we have seen this year.

Have things started to click with the Warriors?
Did Konrad Hurrell’s exit last week help realign this team as a unit and or perhaps the players only honesty session last week helped the players get onto the same page.
In all honesty, I think it’s a bit of all of the above.
Whatever was said in the honesty session seems to have helped this team actually buy into what this club is trying to become.
Does this mean that the season is saved? No possibly not, this is just a step in the right direction but the team needs to continue to bring the right attitude each and every week.

The Warriors face the Newcastle Knights in Round 14 and even though the Knights have only managed one win season the Warriors cannot let their guard down, their current points differential is not going to do them any favours so they really need to put some big performances on to bring them into contention with the top 8.

Who were your key players in this victory?
What do think was the reason for this change in performance and is this a permanent change for the season?

Comment and let me know.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

NRL 2016 Round 11 Review: The Pain Continues On

Copyright Photo: John Cowpland / www.photosport.nz
A new round and a new venue but it was the same old Warriors that showed up against the Canberra Raiders in New Plymouth.
I don't even know where to begin as I feel like I have been writing the same thing every week.
Poor defense (30 missed tackles), silly penalties (10 in total), nonexistent attack and horrendous last tackle options.

The Warriors lost 38-12 and to be honest they were lucky to have scored at all as they appeared clueless or even worse disinterested.
Coach Andrew McFadden labelled the result embarrassing and Captain Ryan Hoffman said it was clear that some of the players lacked the effort needed to play in first grade.
Neither were wrong with their statements, it was a difficult game to sit through, the team never appeared to be on the same page, passes were sloppy, dropped carries, communication in the defensive line was lacking and it was blatantly apparent  that the team had no trust in each other.
The Warriors are lucky to have a bye this round before having to play the Brisbane Broncos as some serious soul searching is required.

My Player of the match was slim pickings so I will have to go with Sam Lisone, he came on trying to inject some enthusiasm with some strong runs.
He needs to do this consistently and the rest of the team need to play with the same passion.

My player who needs to improve goes to rest of the team and in particular the senior members of this team.
In the current state this team is in, the senior players need to be stepping up and leading from the front not falling apart or disappearing in games.

Now normally I would preview the next round here but since the Warriors have a bye I am going to give my thoughts on some current rumours.
Andrew McFadden is apparently going to be dropping under-performing players after this result but the questions are who is set to be dropped and who will be taking their spots?
Time is running out not only for the Warriors 2016 season but also for McFadden as Head Coach.
The staunch support Andrew has been receiving  from Warriors Management appears to be fading and the word on the street is that if the team fails to make the playoffs he will be out of the job.

I know people have been calling for Andrews' head for a while now but I just don't know anymore.
Will a new coach fix the problem or has the rot set in and is a player clean out what is actually required?
If the coach is to be fired who will take his place? or maybe more accurately who would want to take this job on.
If there were some high profile coached coming off contract that were interested in coaching this side then perhaps the solution would be simpler.
Yes Ivan Cleary is available but if we were to take off the rose-tinted glasses that everyone seems to wear when talking about Ivan and look at the facts, Ivan had a 49.63% winning record as coach of the Warriors and the 2011 season seems to have made people forget that in 2009 Ivans side had 7 wins and 14 losses and people were screaming for his head that season too so odds are Ivan is not the answer.
Now I'm not saying that If Andrew sticks it out the Warriors are going to just magically improve, no far from it the players need to come to the party also.
If you look at the match against the Dragons a few weeks back where players were dropped, the young talent that was brought up played with attitude and heart, if all the players did this then the team would perform regardless of who the coach is.

Does this mean I have the answer?
No, unfortunately, I
don't if I did maybe I could get a job helping the club.
If players are going to be dropped as the rumours currently state then we will get to see if the passion displayed against the Dragons was just a fluke or if it is time for the young guns to step in and take over.
Now the Broncos will not be walkovers but the Warriors need to turn this around now as there is not a lot of wriggle room left for this side.

This week the Warriors are hosting a members night where Jim Doyle and the player will be conducting a Q and A session, it will no doubt be an interesting night and I will see if I can do a write up on the key points from the night,

What are your thoughts on the state of the club?
Do you have any solutions to the current issues? or do you disagree with any of my thoughts, either way, let me know?

Until next time hope you all enjoy the bye week.


Thursday, 19 May 2016

NRL 2016 Round 10 Review: The Claws are out in a Windy Showdown

Copyright Photo: John Davidson / www.photosport.nz
An extremely windy night greeted the Warriors when they travelled to AMI Stadium to face the Penrith Panthers in their Round 10 matchup.After the win in Round 9 and a week off due to the international window, the Warriors had time to let the dust from the dramas of the past few weeks settle and get all eyes focused back on the football.

The Warriors started well with Solomona Kata crashing over to score five minutes in but the Panthers came back with strong defense and after Shaun Johnson had a brain explosion and tried to offload the ball to no one in the in goal led to Jamie Soward pouncing on the loose ball for the try, the Panthers were back in the game.
Careless penalties and soft defense put the Warriors on the back foot and the Panthers piled on another eight points before the Warriors managed to score two tries in the space of 5 minutes to take an 18-14 lead into the halftime break.
This would be the last time the Warriors would have the lead as the Panthers took over the game and came away with the victory 30-18.

The attitude that was on display in Round 9 must have blown away in the wind as the Warriors appeared to never really be in this game.
They now have a four win and six loss record for the 2016 season and if the easy penalties and simple errors continue to plague their games then the chances of playoff football being in their future are all but gone.
Offloads were consistently missing the mark, the defense was lacklustre and execution was sorely missing.
There is no need to go back to the drawing board as the answer is simple, go back to the basics and play with passion.

My player of the day this round goes to Bodene Thompson, after being stood down for the pill saga in round 9 Bodene came out with something to prove.
He had a strong defensive showing with a match-high 51 tackles and he also got one of the two (That's right only two) line breaks for the Warriors.
It looks like being stood down has lit a fire under Bodene and hopefully his attitude and performance is contagious and spreads throughout the squad.

My player who needs to improve was hard this week as the majority of the team left a lot to be desired but I have to go with Charlie Gubb, the enthusiasm we have come to expect from Charlie when he comes off the interchange was missing.
He missed the most tackles, gave away the most penalties and ran for the least amount of metres.
Overall it was a poor performance from Charlie and this has lead to him being dropped for Round 11.
This will be a wake-up call and the crowd favorite will be back to his best soon I'm sure.

Round 11 sees the Warriors travelling to Taranaki to play the Canberra Raiders in what is a must-win game to bring their season back on track.
Solomona Kata has been suspended for one round so Matt Allwood has taken his spot in the lineup with Sam Lisone coming in to replace Charlie Gubb and Simon Mannering also returning from his injury.
The Raiders have a similar record with four wins, five losses, and a draw so far this season so if the Warriors can get the basics right and bring the right attitude into the game they should come away with the victory,
I expect Issac Luke to have a big game in front of his friends and family in his home region and I am calling the Warriors to win by 12.

If you like what I’ve written or disagree let me know, I would love to discuss anything Warriors related in the comments, share it with your friends on Facebook too as I want to get this out to as many people as I can and I know there are so many loyal Warriors fans happy to chat on there.

Hopefully, I will be writing about the Warriors being victorious next time but until then enjoy the game and talk later.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

NRL 2016 Round 9 Review - Ring In's Put Sword to the Dragons

Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.nz
Well, what a week it has been for the Vodafone Warriors.
After the embarrassing result in Melbourne in Round 8 and then having 6 players being stood down due to what we have now learned was the misuse of prescription drugs, the Warriors had their backs to the wall.
With Simon Mannering and Tuimoala Lolohea out with injury already, things did not look great for a Warriors team that struggles to play the Dragons at the best of times.
Just before kick off things went from bad to worse for the Warriors with Thomas Leuluai being ruled out with a Hamstring injury bringing Jeff Robson back into the side.
Despite all of these changes, the Warriors came away with the victory 26-10.

The Key to victory came down to one thing ATTITUDE! watching from the sidelines you could see that the players were present and giving 100% which is something that has been sorely missed so far this season.
I looked at the young players in front of me on the interchange bench getting ready to get out on the field and seeing the excitement on their faces when they got the call to get out and play for the first grade side for the first time.
I think some of the older players (Namely the 6 that have been stood down) have forgotten what it means to play for this side and also forgotten that it is a privilege to be earned, not something they should automatically get just because they show up.
If I was in charged I would keep the majority of the 17 that played in this game for the foreseeable future as the played with guts and passion that has been lacking.

My player of the day goes to David Fusitu'a.
David continues to impress me, I cannot recall the last time I saw him play a bad game.
Losing Roger Tuivasa-Sheck for the season is a hard blow for the Warriors but David is a hell of a replacement.
Big things are going to be on the way for David mark my words.

My Player who needs to improve goes to the 6 players who were stood down.
I hope you have all taken a step back and got your priorities right and know that there are players in the reserve grades ready and willing to take your spots.
I have more to say about these players and the situation so I will write my thoughts on that shortly and put it up on here later this week.

Round 10 see's the Warriors travelling down to Christchurch and face the Penrith Panthers.
Jim Doyle has announced that all 6 players that were stood down last round are now all available for selection for this clash in a call that I don't agree with (One week off doesn't really let the seriousness of the situation sink in, in my opinion).
The Panthers have been tracking along a similar path to the Warriors and this game will be close.
I believe the Warriors will get the win here in a strong showing in front of the league starved Christchurch crowd.
If Andrew McFadden sticks with the side from the last round i think the young ring in's will continue to try and force their ways into the side permanently but then you could also make an argument that the 6 players that were stood down may very well walk back into this side and come out firing on all cylinders to show that they care about playing for the Warriors.
Either way, the Warriors need to show the same Attitude they displayed last round if they want to get this season heading in the right direction.

If you like what I’ve written or disagreed let me know, I would love to discuss anything Warriors related in the comments, share it with your friends on Facebook too as I want to get this out to as many people as I can and I know there are so many loyal Warriors fans happy to chat on there.

After a week away from the NRL with the international week, I can say that I cannot wait for this game.
Talk to you next week.

Friday, 29 April 2016

NRL 2016 Round 8 Review – Lest We Forget

Copyright Photo: www.heraldsun.com.au
Lest we forget is the line commonly used in regards to the Anzacs but I think all the Warriors fans will be looking at forgetting the Round 8 clash.

The anthems, the last post, a moment's silen
ce and the Melbourne Storm were all present for this clash, the only no-show for this event was the Vodafone Warriors in an embarrassing result losing 42-0.

After a tough fought win in Wellington the Warriors were looking at starting a run of form but right from kickoff the Warriors were on the back foot.
The Warriors defence also forgot to make the trip to Melbourne and the Storm took advantage of every hole the Warriors left open and never took their foot of the Warriors' throat.
The sin-binning of Blake Ayshford and injuries to Tuimoala Lolohea and Simon Mannering did not help matters as the Warriors went from bad to worse.
The Warriors were behind 28-0 at the break and appeared to improve for the second half but improvement meant preventing the Storm from scoring for the next 15 minutes and then the floodgates opened again with the Storm cruising to victory.

If I had to try to pinpoint what went wrong or the Warriors in this match I would have to say it all came down to attitude, the players appeared to not care, there was no urgency in the defensive line, silly penalties conceded and no attacking threat was present at all.

Where do they go from here? Well, you would hope that they couldn’t possibly get any worse.
Perhaps a complete clean out is required from Andrew McFadden to remove players that don’t seem to be putting the effort in.
Talk about the great depth the Warriors have has been mentioned all year so I say they should use it and bring in some of these other players that are desperate to play first grade they may not be at the same level as the current players but the Warriors need players willing to put effort in not only for the team but for the fans too, speaking of the fans…

My player of the day goes to the fans that stuck with the team and watched that abysmal performance for the entire 80 minutes.
At times, it feels like the fans are more dedicated and passionate about this club compared to the players.
As a fan myself I know how much this game hurt to watch and I know a lot of fans could not stomach the entire game.
The fans will continue to show their support myself included but I think it's fair that this team meet us in the middle and show some heart.

My player that needs to improve goes to the whole team, a major effort is required and you all need to look in the mirror and ask yourself if this really is the best you can do.

This week does not get any easier as the Warriors are playing the St George Illawarra Dragons at Mount Smart Stadium.
The Dragons have been horrible this season but when it comes to the Warriors they don’t seem to put a foot wrong.
The Warriors have not tasted victory versus the Dragons since 2007 and the Dragons are currently on an 11 game winning streak.
Since 1998, these teams have clashed 23 times and the Warriors have only won 4 times.
So the stats are against the Warriors and Andrew McFadden has rung the changes, two because of the injuries to Lolohea and Mannering and then another 5 due to disciplinary reasons (Konrad Hurrell was also affected but as he was not including in the top grade side this week he doesn’t count) but I will write about that saga in another post shortly.
Logic dictates that the Warriors are heading for another loss but I think if the Warriors show some heart and effort they will be able to come away with the victory against this lowly Dragons side.

If you like what I’ve written or disagree let me know, I would love to discuss anything Warriors related in the comments, share it with your friends on Facebook too as I want to get this out to as many people as I can and I know there are so many loyal Warriors fans happy to chat on there.


Hopefully, I will be writing about the Warriors being victorious next time but until then enjoy the game and talk later.

Monday, 25 April 2016

NRL 2016 Round 7 Review – A win in the Cake Tin

Copyright Photo: Marty Melville / www.Photosport.nz
The Warriors travelled to Westpac Stadium in Wellington for their Round 7 clash against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
History has not been good for the Warriors in Wellington; however they did not let this affect them and came away with a hard-fought victory 24-20.

In front of a crowd of just over 18,000 the Warriors managed to bully the Bulldogs forwards into submission early on, Ben Matulino showed that he was returning to form as he was continually hard for the defense to bring down and his quick play the balls gave Issac Luke the opportunities to run out of Dummy half quickly and catch the markers sleeping.

Solomona Kata was unlucky as his two tries were disallowed, the first just 4 minutes into the game was ruled incorrectly as a forward pass and the second was an unfortunate knock on as a Bulldogs defenders shoulder dislodged the ball.
The Warriors continued to attack though and found the line through the returning David Fusitu’a and Blake Ayshford and were leading 8-0 23 minutes into the first half.
Just before Blake scored Roger Tuivasa-Sheck went off with a knee injury (More on that below) and Thomas Leuluai was brought into the halves with Tuimoala Lolohea being sent out to fullback.
The Bulldogs started to show some promise and took advantage of the personal change and cut through the Warriors defense with two quick tries to Sam Perrett to get the Bulldogs ahead 10-8, Kerrod Holland added a final try at the 40th minute to have the Bulldogs leading 14-8 at halftime.
The Warriors came out in the second half and showed to have adjusted to the on-field changes and scored again 6 minutes in with Jonathan Wright out leaping the Bulldogs to claim a Crossfield kick from Shaun Johnson, the remainder of the second half was majority in the Warriors favour as Lolohea crashed over for a scored from Dummy Half and Blake scored his second for the night taking the Warriors to a 24-14 lead, Kerrod Holland repeating his first half performance with another try in the 75 minute but the Bulldogs were unable to mount a comeback due to some poor last tackle options and they lacked the killer execution required to win.

Overall it was a very good performance from the Warriors, after last week’s lacklustre effort from the forwards they really showed up with some impressive runs straight out of the gate, this could always be due to the fact that the Bulldogs opted to have their premier props James Graham and Aiden Tolman start from the bench.
Bodene Thompson made a welcome return to the side and showed how much he was missed with strong defense and runs that had the defense second guessing themselves.
David Fusitu’a continued his top grade form, I cannot recall a bad game from him, let’s just hope that he does not get injured again as his attacking prowess is sorely needed.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has been ruled out for the season with a ruptured ACL in his left knee so the Holy Trinity is looking for a replacement and I think Lolohea is up for the task, now while it is a shame that we did not get to see how the  Tuimoala half experiment would go having a player lie Thomas Leuluai there to jump in will help the Warriors in their quest to play finals football, Lolohea is an ideal replacement at Fullback and with continue to play the style he has played all year.

My player of the day goes to Bodene Thompson, as stated above the Warriors have really missed having him on the field, he is a hard working player renowned for his defense but he has been stepping up on attack this season and when he runs the ball he always seems to find a way to put the backs into open space and with a backline like the Warriors anytime they find open space the opposing team is in trouble.

My player who needs to improve was hard this round as I could not really find a player that played poorly so I am going on stats alone and picking Charlie Gubb, Charlie missed 4 tackles and only made 75 metres, the Warriors need a player like Charlie on their bench to bring some aggression into the game but if he continues to miss tackles like this they Warriors would be better suited to bring James Gavet back into the fold.

After this win the Warriors are heading to Melbourne for the always special Anzac day clash, as is the case most years this is the game of the round as both teams seem to bring their A-game.
The Warriors don’t have that bad of a record versus the Storm and have tied the Storm in games played at AAMI Park with both sides winning 3 apiece.
The Storm won the round 3 clash 21-14 but I see the Warriors coming away with the victory by at least 10 points this round, this team is gaining confidence and are on their way to the top 8.

If you like what I’ve written or disagree let me know, I would love to discuss anything Warriors related in the comments, share it with your friends on Facebook too as I want to get this out to as many people as I can and I know there are so many loyal Warriors fans happy to chat on there.


Hopefully, I will be writing about the Warriors being victorious next time but until then enjoy the game tonight and talk later.