Monday, August 29, 2016


Rugby League fans have a right to fell aggrieved.   At the start of the year the Warrior PR machine went into overdrive (as is their want) to assure the fan base that the team, replete with star signings, was gods gift to the NRL.

That the top four beckoned while the top eight was a virtual certainty.   In the words of their 'sugar daddy' owner ... anything less was unthinkable.

Well, the unthinkable has happened.   Three games stand out in my mind as defining the team this year.   The first, their first game of the season, where they surrendered to Newcastle ... who have never won a game since; the second in round 7 (the ANZAC Day debacle) where they were smashed 42 zip by the Storm and yesterday with their season on the line and with massive crowd support where they threw it away in the last ten minutes.

My player of the year ... without doubt Simon Mannering, their dumped skipper ... why?   He gave it his all, 80 minutes every game.    No-one else comes close to him in the commitment stakes.   And that poses the question ... what is it in the Warriors culture that holds them back from taking the next step up.   Is it that some of the players actually believe the exaggerated hype that surrounds the team as a substitute for putting in the hard years; is there a lack of 'balance' in the team (read that as you will); is it hanging on to players past their prime (as in Oz rugby)?   Perhaps it's all those plus more.

So where to from here ... I suspect they'll throw McFadden to the dogs (as they've done to their last four coaches) but, to my mind, that's a bit like shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic.    Something else needs to change and change fast.

Eric Watson doesn't do failure easily and right now 'his' team is a liability rather than an asset in his books.

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