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Saturday, 30 December 2017

The Journey to 110

Photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash
In September I decided I needed to make a change.
I was unhappy, miserable and angry, you see I had gone back to my lazy ways and started making poor choices, and as a result, I once again started to gain weight.
So I started exercising again and stopped eating crap, and the weight started to come off.
I had planned to write about it as a way to keep myself in check but before I started to write my old friend laziness came back, and I offered no resistance.
He also brought a friend in the form of some of the weight I lost.

I was frustrated and angry with myself, so many people have helped me over the years with my weight and I had done so well for so long only to let myself down.
I took a long hard look in the mirror and decided that I would no longer give in to laziness and make excuses.
So this time I decided to write at the very start of my resurrected journey instead of waiting until I achieved some results.
I jumped on the scales and weighed 129kgs, 19kgs away from my goal of 110kgs.
I also took these pictures.


It's a big step for me as I seldom show anyone (Girlfriends included) myself topless, but I feel that if I am to be accountable on this journey I need to track my progress not only by the scales but with images that I will take once a month.

Now I do not claim to have any knowledge of weight loss or the right or wrong way to losing weight so I will not be trying to tell people how to do so.
Although if I mention something that I am doing that is wrong or not helping me, in the long run, please let me know.
I just am going to try things and see what works for me.

I returned to doing fun runs this year and will continue these in 2018.
This in combination with regular exercise and eating right should return me to a weight I am happy with.
To keep me on track and responsible for my own actions I will be writing on here once a week every week updating my activities, talking about the ups and downs I face and the progress made towards my goal.
For this to work for me I need to be honest when I write here, if I don't lose weight, slack off or anything of that nature I will be putting it in here, warts and all so to speak.

As a by-product, if this help's anyone else out there find the motivation to become healthier, well that would be amazing.
That's all I have for my first post on my new journey, if you have any words of wisdom or helpful tips, please let me know.

Current Weight: 129Kgs
Goal Weight: 110Kgs
Kgs to go: 19Kgs




Wednesday, 6 September 2017

NZ Warriors Round 26 Review: Disaster season over after ninth straight defeat

Copyright Photo: Paul Seiser / www.photosport.nz
After collapsing in their last home match, the Warriors made the trip to Leichhardt Oval to face the Wests Tigers in their final game of 2017.
After 8 losses on the trot, the Warriors were looking at breaking the losing streak and getting only their second away win of the year, but it was not to be as the Warriors succumbed to the Tigers losing 28-16.

The Tigers looked set to send their departing players off in style and targeted the Warriors weak edge defense and were close to scoring in the early stages through Jack Littlejohn only for the Warriors to desperately stop him within inches of the line.
This only delayed the inevitable as Kevin Naiqama latched onto a Luke Brooks kick to cross for the first try on the night.
The Warriors were reduced to a two man bench after injuries to Blake Ayshford, and Charlie Gubb saw them sit out the remainder of the game.
Both sides had tries disallowed before the Tigers struck again after former Warrior Tui Lolohea put Esan Marsters over with a nicely timed pass.
Lolohea made his presence felt again minutes later after completing a length of the field after James Tedesco made easy work of the Warriors scrambling defense.
The Warriors finally got themselves on the board with Solomone Kata crashing over from dummy half to end the half behind 16-6.

The second half started just like the first with Luke Brooks putting Kevin Naiqama over for his second try of the match.
The Warriors pulled off an excellent set move when Ryan Hoffman through a beautiful inside pass to Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
Any chances of a miraculous Warriors comeback were well and truly over after David Nofoaluma scored the Tigers last try of the night with 6 minutes left to go.
The Warriors scored the final try of the night when Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad finished of a nice team try, but it was too little too late as the Warriors went down 28-16 in their ninth loss in a row.

Copyright Photo: Paul Seiser / www.photosport.nz
My Warrior of the match goes to Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
In what has been a horrible season for everyone at the club Roger has been one of only a few Warriors players to perform at a consistent level.
Once again he lead the Warriors in metres gained not to mention he got 1 of the 3 Warriors line breaks as well as 1 of the Warriors 3 tries.
It has been a tough year for the Warriors Captain, and hopefully, he has learnt from this season help try and rebuild this team in 2018.

Copyright Photo: Paul Seiser / www.photosport.nz
My Warrior who needs to improve goes to Ata Hingano.
There could have been many players to choose from in this category, but I have to give it to Ata.
The Tigers used Ata as a speed bump resulting in 6 missed tackles, his kicks were misguided, and he appeared lost at times, but the Warriors wouldn't have been any better had Kieran Foran taken his place.
Ata is still young, and there is talent there and playing along side Shaun Johnson should hopefully bring the best out in him.
But then again the Warriors don't have the best track record of developing talent recently.

I had high hopes for this match, and last week I predicted a Warriors win but the moment I heard Shaun Johnson had been ruled out I knew the Warriors didn't have it in them to overcome the Tigers.
Having only two players on their bench for 70 minutes was always going to be a tough ask, but thankfully Stephen Kearney's bizarre interchange selections worked this time with Charnze sitting there ready to go.
The Warriors improved their penalty count but missing 40 tackles and making 10 unforced errors made getting the win here a hard task.
Letting the Tigers get up to a 3 try lead did not help matters, and by the time Kata scored the Warriors first try the game was already over.
Once again the Warriors had a high completion rate at 86%, but they still couldn't put together any offense and no matter how good your completion rate is it really means nothing if you can't convert it into points.

So the season is finally over, 9 losses in a row to end it is really not how I saw 2017 turning out when I wrote my season preview in February.
Typically after the Warriors fail to make the playoffs, i get angry or upset, but I feel like an old parent who is not angry just disappointed.
Rumours are floating that the Warriors have signed Adam Blair and Gerard Beale for next season if this is accurate time will no doubt tell.
I was baulking at the idea of signing Adam Blair but to be brutally honest the Warriors need forwards, and if Blair is the only decent option out there after James Graham signed with the Dragons, then I would rather have him than rely on the current props the Warriors have.
Gerard Beale is an interesting possible signing as the Warriors already have enough players in the backs department, but I would be happy for Beale to replace Kata in the back line.

2017 has been brutal to watch and to write about and im actually looking forward to having some time away from the Warriors.
I still have my season review to produce which will not be enjoyable, but it will at least close this season for me once and for all.

So that was a terrible Round 26 and 2017 season, and per usual I will leave you with some questions.

What are your thoughts on the two possible signings?
Do you see any significant changes coming from the clubs end of year review?
Who was your player of the year?
Who was your biggest disappointment of the year?




Wednesday, 30 August 2017

NZ Warriors Round 25 Review: Sea Eagles break hearts at Mount Smart

Copyright Photo: Renee McKay / www.photosport.nz
After their seventh loss in a row, the Warriors headed back to Mount Smart for the final time in 2017 to face the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles.
Desperate to break their losing streak the Warriors welcomed Shaun Johnson back and although he added a much-needed spark to the side a lack of Rugby League I.Q. resulted in a Golden Point defeat.

The Sea Eagles started the match strong with Blake Green taking advantage of the high winds and kicking two 40/20’s in the space of 5 minutes.
This lead to Jake Trbojevic crossing the line after a nice inside ball from Blake Green.
An ill timed penalty against the Warriors lead to Matthew Wright kicking a penalty to extend the Sea Eagles lead to 8-0.
The Sea Eagles had firm control of the game until Tom Trbojevich dropped the ball inside his own twenty to give the Warriors their first attacking set in enemy territory which lead to David Fusitu’a scoring in the corner.
The returning Shaun Johnson forced a repeat set and followed up with a nicely weighted grubber kick into the in goal which David Fusitu’a pounced on for his second try to go into the half time break 8-8.

Early in the second half the Warriors were yet again penalised, and the Sea Eagles took a two point lead, the Sea Eagles converted this change of momentum with a try to Dylan Walker minutes later.
David Fusitu’a made his presence felt again, snatching a Shaun Johnson bomb out of the air and putting Blake Ayshford over the line, with Issac Luke converting the scores were level once again.
Both sides struggled to gain the upper hand with unforced errors dampening any opportunities for either side.
A forward pass from the Sea Eagles gave the Warriors the chance they needed, and they responded with a try to Ken Maumalo in the corner, Shaun Johnson converted to give the Warriors a 6 point with 10 minutes to go.
The Warriors kept the pressure on, and Shaun Johnson stepped up to nail a field goal to give the Warriors a two score lead with seven minutes remaining.
It seemed like the losing streak was going to be broken finally, and it appeared the Warriors thought the same as they let their guard down and Tom Trbojevic took advantage scoring a try under the posts with four minutes to go.
Ata Hingano kicked the restart out on the full which gave Manly a piggy bank down the field, and Daly Cherry-Evans slotted a field goal to level the scores at 21 all.
Manly made yet another handling error but Shaun Johnson missed his second field goal attempt, Daly Cherry-Evans missed his second attempt which meant the match was going to Golden Point.
David Fusitu’a gave the Warriors a chance to take the game after making a 50-metre break, but the Warriors inexplicably tried to score in the corner instead of setting up for a field goal and were carrying over the out line.
Manly marched down the field on the next set, and Daly Cherry-Evans sealed the Warriors fate with the match winning field goal handing the Warriors their eighth loss in a row losing 22-21.

Copyright Photo: Renee McKay / www.photosport.nz
My Warrior of the match goes to David Fusitu’a.
David was active in this game, two tries, two line breaks, and a try assist made him a stand out.
His strong runs and ability in the air kept the Warriors in this match.
This season is well and truly over but in 2018 the Warriors should aim to take advantage of Davids skills and use him as an attacking threat in the air more.

Copyright Photo: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/
My Warrior who needs to improve goes to Kieran Foran yet again.
I couldn't even tell you what Foran did on the field he was Mr. Invisible once again, with the season over the Warriors should have given Ata Hingano the five eight spot to get some much-needed game time.
Foran has had one or two good games for the Warriors, but from the moment he signed for the Bulldogs he has been mentally absent from the Warriors.
The team and more importantly the fans deserve more from a player of his calibre.

Well, that was a heart breaker wasn't it, sitting in those poor conditions I finally thought the Warriors were going to send me home happy.
Shaun Johnson was a welcomed return and even though you could tell he was not 100% his spark on attack lead to the Warriors looking dangerous on attack.
But the difference between these two sides was game management.
The Warriors had the game in the bag, but either through mental weakness or fatigue, the Warriors blew the lead.
When David Fusitu’a made his big break in golden point no one ran with him to convert his run into a game winning try and then to make matters worse instead of setting up for the match winning field goal the Warriors tried to score a try in the corner.
This is where a player like Foran should have stepped up and lead the way.
Putting it simply when push came to shove the Sea Eagles wanted the win more, and they fought for victory every step of the way.

Stephen’s interchange is still a joke, and he needs to wake up.
Having a hooker and a half on your bench is unheard off and using Jazz Tevaga in the prop rotation was a clear indication that Kearney continues to be out of his depth.
I know that the Warriors prop stock have been drastically reduced due to injury, and Charlie Gubb is only useful for 20 minutes a game, but the Warriors need to take a serious look at their forward for 2018 as most of their props are leaving and bar James Gavet there isn't much to work with.

This week the Warriors are playing their final match of the year in Sydney against the Wests Tigers.
Kearney has named the same side that lost in round 24 for this last game, and the Tigers have improved over the last few months, so this will be a test for the team.
The Tigers will be looking at ending their season with a win for their supporters but I'm picking the Warriors to get an upset (yes right now a win over the Tigers is classed as an upset), and they will win by 8.

So that was a dreadful Round 25, and per usual I will leave you with some questions.

What is your score prediction for the Tigers match?
Will Kearney learn to use his interchange correctly?
Are there any players off contract that you would sign?
How much are you looking forward to this season being over?




Wednesday, 23 August 2017

NZ Warriors Round 24 Review: Warriors woes continue after seventh straight defeat

Copyright Photo: Paul Seiser / www.photosport.nz
After the Raiders dealt the Warriors their biggest losing margin of the season the Warriors headed to Sydney to face the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
After conceding 20 points, the Warriors had a lot of room for improvement, and after highly contested first half they fell away to the more disciplined Rabbitohs to lose 36-18.

The Warriors started the match with purpose and were quick to take advantage of an Alex Johnston error to be the first team to score with Roger Tuivasa-Sheck touching down.
Alex made amends scoring a try of his own to draw the match level taking advantage of a consistently weak Warriors edge defense.
Pressure from the Warriors lead to more handling errors, and a slew of penalties was too much for the Rabbitohs as Simon Mannering crashed over to hand the Warriors the lead for the second time.
This appeared to spurn the Rabbitohs into action as Cameron Murray took advantage of some lackluster defense to bring the Rabbitohs back into contention.
Nearing the end of the first half, the Warriors discipline started to falter, and Adam Reynolds slotted a penalty attempt to end the first half 12 all.

Both sides traded sets with neither gaining the upper hand until Roger Tuivasa-Sheck scored his second try of the match.
This was the last shot fired by the Warriors in this game as the Rabbitohs took advantage of a tired and ill disciplined Warriors side and ran in four more tries via Adam Reynolds, Cody Walker, and Alex Johnston.
With Alex completing a hat trick to give the Rabbitohs a well deserved 36-18 win and make the Warriors current losing streak to seven.

Copyright Photo: Paul Seiser / www.photosport.nz
My Warrior of the match goes to Simon Mannering.
It is a truly ironic that the most inconsistent team in the NRL has one of the most consistent performers in the NRL.
Once again Simon made the most meters from the Warriors forward pack lead the tackle count, scored a try, made a line break and set up Rogers second try.
Simon goes above and beyond for this side, and he deserves better performances from his teammates.
It would be interesting to hear his real thoughts on this team and his teammates, and perhaps we may hear it after he retires.


Copyright Photo: Paul Seiser / www.photosport.nz
My Warrior who needs to improve goes to Kieran Foran.
I am compiling a list of my top 10 worst Warriors signings, and Kieran is going to be a contender for the top of that list.
With Shaun Johnson injured Kieran was meant to start taking control of the Warriors and lead them to glory but Kieran has been Mr. Invisible all year.
Kieran needs to wake up, he has had two young halves come in and perform at a higher level, and some would say that Mason Lino and Ata Hingano are not even first-grade caliber players.
He has two games left with the Warriors, and I think the Bulldogs will be having second thoughts at signing him now.

Despite an improved first half the Warriors still showed the same issues they have been having all season.
Weak edge defense and poor discipline consistently put the Warriors on the back foot.
Stephen Kearney likes to promote the Warriors high completion rate which is one of the highest in the NRL in 2017, however, what use is a high completion rate when your team cannot convert those sets into points?

Stephen Kearneys continued lack of understanding of how to use an interchange baffles me.
Jacob Lillyman injured himself and did not return in the second half of this match, and Stephen only used his two interchange props for 12 and 20 minutes a piece.
After losing James Gavet and Albert Vete to injury and Ben Matulino out with suspension for this match the Warriors really need to be smarter with how they use the interchange, but it is evident right now Stephen Kearney is a long way off from being a smart coach.

Stephen claims that several of his current starting side are not up to first-grade football and that the young players in the ISP are not ready for first grade but as of yet has shown no progress in recruiting talent for 2018.
Rumours say that Adam Blair is heading to the Knights and James Graham is off to the Dragons so the Warriors have lost out on the two big prop options available, and I am struggling to think of who the Warriors can look at bringing in to strengthen their pack.

This week the Warriors are playing at Mount Smart Stadium for the final time in 2017 facing the Manly Sea Eagles.
Shaun Johnson has been named to return, with the season over I would have kept him on the sidelines to prepare for next season but Stephen obviously is desperate to break the seven match losing streak, and a Warriors team with Shaun is more likely to do that.
However, I think it is too little too late and Manly will smell blood in the water and will be looking at making it a rough day for Warriors fans, so I'm picking Manly to win by 14.

Can the Warriors get any worse?
Unfortunately, I think so, 2017 has been horrible, and 2018 appears to not be shaping up any better.
Unless there are some significant changes in this club, the Warriors may very well be wooden spoon contenders.

So that was a dreadful Round 24, and per usual I will leave you with some questions.

What is your score prediction for the Sea Eagles match?
Is this the worst season ever for the Warriors?
Will 2018 be just as bad?
Do you think the Warriors will get another win this season?



Tuesday, 15 August 2017

NZ Warriors Round 23 Review: Warriors spineless in sixth straight defeat

Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.nz
After the embarrassment of Round 22, the Warriors headed back to Mount Smart Stadium for the second to last time in 2017 to face the Canberra Raiders.
In front of their smallest crowd of the year, the embarrassing Warriors run continued with their sixth loss in a row.

The Warriors were close to being the first to score with Solomone Kata unable to ground a grubber over the line.
He stayed down clutching his shoulder as the Raiders went the length of the field with Nick Cotric making easy work of the Warriors right edge defence to score.
Ten minutes later Cotric was at it again this time putting Jarrod Croker over the line.
The Warriors were next to score after throwing the ball around with David Fusitu’a finishing the play in the corner.
Only 6 points down the Warriors looked to be clawing their way back into the match until Issac Luke dropped the ball from dummy half, killing all momentum.
The Raiders yet again took advantage and scored for the third time with Blake Austin evading several tacklers to go into the break 18-6.
Both sides battled trade blows for the first 20minutes of the second half with neither side getting the upper hand until Roger Tuivasa-Sheck barged over to bring the Warriors back within reach.
Ken Maumalo dropped the ball on the next set to give the Raiders back the ball in good position, and Joseph Leilua proved hard to stop as he got the Raiders fourth try.
That was the straw that broke the camels back as the Raiders scored two more tries in the final stages of the game through Jordon Rapana and Nick Cotric.
The Warriors finished the match with a try in the last minute to Isaiah Papalii, but it was too little too late as the Raiders were the victors 36-16.

Copyright Photo: www.raiders.com.au
I have no Warrior of the match this round, some of the younger players did show that they were trying, but the team as a whole was dreadful, and there wasn't enough from any individual to highlight but that Nick Cotric is a talent isn't he.

Copyright Photo: Renee McKay / www.photosport.nz
My Warrior who needs to improve is going to the entire team.
Three games remain in the abomination of a season, and if the Knights and Tigers continue their current form, there is still a chance that the Warriors could wind up with their first ever wooden spoon.
I would like to say that after 6 losses in a row the Warriors will finally wake up but after listening to the Coach and players alike, they still have their heads in the sand and are well on their way to 7 losses in a row.

I don't know what is funnier, this excuse of a performance from the Warriors or the fact that the Warriors Officials faked the crowd numbers.
There definitely was not 10,000 fans in that Stadium on Sunday Afternoon I will be interested to see how many bother to show up for the last home game of the year in Round 25.

But back to the actual performance or lack thereof.
The Warriors had three repeat seats in a row camped on the Raiders try line and could not convert that territory and possession into points.
They just had no idea, it looked like there was no game plan and they continued to shoot themselves in the foot with unforced errors.
Every single time the Warriors appeared to get themselves back into the match they got themselves back out of it.
All but one of the Raiders tries came after a Warriors error, and with the way they have been performing as of late, they just cannot give the other teams easy opportunities.

The Edges were found out defensively yet again, and I'm sure that Rapana and Leilua were licking their lips all week knowing they had Kata and Maumalo opposite them.
This was the Warriors largest losing score margin in 2017, and I fear that there is more to come before the season is out.

This week the Warriors head back to Australia to face the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Friday night
With the way the Warriors have been performing, I didn't see a victory coming their way.
Foran comes back into the side with Mason Lino being dropped, if it were me, I would have stuck with Mason and Ata in the halves and leave Foran in Sydney.
With Ben Matulino out with suspension, the forward pack has taken another hit and just cannot see them having enough to overcome the Rabbitohs at home, so I am picking a South Sydney win by 12.

Talks around the grounds of Eric Watson selling the club to Paul Davys seems to be gaining traction.
If the sale is confirmed it may be just what the Warriors need, a clean slate with a new set of eyes.
It creates so many questions, would he keep the coach? The players?
What changes could possibly happen with a new owner?
Also if the buyout is rejected what changes will Eric Watson make in the organisation as it is clear that this club is failing.

So that was an abysmal Round 24, and per usual I will leave you with some questions.

What is your score prediction for the Rabbitohs match?
What do you think of Eric Watson potentially selling the Warriors?
Would you have dropped Mason Lino?
Do you think the Warriors will get another win this season?



Tuesday, 8 August 2017

NZ Warriors Round 22 Review: Embarrassment at McDonald Jones Stadium sums up Warriors 2017

Copyright Photo: www.newcastleknights.com.au
After an abysmal Round 21 against the Cronulla Sharks, the Warriors made the journey to Newcastle to face a Knights team buoyed by their upset Round 21 win over the St George Illawarra Dragons.
Both teams are only playing for pride at this stage of the competition, and the Knights proved they are not the easy beats they were in 2016 with a resounding 26-10 victory over and pathetic Warriors side.

The Warriors lacked discipline for the second week in a row giving away silly penalties, and they Knights were quick to strike, scoring two tries in the first 10 minutes.
After the first quarter wobbles the Warriors looked to be getting themselves into the match with a try to David Fusitu’a, after another lapse in discipline the Knights added 2 more points from an easy penalty attempt to go into the half time break leading 16-4.

The Warriors only started to show a sign of fight when Issac Luke was pulled and replaced with a hungry Nathaniel Roache, but that didn't stop the Knights running in their third try at the hour mark.
Roache got the Warriors second try of the night a few moments later to give the Warriors a sniff of a comeback.
But the Knights crushed all hopes of that with their fourth try of the evening via man of the match Brock Lamb with 8 minutes remaining to finally end the Warriors worse game of 2017 with a 26-10 defeat.

Copyright Photo: www.warriors.kiwi
My Warrior of the game goes to the Warriors ever suffering fans.
Years of let-downs were finally meant to be over in 2017, the Club talked a big game leading into this season with a new coach, Kieran Foran being the final piece of the puzzle and a “process” that would change the clubs fortune.
But yet again Warriors fans have been left to lament what could have been.
It’s a hard life as a Warriors fan, and one that I believe is never actually acknowledged by the Club, so I am acknowledging you here, I hope 2018 bears fruit for this club, but as of right now it is not looking great.

Copyright Photo: www.warriors.kiwi
My Warrior who needs to improve is Issac Luke.
In a team that appeared to not want to be there and in turn offered very little in a fight, Issac by far was the crown jewel of disappointment.
With Shaun Johnson, Ryan Hoffman, Bodene Thompson and James Gavet all out injured, the Warriors really need a player like Issac to set up as a leader.
He has instead been on a decline, in the team named to face the Raiders in Round 23 Issac has at least been dropped which is rightly deserved.

What an embarrassment this game was.
The Knights haven't had back to back wins since 2015 and apart from a dropped ball at kick off the Knights never looked like losing this match.
The Warriors never got off the plane for this game, there was maybe 4 players out of the 17 that appeared to be putting in some effort.
Kieran Foran has gone into hiding since Shaun Johnson got injured, leaving Mason Lino to take up the crucial playmaker role.
Kieran has already left the Warriors mentally and really needs to look himself in the Mirror and put some effort in for the final four matches of his Warriors career, but then again does he really care what happens here?

The Warriors lack heart, desire and passion and show no signs of life anymore.
2017 has been a long season, and with 4 games left against the Raiders, Rabbitohs, Sea Eagles and the Wests Tigers, I believe it is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.
The Tigers may be the only win the Warriors can get in the next month and with the way they are playing right now I don't think the will even defeat them.


This week the Warriors are back at Mount Smart to face the Canberra Raiders.
Stephen Kearney talked a tough game after the Knights defeat and vowed to wield the axe on the side but he barely even sharpened the axe with the only changes in his team being Ryan Hoffman making his return from injury and Issac Luke being related to the bench.
With fans baying for blood and Kearney's head, Stephen really needed to make a stand, the fans and more importantly the players now know that Kearney is all talk.

Talks of the Warriors signing Adam Blair for next season have also divided the fans, I currently haven't made up my mind yet.
On the one hand, if the Adam Blair that played for the Storm and now plays for the Broncos comes here it would be a welcomed signing, on the other hand, if it is the Adam Blair that played for the Tigers comes here then he can stay away.
Reports say that Adam Blair doesn't want to leave the Broncos so that would lead me to suspect that they would be signing the Tigers Blair so I would most likely be avoiding that signing and looking at other options.
In an Ideal world, the Warriors would sign James Graham.
He is the player I would be throwing my money at, he still has a year left on his Bulldogs contract, but with rumours of the Bulldogs having to shed players to make cap room the Warriors may be able to swoop in and get him early.
The biggest issue the Warriors will have right now is trying to convince players of a good calibre to come here after six seasons of failure.

But onto Round 23’s match.
The Raiders have a strong side with a large forward pack and threats throughout the back line, and I predict them being too strong for the Warriors and I'm picking the Raiders to win by 10.

So that was a disastrous Round 22, and as per usual, I will leave you with some questions.

What is your score prediction for the Raiders match?
What do you think of the Adam Blair recruitment rumour?
What changes would you have made for the Raiders match?

Do you think the Warriors will get another win this season?

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

NZ Warriors Round 21 Review: Sharks sink woeful Warriors

Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.nz
After returning from their defeat in North Queensland, the Warriors returned to Mount Smart Stadium to face the Cronulla Sharks.
With the chances of making the top eight extremely thin, the Warriors had nothing to lose and had the opportunity to perform for the 9,771 fans the braved the cold weather to watch them.
Unfortunately for those fans, the Warriors had a performance to forget losing 26-12.

The Warriors gave away back to back penalties, and the Sharks took advantage scoring a try within the first 4 minutes.
The Sharks kept the pressure on the Warriors for the remainder of the half with the only relief for the Warriors being an intercept try to Solomone Kata at the 30-minute mark.
However, the Sharks fired back almost immediately with a try of their own to go into the break 12-6
The Warriors started the second half in the same manner that they began the first with a string of penalties but their defence, as well as some timely handling errors from the Sharks, defused any scoring attempts from reigning premiers.
Mason Lino in his 2nd match of the year forced several repeats sets and finally managed to put Bodene Thompson through a hole to score a much need try.
This was the last time the Warriors looked to be in this match as the Sharks show their class and score two more tries in the final 20 minutes to hand the Warriors their fourth loss in a row, winning the match 26-12.

Copyright Photo: Renee McKay / www.photosport.nz
My Warrior of the game goes to Jacob Lillyman.
With the loss of James Gavet, the Warriors props needed to step up and Jacob did in this match, his stats were almost the same as Simon Mannering's this week with the only difference being Jacob played 55 minutes instead of Simons 80.
160 metres from 18 runs with 31 tackles and no missed tackles is not a bad day out for Jacob who is in the twilight of his career and most likely will be leaving the Warriors at the end of the season.
With the exit of Matulino and no news of any props being signed from across the ditch, I'm hoping that the Warriors can convince Jacob to stick around for at least one more season to give the Warriors some much-needed experience in their front row.

Copyright Photo: www.warriors.nz
My Warrior who needs to improve is Ligi Sao.
I don't see what Ligi is offering this team right now, James Bell made his debut in this match and played for 24 minutes, Ligi, however, played for 11 minutes.
If Ligi could offer some impact for those 11 minutes, this would be a different argument, but yet again I barely noticed that he was playing.
The Warriors are not playing to an NRL calibre as a whole, but Ligi on his own would be struggling to make a super league team right now.
Unfortunately, Kearney has selected him again for Round 22’s match, but I doubt anyone will notice.

The Warriors never fired a shot in this game, unforced errors and penalties plagued the side, and they were punished severely for it.
Playing a side of the Sharks quality you really need to bring your A game and the Warriors are a b team at best right now.
The forwards except for Jacob Lillyman, Simon Mannering and Ben Matulino didn't make many metres and didn't set a platform for the backline.
The backs in turn never threatened to break the line, and it felt like this team has given up and are just counting down to the offseason.
There weren't many positives from this match, but Mason Lino had another strong performance in a mediocre team and is making a case for himself to be Shaun Johnson’s halves partner in 2018.
James Bell had a good debut and didn't look out of place in first grade, with the season over I would be looking at blooding more of this young talent in preparation for 2018, but that appears to be part of Kearney's process.

2017 has been a train wreck but thankfully the Warriors have the Knights and Tigers left to face this year as they should be able to get wins in those matches but I don't know if I see them winning any other matches outside of those two.

This week the Warriors get to the first of those matches travelling to Newcastle.
With Bodene’s injury, he has been replaced by Isaiah Papali’i in what has been the only change to the side that lost in Round 21.
Typically I would have automatically chalked up a win for the Warriors here but the Knights looked impressive in their win over the Dragons in Round 21, and they will be looking at kicking the Warriors while they are down.
However, I still think the Warriors will have enough left in their tank to get the victory in Newcastle, and I'm picking the Warriors to win by 10.

So that was a horrible Round 21, and as per usual, I will leave you with some questions.

What is your score prediction for the Knights match?
Would you try to resign Jacob Lillyman?
What were your thoughts on James Bell’s debut?
How many wins do you think the Warriors can get in the last 5 rounds?



Tuesday, 25 July 2017

NZ Warriors Round 20 Review: Bowen dashes Warriors playoff hopes

Copyright Photo: www.cowboys.com.au
After the embarrassment of Round 19, the Warriors packed their bags and headed to North Queensland to face the Cowboys.
With the season on the line and playing without Shaun Johnson and my pick for player of the year James Gavet, the Warriors had their back against the wall.
The Warriors showed heart but lacked precision and ultimately went down 24-12.

The 2017 season trend continued as the Warriors were first to score through Bunty Afoa and showed grit and determination as they forced multiple repeat sets.
Unfortunately for the Warriors, the repeat seats didn't lead to points, and after a Mason Lino kick had gone out on the full, the Cowboys clawed their way back into the match with back to back tries to Justin O’Neil and Javid Bowen.
The Warriors put the final stamp on the first half with a try to Simon Mannering to level the scores 12 all.
Issac Lukes conversion of that try would be the last points the Warriors would score in this match although not for the lack of trying.
Ethan Lowe grabbed a Kyle Feldt offload and crossed for the Cowboys third try midway through the second half.
The Warriors had a few chances to force the game into Golden Point but could not convert them into the much-needed points.
Including a head scratching dummy-half run from Solomone Kata on the last tackle when the Warriors really needed to get the ball out to Kieran Foran to either set up a try scoring opportunity or force a repeat set.
Javid Bowen sealed the match with a length of the field try after scooping the loose ball from a Warriors bomb to end the game 24-12.

Copyright Photo: www.photosport.nz
My Warrior of the game yet again goes to Simon Mannering.
I don't know what more I can say about Simon, he is a consummate professional who leaves everything out on the field.
He has always been the Defensive linchpin of this side, but it is his recent effort on attack that has impressed me, once again Simon was one of the leading metre eaters with 133 metres gained from 16 carries.
He continues to put his body on the line for this club, and I hope that the younger players in this organisation take note and try to emulate Simon's work ethic, if they do the Warriors future will be bright.


Copyright Photo: www.warriors.co.nz
My Warrior who needs to improve is Solomone Kata.
That dummy half run killed this match, as soon as Solomone went into dummy half on the last tackle I knew he was going to try and bash his way over, the problem is the Cowboys knew it too and had more than adequately prepared for it.
With the season on the line the Warriors needed to get the ball to Kieran and any other player on the field at that moment would have done it.
Solomone isn't a team player, he has stated in interviews that he doesn't pass the ball as all he wants to do is score tries.
That would be great if he was actually scoring tries, but he has only scored 6 this season.
Stephen Kearney needs to teach Kata to play for the team instead of himself or drop him, with a player like CNK waiting in the wings I would choose the latter.

With the season on the line, the Warriors really needed a win here, and you could see that they were pushing the Cowboys to the limit.
Kieran Foran stepped up in the absence of Shaun Johnson and put it all on the line, an attempt at a 40/20 that narrowly missed could have completely changed the result here, but it just wasn't to be.
Mason Lino did not look out of place in first grade yet again and was not gun shy, and Chris Satae showed promise in his first-grade debut with a strong 10 minutes after James Gavet was cruelly ruled out for the season with an arm injury.
This was definitely an improvement compared to Round 19, but you don't get competition points for trying, the Warriors need to start winning again sooner rather than later.

This week the Warriors are back at Mount Smart and are set to face the Cronulla Sharks in what will be a brutal encounter.
The Warriors now need 5 of their last 6 matches and have other results go their way if they are to have any chance of playing finals football in 2017.
Stephen Kearney has named the same side that faced the Cowboys to face the Sharks, and if the players can bring the same intensity that they showed in North Queensland, they could run away with the upset here.
Unfortunately, I think the Sharks forward pack will be too much for the Warriors, and I'm picking the Sharks to win by 8 on Friday night.

So that was a frustrating Round 20, and as per usual, I will leave you with some questions.

What is your score prediction for the Sharks match?
What are your thoughts on Solomone Kata’s dummy half run on the 5th tackle?
Do you think the Warriors are going to play finals football still?
How big a loss do you think James Gavet is?



Tuesday, 18 July 2017

NZ Warriors Round 19 Review: Cleary breaks hearts at Manu Vatuvei Stadium

Copyright Photo: www.photosport.nz
After the bye in Round 18, the Warriors returned to Mount Smart Stadium, renamed Manu Vatuvei Stadium for one night only to face the Penrith Panthers.
The Warriors needed a win here to close the gap on the top eight but were found wanting after an inspired performance from Nathan Cleary as the Panthers ran away with a 34-22 victory over the home side.

Well, what can you say about this performance?
The Warriors started strong with a try to Simon Mannering mere minutes into the game, the Panthers did not let the quick start rattle them, and they fired back in quick succession.
Both sides traded blows and tries with neither team taking control, with the Panthers going into the halftime break leading 18-12.
The Warriors scored the first two tries of the second half and looked to be on the way to a much-needed victory until Shaun Johnson collapsed when he was chasing an Issac Luke chip kick, with the Warriors key attacking spark now off the field the team appeared to fall apart.
Enter Nathan Cleary.
Returning to the field he had spent many hours at as a youngster, Nathan made the Warriors pay for their lacklustre defensive attitude and score the final two tries of his hat trick back to back.
By the time Waqa Blake scored the matches last try the game was well and truly over with the Warriors appearing to check out once Shaun Johnson limped off the field.

Copyright Photo: Renee Mckay / www.photosport.nz
My Warrior of the game goes to Simon Mannering.
Simon continues to perform at a level well above the rest of his team mates.
As usual, Simon topped the Warriors tackle count, but he also made the most running metres in the Warriors pack.
Forget the Kiwis spine, Simon is the backbone of this side, and if it weren't for him, the Warriors would be staring at larger defeats than the 12 point loss suffered in Round 19.

Copyright Photo: www.photosport.nz
My Warrior who needs to improve is Ligi Sao.
15 Minutes was all Ligi played on Friday night, and he offered nothing to the side on attack or defence when he was out there.
He is the quintessential Mr Invisible and is the waste of a bench spot.
The only thing that confuses me more than Stephen Kearney's interchange setup is why Ligi got resigned to a new deal when the Warriors have let so many youngsters with potential walk out the front door.

With the season on the line and a night dedicated to Manu Vatuvei’s departure, the Warriors had every reason to front but failed to deliver.
Except for Simon Mannering and James Gavet, the forwards offered no punch up the middle.
With the early exit of Shaun Johnson, Kieran Foran was meant to take the reins and lead the team, but he took a note from Ligi Sao’s book and disappeared.
With Shaun out for 6-8 weeks the Warriors are going to be leaning on Foran, and if he doesn't show up, it is going to be a brutal end of the regular season.

This week the Warriors are heading to North Queensland to face the Cowboys, even without Johnathan Thurston the Cowboys are still formidable, and the Warriors have a tough night ahead of them.
In the absence of Shaun Johnson Stephen Kearney has selected Mason Lino to take up the halfback role in the only change from Round 19’s side.
Mason is dependable and will do his best for the Warriors but is his best going to be enough?
The forwards really need to come to the party this week otherwise the Warriors will be dead in the water.
If the Warriors can get a roll on and let their backs loose they may come away with the upset here.
Unfortunately, the Warriors post origin history is poor, not to mention how weak the Warriors perform without Shaun Johnson, so I am picking the Cowboys to win this match by 14.

The Warriors now need to win 6 of seven matches to have a chance of reaching the playoffs, with tough matches against the Cowboys, Sharks and Sea Eagles it is hard to see that happening and looks like the Warriors will yet again fail to make the eight.
Tough questions will be asked I’m sure, but what will happen in off season to the club if they fail yet again is hard to say.
Jim Doyle has stated that he would walk if the Warriors didn’t make the eight but I think others should go first, namely Tony Iro.
Tony’s name always seems to pop up when people talk about the poor culture within the club, and as the head of recruitment, Tony has lost more players than he has brought in so I believe he should be first to go.

So that was unsatisfying Round 19, and as per usual, I will leave you with some questions.

Is the Warriors season over now?
How do you think Mason Lino will go?
Would you keep Ligi Sao in your 17, if not who would replace him with?
If the season is over what would you do in the offseason to fix this side?


Tuesday, 4 July 2017

NZ Warriors Round 17 Review: Perth curse continues for Warriors

Copyright Photo: Daniel Carson / www.photosport.nz
After the hard fought win in round 15, the Warriors made the long Journey to Perth to face the Manly Sea Eagles.
The Sea Eagles have been on a roll for the past month and facing them in Perth where the Warriors have never been victorious was always going to be a tight contest, and the Sea Eagles played heartbreakers yet again with the Warriors going down 26-22.

In what has become a constant theme in 2017 the Warriors started this game quickly scoring 16 points.
The Warriors looked well on their way to breaking the Perth hoodoo but appeared to turn off mentally with the Sea Eagles finding holes in the Warriors defensive line scoring three tries in quick succession to level the game 16-16 at halftime.
Manly continued to dominate the scoreboard with another two tries in the second half before Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad scored after the Warriors took advantage of Akulia Uate fumble on a kick return.
The Warriors had a few more attempts to snatch a victory but were unsuccessful including an impressive run from Shaun Johnson that ultimately went nowhere as the Sea Eagles threw everything they had to stop the elusive playmaker.
So regardless of the promising start the Warriors went down yet again in Perth and are still sitting just outside of the top eight with time running out to make the cut.

Copyright Photo: Daniel Carson / www.photosport.nz
My Player of the day goes to Shaun Johnson.
Shaun’s performance was impressive, his kicking options were on point, and he threw everything he had at the Sea Eagles.
When his confidence is up, he is a dangerous player, his ability to break the line is unrivalled in this team.
His defensive game has also improved dramatically this season, and it showed in this match with Shaun only missing 1 tackle.
If the Warriors are to have any chance of making the top eight they need this confident Shaun to show up week in and week out.

Copyright Photo: www.warriors.kiwi
My Player who needs to improve is David Fusitu’a.
David has been a let down the past few rounds, once a shining light in the Warriors backline David has recently been overshadowed by Ken Maumalo and CNK.
A crucial moment in this match for me was during Shaun's large run towards the end of the game, Shaun signalled for David to cut inside but he just watched him, a faster reaction could have been the difference between winning and losing this match.
Missing in defence and losing a step on attack I am unsure what is going on with David but with the impending return of Solomona Kata he may find himself out of the side, and he needs to go back to the David fans have come to expect after the bye round.

The Warriors have improved, there is no denying that, but as of right now they do not appear to have what it takes to be a top eight contender.
I always say that as critical as the Warriors fans are they will always appreciate this team if they appear to be trying and in this match, they never looked to give up.
Yes, they will be rueing the missed opportunities, but it is fair to say that the Warriors side of a few months ago would have lost in Perth by 20 or more points.

Injuries are a concern with Nathaniel Roache hurting his hamstring during an impressive run in this match and Albert Vete breaking his arm and they now join Issac Luke and Ryan Hoffman in the casualty wing with Kieran Foran not being 100% either.
The bye round this week is a blessing in disguise for the Warriors as they attempt to get these players healthy.
With 8 matches left to play the Warriors only encounter three teams that are currently in the top eight, and if they are any chance of reaching the playoffs, they cannot throw away any more matches like they did this week.
They need to continue to start games strong, but they also need to keep their foot on the throat and not let their opponents back into the match.

After the bye round the Warriors are back at Mount Smart and face the Penrith Panthers.
Penrith have been on a decline in recent times, and the Warriors are going to have to take advantage, and I’m picking the Warriors to win this match by 12 points.

So that was a heartbreaking round 16, and as per usual, I will leave you with some questions.

With Vete’s injury, who would you bring onto the bench to replace him?
Is Kieran’s hamstring a concern and would you rest him from the next match?
Would you drop David Fusitu’a and replace him with Solomona Kata on his return?

What is your score prediction for the upcoming match against the Panthers?

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

NZ Warriors Round 16 Review: Warriors Mt Smart form continues over Toothless Dogs

Copyright Photo: Renee McKay / www.photosport.nz
After the bye in Round 15, the Warriors returned to Mount Smart to face the Canterbury Bulldogs needing a win to keep their playoff aspirations alive.
The Warriors have turned Mount Smart into a fortress in 2017 suffering only one loss to the table-topping Melbourne Storm, and this round was no exception with the Warriors winning 21-14.

It wasn’t a pretty performance from the Warriors, but it was hard fought, both sides were desperately seeking a win, and it showed.
The Warriors had a few hiccups early in the match perhaps due to Shaun Johnson taking the lead in Kieran Foran’s absence, but they turned in a clinical performance completing 82% of their sets.
Once Shaun and Ata started to gel the team began to threaten the Bulldogs line, defensively they showed a tough, determined edge that has been lacking for most of the season.
The Warriors only scored three tries this week, but the first try to Ken Maumalo deserves a special mention, after an ankle tap he had the presence to get himself back up and showed both pace and strength to get the long distance try.
I have been calling him Mini Manu all year but this was a try that was reminiscent of Manu from a few seasons ago, if Ken keeps performing the way he has for the past month it is fair to say that he has taken that wing spot from Manu for good.
James Gavet’s return was welcomed, and he added serious starch to the forward pack and his stiff defence lead to the Bulldogs losing their heads and ultimately Josh Jackson for 10 minutes.
But with James return we also saw the exit of Issac Luke with a dislocated shoulder; Nathaniel Roache took the opportunity of more minutes in his stride and put in an excellent performance.
The Warriors forwards bullied the Bulldogs pack, and Roache took advantage with several sniping runs.
The close score was not reflective of the dominance the Warriors had on the field.
Three additional tries could have been scored but were denied by the bunker, I think at least two of those should have been given, but thankfully for the Warriors, they didn’t have to rely on the bunker to win this match.
By the time Shaun slotted a field goal the game was well and truly over, and the 21-14 win brings them only two points away from the top 8.

Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.nz
My Warrior of the game was tough this week with great performances from several players, but I am giving it to Simon Mannering.
Simon gets ignore every round by me when it comes to my Warriors of the game simply because I have grown used to his great performances.
But I couldn’t ignore him after this performance, 60 tackles is impressive, but Simon also ran for 155 metres and didn’t miss a single tackle.
Simon leaves everything out on that field, and I’m hoping that this attitude of his is filtering throughout the rest of this team and rubbing off on all the young players in this squad.

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My Warrior who needs to improve goes to Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, a bit of a hard choice as all of the team had a generally good performance, but Charnze made a few unforced errors and didn’t have the best day.
It is early days in CNK’s career, and after playing quite well since his debut it was only a matter of time for his form to take a dip, confidence is the key, and he will have plenty of chances to regain it when the Warriors play Manly this weekend.

The Warriors are taking full advantage of the State of Origin period yet again but now have to travel to Perth to face the Manly Sea Eagles; the Sea Eagles have been performing well for the past month and will be a tough match.
Throw in the fact that they are playing in Perth where the Warriors have never won, and it looks to be a tough night out for the Warriors.
The Warriors have named Kieran Foran to return at five-eighth and Nathaniel Roache to start at hooker with Issac Luke not fit to return from his shoulder injury.
This likely means that Ata Hingano will take a bench spot with Albert Vete, James Gavet and Bunty Afoa to fill in the other spots with Sam Lisone being ruled out with a family engagement.
If the Warriors are going to have any chance in this match, they just need to do all they basics efficiently.
The Forwards have actually started to perform the past few weeks, so they need to continue running in groups and bullying the opposition.
The loss of Issac isn’t ideal, but the Warriors just have to front up in his absence, Roache is a talent and very dangerous out of dummy half, so I expect to see some damaging runs from him.
With the Warriors having another bye after this match they can truly throw everything they have and then some this week and get the win. Unfortunately, I can’t shake the Perth factor, and I’m going with a Sea Eagles win by 10.

So that was satisfying Round 16, and as per usual, I will leave you with some questions.

Do you think the Warriors were hard done by with some of the Bunkers no try decisions?
Are the Warriors starting to find form or is this just the usual origin run they always have?
Has Ken Maumalo done enough to lock in the wing spot for the foreseeable future?
What is your score prediction for the match against Manly?