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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.