Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Early entrant for 2007 brain explosion of the year

It seems Sione Faumaina just has not been able to adjust to life without getting mentioned on this blog for his outlandish behaviour.

Although its slightly old news - after being axed by the Warriors for excessive alcohol induced stupidity - Sione was offered and accepted a 3 year contract offer from London Harlequins before walking out on said contract to "spend time with his family".

Subsequently even Sione's manager has called it quits with the ball playing back rower and it seems the only team in the world left willing to roll the dice on Sione is the Gold Coast Titans who are said to have proposed an "incentive based contract" .

I have to say the Titans are shaping to be a team of emotionally mal-adjusted fun boys what with the emotionally shattered Mat Rogers also part of the squad after quitting the Waratahs and Wallabies following the drug overdose of his brother. However if the Warriors could somehow sign a fullback like Mat Rogers I would not be too unhappy.

Putting that to one side the prospect of the Warriors forward pack facing up to Sione is pretty mouth watering. The only downside is the possibility that instead of imploding Sione actually checks into rehab and realises his true potential as an NRL star. Would not be the first time an underperforming ex-Warrior has flourished elsewhere.

Titans team looks passable - they have Preston Campbell and Scott Prince in the halves so won't be too shabby in that department.

Also check out this news recap of the Warriors 2006 NRL season .

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Swann is back in town

Logan Swann is back in Auckland and ready to bust the line and offload - or just hit up the ball in a straight line.

Friday, December 01, 2006

All Blacks v Wales in Cardiff

Monty swtiches to Boxing

This is awesome Monty Betham has quit league to follow Mundine into boxing. I think Monty is a bit of a moron and he was never a success as Warriors captain - starting fights is not a leadership quality. However this tendency to loose his head and swing punches on the league field may translate well to actual boxing.

Monday, November 27, 2006

NRL 2007 Round 1

Hey peeps

Just got back to work after watching All Blacks in Cardiff at the stunning Millenium Stadium. Photos to come.

Views regarding the haka controversy would be appreciated. My view is that as a fan it was just a big downer on what was otherwise a fantastic occasion and a great tour. The Welsh fans were just as gutted as us not to get to see it.

Anyway the Warriors draw has been announced, Round 1 - 17 March 2007 will see the boys play the Eels at Mt Smart with another home game v the Broncoes in Round 2.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Friday, November 17, 2006


Hello again

Well I am basically struggling right now to get through a Friday at work before heading across to Paris via Eurostar to watch the All Blacks play France at the Stade de France tomorrow night. I can barely contain myself. Lets hope the ABs can maintain their frankly astonishing form and trounce the French again - lets hope theres a few 1999 semi-final videos being played in the All Black hotel.

Anyway I also note the fate of the Kiwis Tri-nations hopes hang in the balance this weekend with the GB v Australia game set to determine whether the Kiwis make the finals. I can't see this GB team pulling out a win as they seem to be on a slippery downhill slope with their coach seemingly unable to say anything to the UK press except how hard it is to play back to back tests in the southern hemisphere. What a whinger - seriously I have read at least three seperate articles with that exact same story this week. Also a little strange is the fact that Mr Long has been sent home by the GB team seemingly when they need him most - anyone with inside views on that little mystery can slap them on the blog.

On a Warriors note I note the 2007 NRL draw has been released. Should be an interesting year with the new expansion Gold Coast Titans, the boys have to make sure they beat them when they play them twice. In addition for those Warriors who aren't in the Kiwis team they have started their offseason training programme. Its well worth clicking on the link because there are a series of photos of a group of guys who do not look like they are in great shape - they look like they are hating it!

Anyway hope you all have a good weekend and I will post some pics of our Paris trip next week.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Manchester United 3 v Portsmouth 0

Hello All

Another big weekend of sport just been with the All Blacks trouncing England at Twickenham whilst the day before Rach and I venture once more to Old Trafford to watch Rooney and co dish out some more punishment to Portsmouth.

Man U went up two nil within the first ten minutes and the result was never in doubt, finishing three nil at the end.

Anyway to the right is a picture of the Man U team warming up, starting from the left, Saha, Silvestre, Vidic, Ferdinand, Brown, Ronaldo, Rooney and Scholes.

To the left is an in game shot with Giggs retiring in the foreground, Saha at far left, Rooney centre, Carrick at far right and Ronaldo at the top.

All Blacks v France on TV next week and then on the Eurostar to Paris for the big game at the Stade de France - can't wait.

Oh and before I go definitely Lowe for NZRL chairman - the mad men have finally completed their take over of the asylum.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Friday, October 27, 2006


Well peeps - there is essentially nothing happening on the Warriors front at present and the league Tri-nations bores me so in order to keep the blog alive lets focus on what I will be up to sport watching travel wise over the next few weeks.

Here is my sporting travelling itinerary kicking off next weekend:

4 November - Manchester United v Portsmouth at Old Trafford

18 November - All Blacks v France at Stade de France in Paris

25 November - All Blacks v Wales at Millenium Stadium in Cardiff

So should be a good few weeks, and seriously I will be posting some pics when I get my act together.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Some news

Hello to all the peeps out there

Well the NRL season is now well and truly over. Broncoes champions - reminds me of the early nineties and those Alfie Langer teams. Was a bit disappointed to see Melbourne lose after being so successful all year but I digress.

A little bit of Warriors news for the fans out there - big Logan Swann is returning to the Warriors fold on a one year contract to add depth to the back row corps after playing in England. Frankly this may be a case of swapping one Pedestrian for another but I have almost forgotten what Swann is like so we will have to wait and see what he produces.

Warriors have also upgraded the contracts of five development players seemingly in an effort to ensure they stay at the club. These guys are all currently in the Allied Workforce "elite development" team and will now form part of the first team squad. The players in question are Constantine Mika, Miguel Start, Malo Solomona, Scott Jones and Russell Packer. None of whom mean anything to me at present but we will see if any breakthrough to the first team in 2007.

And in terms of what I have been up to - I travelled to Manchester last weekend to watch Manchester United beat Newcastle at the theatre of dreams Old Trafford. Was a great time for Rach and I and if you are extra lucky I will post some pics of the big day on the blog during the offseason. However I note that Rooney's form is still in the trough and England's 2-0 loss to Croatia is just further disappointment.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

End of season mode

Hello All

Well what can I say, nothing to report on the Warriors front. Months of offseason stretching out in front of us.

Warriors had their end of season do and Rovelli won Rookie of the year and Price player of the year. Seems like fair results to me although Cleary looks to have gained a bit of weight in the photo to the right.

Of course there is the NRL grand final and Melbourne and the Broncoes are to face off in an NSW free final. I can never get too excited about these games when the Warriors are all over the for the year but it is a big sporting occassion and if anyone has thoughts please feel free to put them down here.

League tri-nations is coming up - kiwi squad has been named - but I have trouble getting enthusiastic about it.

And of course Harbour won the Ranfurly sheild, I look forward to seeing them defend it for longer than 1 game.

Also I hear Lowe was seriously in the running for the Sharks job but got passed up for Ricky Stuart. That decision seems like a no-brainer for the Sharks, do you really want to appoint captain insano to run your franchise?

Anyway you lucky people in NZ are heading to Spring now so that must be nice for you.

I am having fun fun fun at work as per usual. Big news for the peeps is the upcoming 10km run in Amsterdam that I have somehow signed up for. The training has been average at best to date and only two weeks to go till the big day, Sunday 15 October 2006.

Also a date to watch out for is judgement day for double JJ - 11 November 2006 - when James James"Judgement Day" Dellow will step into the ring to box for real against ..............another accountant yet to be announced. Check out the JD training blog for awesome progress pictures.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Brain explosion frenzy

I love reading the NZ press I can't beleive what is happening at home. National and Labour sex scandals would be awesome, if only the thought of any of the protaganists actually having sex wasn't so horribly foul.

Anyway the real gold is the fact that now the warriors season is over the general public are picking up the mantel and having chronic brain explosions of their own, in fact the competition is close for brain explosion of the week, but I think the winner is the Christchurch chronic gambler turned repeat armed robber whose lawyer actually described his offending in court as the consequences of a quote "brain explosion". Brilliant.

However the close runner up is Clint Brown - so drunk in Taupo of all places that he managed to get beaten to within an inch of his life and lose his job.

If those in NZ have input on the playoffs that would be good I see Brisbane have qualified and St G are favourites going into a semi final with Melbourne. I had thought Melbourne were running away with the title but apparently St G are favourites - I guess their form has been pretty good lately then? I am so far away from knowing at the moment it is really poor form on my part. I have been stuck in the office for far too long with no time for internet surfing.

Seems like a long time till the NRL 2007 kicks off but I will try and keep the blog alive over the extremely long off season. Warriors off season news should start kicking in around new year.

Comments always appreciated and idle premiership chit chat is also worth a shot.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Season wrap up

Well another long hard NRL season comes to a close for the Warriors with a tough Loss to Brisbane in Queensland. While the big boys head off into the playoff sunset the Warriors are left to rue their points deduction and kiss goodbye to Brent Webb.

A few bright points coming out of a season with Cleary stamping his authority on the team and bring in effective and cheap Australian talent. Hohaia looks to showing some of the form that might make him a bright hope for the future and he is still a young player. Axing the boozers is a very clear message to this team that Cleary wants a serious tone to prevail at the club and I like it.

As an aside to the Sione axing Cleary is now shopping for another lock and it looks like the options are fairly limited. Anyone have any creative ideas on this one?

Herald reports that the Warriors seeking to sign Sonny Bill when he comes off contract at end of 2007 - apart from the fact that Sonny has demonstrated for all to see just how fragile his body is - this is a recipe for salary cap disaster unless the Warriors axe Price and Wiki. That could be a possibility at the end of 2007 with Price off contract but it would be something like the biggest league contract ever to sign him and he might not even play a match.

Overall if we look at Cleary Year One in perspective it starts to look like a pretty good season:

Year Coach Owner CEO W L D Win % Table Playoffs
1995 Monie ARL Robson 13 9 0 59.09% 10th* none (*2 point deduction for 14 players on field)
1996 Monie ARL Robson 10 11 1 45.45% 11th none
1997 Monie/Endacott ARL MacGowan 7 11 0 38.89% 7th none(SL)
1998 Graham Tainui+Lowe McKewen 9 15 0 37.50% 15th none
1999 Graham Tainui+Lowe McKewen 10 14 0 41.67% 11th none
2000 Graham Tainui/Watson McKewen 8 16 2 30.77% 13th none
2001 Anderson Watson Watson 12 12 2 46.15% 8th qualifying final
2002 Anderson Watson Watson 17 7 0 70.83% 1st grand final
2003 Anderson Watson Watson 15 9 0 62.50% 6th semi-final
2004 Anderson/Kemp Watson Watson 6 18 0 25.00% 14th none
2005 Kemp Watson Watson 10 14 0 41.67% 11th none
2006 Cleary Watson Scurrah 12 12 0 50.00% 10th* none (*4 point deduction for salary cap breach )

Cleary is up there in the top four seasons ever for the Warriors - together with 1995, 2002 and 2003 - a bit sad really but these are the only four seasons that the Warriors have won 50% or more of their games. 1995 and 2006 would have both been playoff years but for points deductions.

Anyway Cleary Year One bodes well for the future and I like to think of it like the Anderson 2001 season where he scraped the team into the playoffs in eighth spot only to take them to the grand final in 2002. That is where I want to see Cleary Year Two end up!

It would be great if everyone would add their comments to their post on their impressions of the season that was. I want to see more comments than ever before on this blog for a single post - lets get some dialogue going - this should be alot more like talkback than it in fact is.
Lastly it is very sad to see Steve Erwin pass away in a ghastly sting ray accident. He was a real character and a global superstar.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Sione is off the wagon

In a shock development the Warriors have terminated Sione Faumuina's contract for just one too many alcohol related indiscretions. This one apparently at an aftermatch lounge function after the Roosters game in which Sione played no part due to a "wrist" injury. Is that an injury of the kind where the wrist can't help itself but lift lion red cans towards the mouth of the victim?

Only a few details on the final straw incident have been made public so if anyone has any nuggets of goss gleamed from their inside sources - such as anyone who was lucky enough to be in the aftermatch lounge in question during the incident - please divulge them here.

I suggested in a previous blog that the mystery wrist injury was in fact a cover story for Sione going to rehab however the apparent presence of the boozer at the Roosters game kind of debunks that theory. Who will take up the challenge of taming this wild man - Manly?

In addition there are rumours in the UK press as well as the Aussie press that following the dumping of Ricky Stewart by the Roosters that Daniel Anderson will be taking up the job after having taken St Helens to the absolute pinnacle of UK league winning everything there is to win and doing so in a dominating style.

And in a final note the Warriors have extended Cleary's contract as coach of the Warriors till the end of 2008. Well done to the management on that one looks like a good choice.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Warriors kick chicken butt

My goodness what a stunning end of season run this is turning into. Thanks heaps for the post from the Wellington Warrior (as a comment to one of the posts below) about his trip to the Roosters game. Sounds like it was awesome! Nice choice of game to attend - a bit lucky really!

Broncoes away to finish the season - should be a bruising encounter!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Strong end to season

I am getting really slack about posting which is a bit unfortunate for those few of you out here who actually read what I put on this site.

Warriors seem to be in a fairly strong run of form of late with a very impressive win over the NRL minor premiers the Storm following on from a win over the Cowboys. Win loss ratio is now 11 and 11 so the boys have managed to hit the 500 mark. In fact they are sitting in 10th. Cleary continues to argue that they still have something to play for although I can't figure out what this is he certainly seems to have figured out how to get the best out of this Warriors unit. Only two games remain starting with a tough test vs the Roosters followed by the Broncoes away.

This weeks game v the Roosters will the last home game for Webb and the Pedestrian.

Once the season is over we can take a look at where this Warriors season ranks in the history of the franchise and I think you might be surprised how highly it does in fact rank.

And for those of you who care - its Tea Ropati.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The struggle goes on

Hi all.

Well I know I have been slack on the posting but the Warriors need to do a little more to keep me interested.

I was pleased to see the win over Cronulla although it is entirely meaningless at this stage of the season. As I sat basking in the London sun I took some pleasure in the fact that it was so unpleasant and cold during the Sharks match in Auckland that one of the poor Sharkeys got hypothermia in the changing sheds afterwards.

So sad to see that Webb is leaving, although he will clock 100 games for the Warriors this weekend vs the Cboys. Ropati thinks there is a still a lot to play for and in pride terms he is right but lets not fool ourselves. Unfortuantely Koopu is injured so will miss a match for the first time in 52 games.

The ramifications of the Faumuina alcohol fiasco are still doing the rounds. Not sure this drunken performance, as bad is it apparently was, can top Latu's debacle for the title of brain explosion of the year but I am prepared to listen to argument on the point. One point in the F mans favour is that he was actually in the Warrirors squad at the time of his indiscretion whilst Latu had already been axed.

Anyone who has any info on who this person might be please post it to this blog, if you are worried about violating the name supression order just email me and I will post it as the suppression order doesn't apply here.

On a lighter note Monty Betham has been suspended for two matches after delivering a classic Betham punchy performance in UK superleague.

Gorillasanti also continues to deny allegations that he stole $6000 from a team mates room whilst touring with the Kangaroos in 2003. This is interesting on two counts, first that people are still talking about it - this was three years ago. And second because some fool in the Aussie team not only had $6000 in cash on him but left it in his hotel room.

And just to keep the scandal ball rolling - the Broncoes have sacked Brett Seymour and Neville Costigan over their involvement in off-field incidents. Halfback Seymour had recently been accused of headbutting a woman in a Brisbane pub while Costigan was this week charged by police with drink driving. The Warriors should sign these guys as soon as possible.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Brain Explosion of the Year - Faumuina?

Well I thought Latu had run away with the title having been sentenced to Jail, having the sentence reduced to community service then flying out to the UK and signing with a new club without having completed such sentence and having a further warrant issued for his arrest. That people, is evidence not of a brain explosion, it is evidence of brain damage.

Anyway Faumuina has come from nowhere and emerged as new contender for the title with an apparently shocking drunken performance at the Guttenbeil testimonial luncheon of all occassions. The incident included swearing at his coach Cleary and club captain Wiki.

Interestingly despite supposedly successful crisis talks with Sione to resolve his apparent desire to leave the club to play in Australia the Warriors are now reporting that he is out for the rest of the season with broken wrist? Is this a lame cover story for Sione going into rehab?

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Piss poor

that is all i have to say about that lame ass result

Friday, July 28, 2006

NZRL sells its stake in Warriors to Watson

Apparently the ongoing saga regarding the NZRL 25% share in the Warriors is over with an agreement reached which will see the NZRL sell its stake to Warriors League Limited (formerly Cullen Investments). Eric is now 100% owner.

In the same vein - cheers to James "judgement day" Dellow for sending me a scan of a great article from the independent written by Trevor McKewen with an axe to grind about Watson's record as owner of the Warriors. (NB: Trev was fired as CEO of the Warriors after the Watson takeover). One of the key points made was that the NZRL did not think it was getting adequate "management expertise" value from Watson that had led it to facilitate the sale to Watson in the first place and did not want to be called upon to inject further capital. Accordingly Trev described how the NZRL were in dispute with Watson over adequate compensation and terms for the sale of their shares. Sorry can't link to the article as it is pay per view.

Another juicy tidbit from Trev is that the NZRL had refused to sign off on the Warriors 2002 accounts because they beleived they misrepresent what was in theory the Warriors most profitable season ever. Apparently most of the profit was used up in payment of very large "management fees" to Cullen.

I would not beleive everything he says because of his obvious bias but Trev's best point in the above article, not a new one incidentally, was that the NRL basically conspired to give the Warriors to Eric amost for free. He paid $375,000 for the license only - the original Warriors folded and then he re-signed all the players to his "new" Warriors club without taking on any of the old club's debt. Contrast this with the recent purchase by Russell Crowe of Souths where he paid $3.75m for a 75% stake in the club. Thats ten times more kids - for what in theory is an asset of comparitively similar value?

I am not sure we should be berating Watson for being so clever as to have an NRL franchise essentially given to him on a silver platter. What is an issue is whether Watson has the stomach for owning a "business" that is at best has a low margin of profitability and at worst bleeds cash. What will become of the Warriors if Eric decides he has enough of pumping in cash and the Warriors end up again in massive debt and spiralling into receivership. Who will come riding to the rescue. Regardless of who owns them if the Warriors don't win they are not a good investment. Sports franchises (with the exception of NBA teams) rarely are good money makers. Accordingly the owner needs to be willing to suck up monetary losses for the benefit of non-monetary rewards such as status, prestige and excitement.

Does Eric have the patience for this? Time will tell.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Facing up to the Panthers

My goodness it is hot in London at the moment! Don't want to bum-out those of you in the Southern Hemisphere but the heat is almost unbearable at the moment. Without wanting to turn this into (god forbid) a weather blog - we had some pretty intense thunder and lightning storms last Friday night but still no let up in the temperatures.

Warriors come off their bye this week to face the Panthers in Penrith on Saturday. Can't say I am that excited by the match up. I guess the mathematical possibility still exists of a playoff spot if by some freak of nature and luck the Warriors win all of their remaining six games. However as soon as the Warriors drop a game Cleary may as well play an entirely experimental line up from there on in. A Bartercard try out would be one idea - or maybe drop a few elite development squad players into the mix.

Big ups to the Wellington Warrior for taking the time to check out the Wade McKinnon performance last week for the Eels against the Tigers. Apparently was pretty good play by young Wade including a second half try that sealed the win. Hopefully the boys will make your trip to Auckland for the Roosters match worthwhile.

Big news of the week - the Warriors have released a limited edition Guttenbeil testimonial jersey - be still my beating heart. Well without wanting to get too sarky it actually it looks pretty cool. I recently got my hands on a 2006 Warriors away jersey and I have been rocking that baby as much as possible around the Clapham streets - don't think anyone can figure out what it is.

In UK news - our old mate Daniel Anderson has taken his new club St Helens to the top of the Superleague table and all the way to the Challenge Cup semi-final on Saturday but not without exhibiting his trademark no nonsense don't give a toss if I rub you the wrong way attitude. For those who want to know the Challenge cup is a knock out competition for all levels of rugby league (including UK, French and Russian teams) - similar to the FA Cup for football.

Interestingly in this match St Helens (Superleague) will face Hull Kingston Rovers (1st Division) who are coached by would you beleive it ex-Warrior Justin Morgan. For those who don't remember his Warriors career - Morgan was a member of the 2002 grand final team - albeit largely as a substitute prop. However whatever you think of his playing career the man is doing very well as a coach and is even being somewhat humourously referred to as the "special one" ala Jose Mourinho and Chelsea.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Bye week

Hey peeps

Well it is a boring bye week so keep yourself busy in the absence of the Warriors with the following entertaining video links:

Guttenbeil putting hit on Roosters - a shining moment for the Pedestrian

Ultimate Warrior - just plain insane.

Apparently sky had a near miss last week in the eels game almost showing a full frontal nude shot of Brent Webb. I wish I had been able to see the McIvor Ropati reaction to this.

Lebron James highlight reel - high school to the NBA

Wayne Rooney - phenomenal volley v Newcastle

Thursday, July 20, 2006


I have to say that Eric has always had something of hero status in my mind. Not for his dodgy business exploits in general or for having been married to Nicky Watson although these are both qualities demanding of respect. No my respecting Eric has always revolved around his purchase (by phoenix company means no less) of a dying Warriors franchise and restoring them to not only respectability but glory in a remarkably short space of time.

To see the man reduced to begging Gallop for cash is just pathetic and unbearable. You can read for yourself but no doubt the Warriors are suffering financially and Eric has had to pump in considerable quantities of his own cash.

The worst is Lowe actually (Stop press!) has got a valid point in that he participated as coach in a curtain raiser before the Eels game that actually helped out the Warriors significantly by actually producing a break even crowd size and the players and organisers got no love from the Warriors players or management. Now if I am agreeing with Lowemeister then the world has turned upside down and things have gone badly wrong.

If all of this didn't make my sick enough Warriors fans appear to smuggling bottles into Mt Smart to throw at the opposition. Now turning out for Warriors games has always been about abusing the opposition, I love a bit of it myself, but glass bottles, please guys lets try and have a little bit of self respect before the franchise folds up.

Only passably good news of the week is that the Pedestrian has been unloaded to the UK. Solid but dull as a doorknob would be my description of that particular career and playing style. Opposition defensive players have been expecting as little variation as me for the last few years. Apparently good recent performances can be explained by the contract year phenomenon.

As if I weren't grumpy enough after a suck ass buggering week at work and the unbearably hottest weather I have just about ever experienced it is a bye week for the Warriors. I am hanging on by a thread here.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Tubes await

Well don't say i did not warn you. The wringing of hands and gradual suffering of a another wasted season presents itself on a platter. It looked for a minute as if Cleary had pulled some sort of magic out the trough but now we are faced with the cold hard reality of needing to win six consecutive games for a mathematical shot at eighth spot. Its over for another year and like the England world cup departure it may take some days to digest.

What bothers me the most is that they lost in front of one of their best crowds of the season. Effectively demonstrating all the faults of the club and the team at a time when they desperately need the support and the funds produced by decent crowd numbers. Deaker will lap this up as the Warriors choke with their season on the line. Webb's late ommission may explain some of it but next year Webb won't be there for any of the games so the team had better get used to it.

As an aside I really hope someone other than me still cares enough about the Warriors to read this blog. I see no comments, and no comments means no readers. It seems that there is a direct correlation between the Warriors winning and hits on this blog. I guess its like crowd numbers, people like to watch, think and read about a winning team.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Warriors face Slippery Eels

I don't know what to think about the Warriors for the remainder of the season, the possibility of a playoff berth is now so small that I am willing myself to disregard it but a part of me keeps nagging and telling me to stop being such a spoil sport while the chance still exists.

So I lift my hopes for another week in full anticipation that they will be dashed. This is the psychological world of being a Warriors fan.

Anyway enough waffling half assed existentialism I note that it is Koopu's 50th consecutive NRL match so inspite of this being a rubbish stat dreamed up by the Warriors PR team to try and get fans to the game Koopu gets photo honours for this post. And what a pretty boy he was when he joined the team way back in 1999. He has been a consistent stand out in my mind and his survival despite the ongoing regime changes speaks volumes for his talent. The 50 games does mean that he is a pretty solid individual - not prone to injury despite playing a very physical position and being consistently involved.

The Herald is hardly worth linking to anymore - reporting that Cleary doesn't like the golden point rule (lame) and delivering some more gold from Graham.

NRL gossip wise Cowboys have got themselves into a sex scandal - primary issue seems to be that some Cowboys players had formed sexual relationships with teammates' wives. Ugly.

Eels will be starting Jeremy Smith at halfback so hopefully this should produce some opportunities for the Warriors to terrify and smash the young guy.

So all the best to the boys, as ever it is with feelings of hope tinged with doubt that I publish this post in the knowledge I will not get to see the game. If we get a win - only five more from six games needed for playoffs. Or should we say a playoff as we would no doubt be playing the number one seed minor premiers.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Golden point disaster

Well at least we can say that the Warriors put in a good effort in their loss to the Dogs. Sounds like a really entertaining game - however 16-0 up and the Warriors should really be closing out the match for a win. Golden point overtime is a fun concept - just hurts when it is your teams season being sent down the tubes.

Anyway Warriors still have a stab in the dark of making the playoffs - they just need to win six from seven of their remaining games.

The Sydney Morning Herald has divided out whom they consider to be the contenders for this years NRL title and it is a predictable bunch, Storm, Dogs, Drags and Broncoes. Most noteworthy is the statement that the Warriors "need two more quality players for next season and they can make a real impact."

Latu it seems has managed to have his jail sentence quashed on appeal which is probably fair - 8 months in jail did seem a little harsh and it wasn't as if he was publicly urinating during an international rugby match or anything.

Eels at home this week. Nathan Hindmarsh will be available if he pleads guilty to his dangerous throw charge but Timanu Tahu (knee) and halfback Tim Smith (collar bone) will both be out. Needless to say the Warriors cannot afford to drop this one. Keep on eye on Warriors buy in at fullback Wade McKinnon. If one of you who sees the game could please post a comment re his performance that would be great as per usual I will not get the watch the game.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Warriors v Bulldogs and run home breakdown

Shocking result in Origin with Lockyer and the Maroons pulling out a great series win.

Warriors have confirmed the signing of Wade McKinnon as the effective replacement at fullback for the Leeds bound Brent Webb. This may be genius or it may be a disaster but I trust Cleary who seems to be pretty smart in his recruitment to date. Sorry to see Webb go though he has been a great servant to the club and it is something of a pity that he won't be in the NRL anymore.

I have been looking at the run home for the Warriors as set out in the post below which requires them to win six from their remaining eight games in order to get to 28 points which has been the cut-off for the top-eight the last couple of years. However there is presently a logjam on the table around the eighth spot and lets take a look at each of those teams.

7th Cowboys - 18 points , +37 diff
8th Manly - 18 points, +14 diff
9th Raiders - 18 points, -55 diff
10th Tigers - 16 points, -22 diff
11th Panthers - 16 points, -60 diff
12th Warriors - 14 points, +97 diff

So its clear that but for the points deduction the Warriors would be at the top end of this group and would be a strong 7th by way of points difference. Each of the three teams 7-9 has a bye like the Warriors so effectively each need only a further four wins from eight games to hit the 28 point target as compared to the Warriors who as noted above need six wins. If we look further down the table we see the Tigers in 10th with 16 points, also with a bye in hand so they need five games to make the 28 point target, Panthers also on 16 but they have used both byes so like the Warriors need six from eight to make the 28 points. So what to make of all this - I guess the possibility is that there may be a logjam of teams on or about 28 points at seasons end. Points diff will be crucial and the Warriors are doing well there. Warriors play only the Panthers and Cowboys of this group and need to win those games - but they would need to win them anyway.

However there is also a possibility that if two or more of these teams continue to play well on the run home the cut-off for eighth spot will actually be 30 or more points meaning that that the Warriors miss out even if they can win six games. I think this is unlikely however these are all teams have something to play for with the top six a virtual lock for the playoffs already needing three or less wins to confirm their playoff spots. So should be an interesting few weeks in the NRL with plenty of upset potential!

All the best for the boys v Doggies this week. Hopefully we can see Hohaia knocking down Mason a few times for some turnover ball as he did a season or two ago in the early rounds at a game I attended at Ericksson.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Warriors Roll On

Well first let may say that beyond this introduction I am not even going to touch on the intense disappointment of seeing England get knocked out in the most inauspicious of circumstances. It is over but I guess Brazil and Argentina are heading home as well. The question is who will win it all? My guess is Germany at home.

Anyway Warriors just keep on rolling racking up a fourth win in a row in what must be close to club record. The boo-hoo Herald keeping a cap on its enthusiasm by pointing out how much better off the Warriors would be had they not lost four points at the start of the season. No shit sherlock I am glad I have got a national daily paper to give me such indepth and thoughtful analysis.

Anyway the boys are doing all that we could ask of them and still need six from the remaining eight games to be a shot at the playoffs, their run home is as follows:

7/7 - Round 18 - Bulldogs (4th) - Away
14/7 Round 19 - Eels (14th) - Home
21/7 - Round 20 - Bye
28/7 - Round 21 - Panthers (11th) - Away
4/8 - Round 22 - Sharks (5th) - Home
11/8 - Round 23 - Cowboys (7th) - Home
18/8 - Round 24 - Storm (1st) - Away
25/8 - Round 25 - Roosters (13th) - Home
1/9 - Round 26 - Broncoes (2nd) - Away

Its a pretty tough spread and the Warriors really need to save up their two potential losses for their games v the Storm and the Broncoes at the finish. So this Dogs match is crucial and it causes me concern based on the Doggies recent form with an impressive win v Tigers which they managed despite being without State of Origin forwards Willie Mason, Mark O'Meley and Nate Myles. Only plus for the Warriors is that Matt Utai was red carded so will likely miss the Warriors match (as part of a 6-8 game suspension). Tigers have clearly gone down the tubes and it is a real pity we have already played them twice.

I have faith in this team - that is, faith qualified by realism that tells me that it will all be over soon - lets keep it going - start going to the games you slack Aucklanders!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Warriors in nail biter - Judgement day for England

Hey all

Well as of writing this post Warriors are leading 28-22 over Penrith with five minutes to play. I probably won't be able to stick around and follow the conclusion as I have to head out to Heathrow on the tube to pick up my father.

Anyway Warriors hanging in there - good to see - no pressure guys but your whole season is on the line!

Massive day for England today with the world cup quarter final v portugal. I have a Rooney shirt on and am anticipating a tough ninety minutes. Hope you NZ peeps get up to watch - its going to be ugly! go the WAGS

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Time to move on and focus on Panthers

Well I could bask in the joy and glory of the Warriors rampage for a few more days, tears in the Souths dressing room and all but I think it is time to move on, forget about it and focus on the Panthers.

Lets not get too congratulatory - Roosters are on now on the same points as us (although having suffered consecutive losses and without a points deduction) and are tearing themselves apart over how badly they have performed this season. So lets keep a level head here - Warriors are still in a dire position table wise but the mathematical possibility of an eigth playoff spot - and a consequent playoff matchup with the rampant Storm is what I am clinging too.

And don't think that I do not recognise that the Warriors having won three in a row are on a positive upswing - this definitely bodes well for next year - although the loss of Webb will bite us in the butt in due course.

On a favourable note looking towards this weekends game Warriors are able to field a near full strength side minus Price who is playing Origin, Sam Rapira coming in as his replacment. Panthers on the other hand lose key skill players Craig Gower and Rhys Wesser.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Warriors steamroll Rabbits

Well after crawling out of bed at 6.30am London time I have just given up my struggle to get a web radio feed of the Warriors v Souths match. What a mission - however I guess this matchup may not have game of the round appeal.

Anyway what I have managed to determine is that the Warriors having led 32-0 at halftime have won the match 66-0. This is total domination!

Nice work guys!

So a quick revision of the playoff math tells that the Warriors now need to win 7 of their remaining 9 games to make the eighth playoff spot with 28 points. Next up Panthers at home.

In addition Herald is reporting that the Warriors have "nailed down" 19 of the 25 spots in their squad for 2007.

England to play Ecuador in the round of 16 at 4pm today UK time. This is of course a massive game and another lacklustre performance even with a win will see the UK media tearing Sven and this England team apart.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Rabbitohs staring down the barrell

Hello all

Well my work week continues to cause me suffering however for those of you in the NZ/AUS timezone such thoughts are already well out of your mind as you enjoy your Friday drinks.

Anyway first of all let me have a couple of rants - the first is Lowe and the NZ rugby league media - in particular the Herald. If the Warriors lose the Herald just ignores them however if they win or even win two in a row the Herald gets all congratulatory and showers them with praise and coverage. Lowe thinks Cleary is some sort of genius now that he has stopped "tinkering" with team and has them running like a finely tuned vehicle in some sort of "my past life as a humble mechanic analogy" - lose the ghastly analogies dude you are a bandwagon jumper of the worst kind. The fishing analogy really got me going and this greyhound one pushed me to the edge of the windowsill.

My second rant is about the Webb salary cap saga - the Webb situation is demonstrative of a real Warriors problem that needs to be addressed. Webb is in some ways the ideal Warriors player - bought cheap and young while unknown - has a brain - and has delivered on his potential with quality performances well above his pay packet.

Unfortunately now that he is an established star the Warriors don't have the cap space to keep him because we are massively overpaying our superstar forward pack. I know Price and Wiki lay the platform and without them this team would likely be swinging in the wind but the management have really got themselves tied in a knot with the Price/Wiki massive salaries. This stuff needs to be planned for in advance you can't get into a win now lose later situation. The cap space to re-sign Webb should have been in the minds of management as soon as he became an established Warriors starter. Its difficult because UK superleague pays so much more but if we lose this guy at the crucial fullback position we are in real trouble. I recall how rudderless the Warriors looked for a while there at fullback after Cleary's departure as player - can we really face another phase like that while we find a decent Webb-Cleary style replacement?

I have been trying to do the math as to the Warriors cap situation and it is really hard as there is no public record of what anyone is getting paid so I have to guess - for example Webb seems to be expecting a contract well in excess of NZ$250k - what do you guess guys like Vatuvei and Mannering actually get paid - NZ$100-$150k? Cleary says the club are in a "development" phase and I like the sound of that but I don't know how you justify the price of the forward pack if this is really the strategy - maybe it is a case of "past management" having limited the options available.

On a bright note Warriors have secured the services of a pair of HUGE brothers from the Manawatu, - Russell Packer (16), a New Zealand Under-16 representative last year, is a 188cm 112kg prop, and Paora (18) is a 187cm 95kg second rower. Just read back over that sentence - Russel Packer is 112kg at age 16. That is a gigantic young man.

Rabs seem to also be on a spending and recruitment spree at present and the Crowe takover is in some ways reminsicent of the change in attitude and form that accompanied the Watson takeover at the Warriors. Dare I suggest the Rabs may be going places. Warriors need to keep an eye on this team this weekend as nothing less than a crushing victory will keep me and the seething masses satisfied.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Eric gives out free tickets again

You have to love the guy - he is giving away tickets again - this time to NZ passport holders in Sydney to attend the Warriors match v the Rabs. This is a good idea as Telstra can be a cavernous space when empty and the Warriors are balanced as per usual on a psychological knife edge. Lets hope some broke ass Kiwis in Sydney get along and enjoy the free tix.

Just to keep your scandal interest levels up apparently there is a culture of drink and drug abuse in the NRL.

And apparently there is talk that the NRL will do away with the June 30 "anti-tampering" deadline - this rule has always seemed like a crock to me anyway.

As an aside I see the Shaq/Wade Miami Heat have managed to win the NBA finals. Not the result I wanted to see, and clearly I am not the only one who doesn't like the Shaq/Heat style of play. Dwayne Wade may well give Lebron James a run for his money for who is the greater player of their generation. Lets hope they have a finals match up next season to put it to the true test. I as usual, am looking forward to this years NBA draft later this month- in some ways my favourite part of the season as its all potential with no annoying reality to interfere with the fanastical nature of talent evaluation. New star on the horizon for this year- Adam Morrison. Not your stereotypical NBA type by any means.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Can Warriors make it three in a row?

What a stunning result in the weekend - Warriors 30 to Knights 18. So convincing was the warriors victory that Andrew Johns was left to blame his own squad for their lack of effort and Knights coach Hagan was left clutching at straws to explain his teams recent loss of form.

This in spite of the NZ public failing to heed my advice and producing a tiny crowd turnout for the match. (NB> Haircut of the century in the photo to the right.)

Dare I say it the Warriors appear to have found the holy grail of the warriors rugby league quest - the ever elusive consistency - in the last three matches.

Cleary has named an unchanged side for the match v souths, lovely turn of phrase here - describing souths as a "potential banana skin opponent". Right on the money with that one - this is the type of game a typical Warriors side would drop off for and play ugly at the level of their dropkick opponents.

With that in mind I am getting excited here about the run in to the playoffs and it is a dangerous thing - particularly within the squad itself - a loss to the Rabbitohs and the season is over. The Warriors need a crushing and convincing victory this week to keep the momentum going. Lets keep it going boys - every match is a grand final! Would be great if the Warriors could get to their last games after the bye in round 20 with the breathing space of only having to win 4 of 6 of their final games instead of all 6 games. In order to acheive this the Warriors need to win the next four on the trot starting with the Rabs, then panthers, dogs and eels.

Interesting article in the herald re the Warriors salary cap dilemma re Webb. I will seek to analyse this cap situation in detail here on the blog when I have more time. The information I need is the estimated salaries of the entire squad - is anyone out there privy to such info? Or willing to have a crack?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Work is suckful

Don't you all just have those days where you are unhappy about your job. Well I am having one right now and was thinking of posting something about the Warriors except there is no news whatsoever.

Other than the Maroons pulling out a game 2 thrashing in Origin all that is on my horizon is work. Nice work Price - hope you are fit for Sunday's match v the Knights. Full strength Knights squad is going to be a tough ask for the boys this week lets hope for the best.

So to jump on a blind tangent for want of anything better to think about, I once read that Motu Tony's father's name was Tony Tony, and until now I don't think I beleived it could be true. If only his middle name was Tony as well. I always like Motu Tony I think someone in the NRL should give him another look. He is currently playing at Hull in the UK.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Positive thinking

Well I have to admit my speculation below that the Warriors can still make the playoffs is a little far fetched but the Warriors have got to maintain interest in the season somehow while the World Cup is on and a few more wins would at least lay a good platform for next season. Lets at least hope the Warriors can be spoilers and get up to 9th or 10th on the table. (NB: Do the ears look big in this photo to you?)

Anyway my big message to those of you in New Zealand is to get along and watch the boys play the Knights this weekend. Vodafone as part of their slightly farcical "one tribe" promotion are offering discount $10 tickets. Thats like £3.50 - the cost of a pint in London - get yourself down there to watch Price play his 250th NRL match.

Also have to give a very small barely noticeable shoutout to the Socceroos - stunning comeback victory.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Warriors 22 v Roosters 12

Hey I am delighted to see that the Warriors have managed to pull out a win against the Roosters. Nice work boys - Vatuvei with a storming performance. Webb asserting himself again as the player the Warriors must re-sign as soon as possible.

Even the Sydney Morning Herald was borderline positive in its recap of the match pointing out that but for the salary cap debacle and points deduction the Warriors would be sitting just outside the top eight. Another good point that those eagle eyed fans out there may already have noted is that the Warriors have a positive for and against differential - something they share with only the eight top teams.

I am of a mind to suggest that if the Warriors could just string together a few wins the end of the season could get really interesting - dare I say it and invoke 1995 - every game from now on is a grand final! If we estimate the Warriors need at least 28 points to make the playoffs, they are currrently on 8 points and will get two from their round 20 bye, so need to win at least nine further games out of the remaining eleven to stand any chance. They are due to play all of the top five teams so if we accept they can't win all of these then they will need to win three of these five games and all the others to qualify.

Remaining games (and current placing of opponents) are:
18/6 - Round 15 - Knights (3rd) - Home
25/6 - Round 16 - Rabbitohs (15th) - Away
30/6 - Round 17 - Panthers (12th) - Home
7/7 - Round 18 - Bulldogs (5th) - Away
14/7 - Round 19 - Eels (14th) - Home
21/7 - Round 20 - Bye
28/7 - Round 21 - Panthers (12th) - Away
4/8 - Round 22 - Sharks (4th) - Home
11/8 - Round 23 - Cowboys (8th) - Home
18/8 - Round 24 - Storm (1st) - Away
25/8 - Round 25 - Roosters (11th) - Home
1/9 - Round 26 - Broncoes (2nd) - Away

I also see that Misi Taulapapa has signed up with a development team for the Cowboys. This article is perhaps most notable for the admissions as to the nature of the incident that saw Misi dumped by the Warriors. Apparently a trip to the movies on a Friday night turned into an all night boozer bender with Misi appearing at training on Saturday a little worse for wear.

Friday, June 09, 2006

New Zealand Warriors v Roosters preview

A big hello to all the peeps out there. I must say the weather in London is looking up, the forecast is for 29 degrees this weekend. And what a giant weekend of sport we have before us, a veritable smorgasboard of sporting quality with the World Cup finals kicking off, the All Black season commencing with the Irish test, the NBA finals continuing (Dallas lead Miami 1-0) and of course let us not forget the brave and ever popular New Zealand Warriors matching up against the Roosters.

There seem to be two main storylines leading into this game, the first is that the Roosters have so many Origin stars in their squad (four) and injuries (five) that they are seriously depleted and are forced to play relatively untested young players at key positions. But lets not get ahead of ourselves, these youngsters are the same players Cleary is rushing to sign to the Warriors to add some depth and consistency to the squad. Although I note that Ricky Stewart is starting former Warrior Vince Mellars.

The other main talking point is that while Steve Price is out for this weeks game while on Origin duty, big Ruben Wiki has been cleared of foul play by the NRL judiciary after contesting his charge and will start.

This is a game the Warriors must win. If they cannot - and I beleive that is a distinct possibility - then I would suggest that the rest of the season is used as a virtual open trial for Bartercard stars to see if any of them can cut it at NRL level. The Warriors need to find more "Mr Effective" type players and sign them for as little as possible.

Ricky Stewart is a shrewd operator and these young Roosters players will no doubt be smart, well drilled and fit. I would suggest that to win the Warriors forwards need to smash the young halves and fullback as early and as often as possible. A loss in these circumstances woulc be a shattering blow for the club - please do not let it happen.

The other pressing concern is the need to re-sign Webb, as Graham Lowe has even managed to figure out Webb is out as close to a class player as the Warriors have on contract right now and if the Warriors let him go due to salary cap restraints they are morons.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Latu sentenced to jail

In a relatively shocking development Latu has been sentenced to 8 months jailtime for his foolhardy violent assault on a 19 year old woman in a Cronulla service station which has already seen him sacked from the Sharks and banned from the NRL. His sentence includes provision that he serve a minimum six months without parole.

Well that has to be about the harshest penalty handed out in history to a drunken sportsman for alcohol related assault. A few weeks ago I reported here on Latu's brain explosion of the year and having been given a sentence as harsh as this I think the rest of the NRL is going to have a hard time topping this one for this years brain explosion title.

This is a sad and pathetic story - here are the facts as stated in the courtroom:

"The court heard that, at 3.30am on Monday, May 22, Latu had gone to a BP garage at Kingsway, Cronulla, with some friends after attending a nightclub known as the 2230.
Ms Peninton had also been at the nightclub with a group of friends and had travelled to the service station.
Latu had been eating a bag of chips and was talking to a girlfriend of Ms Peninton who was sitting in a car, when Ms Peninton approached Latu and tried to engage him in a conversation.
A statement of police facts tendered to the court said that, when Latu ignored her, she said to him: "Well I was just trying to introduce myself ... I am not a groupie."
Latu continued to ignore her and threw a chip at her and then more chips into her friend's vehicle.
Ms Peninton had berated him for throwing chips into the vehicle, saying "you are just being a little shit".
Mr Clugston said that, according to the police evidence, Ms Peninton tried to remove the bag of chips from Latu's hands and in doing so, came into contact with his face.
Latu, who had the case brought forward to the court a week ahead of schedule, then punched her in the face causing her to fall onto her back and hit her head against a brick wall.
Mr Clugston said Ms Peninton lost two false fingernails and suffered a fractured nose as a result of the blow."

Latu - you are going to jail and will live in infamy for ever in NRL circles over a bag of chips.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Well it seems that a series of alcohol related incidents has led to Warriors sacking Misi Taulapapa. This young guy was signed to a two year extension only two months ago, in May 2006.

All that is being said publicly is that the final straw was an alcohol related incident 48 hours before the Brisbane game, and that this was a fourth incident following three formal warnings.

And before the exit door has even stopped rotating the Warriors have signed another young Australian, utility back Aidan Kirk, from the Roosters. Cleary moving quickly to bring in another of the players from the development team he successfully coached at the Roosters. Kirk will not join the Warriors until Cleary Year Two in 2007.

In a very telling quote Cleary states that "We need to build up our depth in a lot of positions and Aidan's versatility will help us to do that". In other words - "I look at the current squad list and cry myself to sleep over the lack of talent".

Also Wiki faces the distinct possibility of being out on suspension for six weeks - have to say I know Wiki is quality and provides a platform but at his age and with his disciplinary record he is not worth the money. He is too experienced to commit this sort of foul by accident. Play hard and play fair Rubes - don't be a fool, you have demerit points up the wing wang.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Broncoes wrapup

Well I have to admit I have not spent the weekend fretting over the Warriors as per usual. In fact I have just returned from sunny Geneva having watched the All Whites sustain a brave performance against insurmountable opposition. I think we can say that the level of football of the Brazilian starting eleven is on a level all of its own and that to lose four nil while having generated a number of viable scoring chances against the worlds best NZ can feel justifiably proud. I may even post some pics I took at the match.

Anyway despite the digression I see the Warriors managed a good effort in defeat against the Broncoes with the boys lifting as suggested below against benchmark opposition. I find interesting that both coaches commented on the fact that only two penalties were given in the entire match, one for each team. This seems very strange to me and I wonder whether this is Harrigon refereeing gone mad or just a new policy to create more scoring movements by tiring the teams out. Either way it seems that applying such an extreme policy can only lead to a game degenerating into cheating and thuggery. It is the job of the referees to strike a fine balance, keep the game and the players under control without ruining the flow of the play or determining the outcome. I would appreciate some input on this as it is no doubt a significant talking point amongst NRL fans.

Of course despite the improved effort it is yet another loss moving the warriors to a 4-8 record still in 14th place. The Warriors season is effectively over and I am now moved to consider what Cleary should do with the remaining games. Surely trying out new players and combinations is an option but this could ensure further losses that may ultimately cripple the clubs finances. Cleary needs to keep the home fans onside while recognising that it is all over for this year and developing the team for next season - you guess is as good as mine as to how he can actually manage this. So without wanting to state the totally obvious if Cleary Year Two is to be any improvement on year one (of course presuming there is a Cleary Year Two) then Cleary has to got to use the next weeks to unearth some more cheap, quality talent from somewhere, instill some mental toughness in his squad and win some games to keep the fans hopeful for next year.

Also any thoughts on Patrick Ah Van, is he a hope for the future? Also if anyone has info on the incident that saw him play in place of suspended Misi Taulapapa feel free to divulge it here.

Roosters next week who will be weakened by the absence of players on origin duty. Lets keep a positive attitude and hope for the best.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Objective analysis

Well as Lockyer and the Broncoes loom on the horizon I comfort myself with the thought that the Warriors have always tended to treat the Broncoes as a special case, as a game in which they lift their performance to match the team that has a been a benchmark for quality and consistency for so long. If this doesn't happen this week it could be dire.

On a slightly more constructive note I thought as Clearly Year one progresses it might useful to assess his performance as coach objectively in the context of the warriors past history.

I have prepared a quick spreadsheet charting essentially the win loss record of each coach/ownership/CEO combination in warriors history from 1995 - 2006. I note this is derived from data available online so if you spot any discrepancies let me know. The 2006 stats are to date.

Year Coach Owner CEO W L D Win % Table Playoffs
1995 Monie ARL Robson 13 9 0 59.09% 10th none
1996 Monie ARL Robson 10 11 1 45.45% 11th none
1997 Monie/Endacott ARL MacGowan 7 11 0 38.89% 7th none(SL)
1998 Graham Tainui+Lowe McKewen 9 15 0 37.50% 15th none
1999 Graham Tainui+Lowe McKewen 10 14 0 41.67% 11th none
2000 Graham Tainui/Watson McKewen 8 16 2 30.77% 13th none
2001 Anderson Watson Watson 12 12 2 46.15% 8th qualifying final
2002 Anderson Watson Watson 17 7 0 70.83% 1st grand final
2003 Anderson Watson Watson 15 9 0 62.50% 6th semi-final
2004 Anderson/Kemp Watson Watson 6 18 0 25.00% 14th none
2005 Kemp Watson Watson 10 14 0 41.67% 11th none
2006 Cleary Watson Scurrah 4 7 0 36.36% 14th none

Now the big news on glancing at this table is that in spite of the points deduction negatively impacting on Cleary's table position his win-loss percentage is the third worst of the warriors ever. What is also interesting is that the warriors have only ever had three seasons above a 50% win percentage - what ESPN would call - "a 500 team". I am slightly surprised to discover that the original 1995 warriors were a 500 team and in fact had the third best winning percentage - only topped by the 2002 and 2003 warrriors.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Clinton Toopi is leaving the Warriors at the end of the 2006 season to take up a contract with Leeds in the UK.

This is a pretty sad turn of events for yet another player who once shone at the Warriors but seems to have lost form lately. There was a breif moment in time when Toopi was considered if not the best, one of the best centres in the NRL.

As per usual Toops is not the only player heading for the exit door this year, several others including Webb and the Pedestrian are in negotiations.

In fact all this player turnover is really starting to get inside Cleary's head:

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Slippery Slope

Its hard to stay positive at times like these as another season gradually slips away down the sinkhole however one has to accept that the salary cap penalty was always going to take its toll and especially for a team as psychologically fragile as the Warriors.

I think it has been the case for years that the Warriors have had sufficient talent to consistently perform at a top 8 level but its all in the players heads whether they do so or not. For a while it seemed Daniel Anderson had figured out how to overcome this issue and the 2002 season stands as a testament to this. However one wonders looking at todays squad whether Cleary has a chance.

In fact glancing at the photo below of the minor premiership winning team the only survivors from the 2002 grand final team that I can spot in the current 2006 team are Guttenbeil, Koopu and Toopi. Hohaiha is still on contract but never seems to get any playing time these days. Why is this?

I do think Koopu has been long underated and shifting him to the centres seems like it is worth a shot:

Its also worth of note that Bones Byrne has lived up to his name breaking his arm in the first five minutes against the Sharks and is now out for eight weeks.

The Broncoes game could be an embaressment and I am bracing myself for an utter bath.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Sharks 34 Warriors 20

Well I can't say its a new sensation. That realisation that despite all my hopes and dreams the warriors still suck a butt. The herald referred to fact that "the euphoria of the Warriors victory over 2005 champions Wests Tigers last weekend quickly dissipated " and I think thats about right. Build me up buttercup just to tear me down.

And big ups to canterbury weather for destroying the Super14 final, that kind of flatness needs some sort of explanation anyway. I just hope triumphalism doesn't run unrestrained through the streets of christchurch. I suggest relocating the Crusaders franchise to Dili, East Timor.

Watched the game in desperation hoping to see Hurricanes pull something out of the fog, I think the canes and the warriors have a lot in common in terms of unmet expectations however I beleive the canes were robbed by the conditions. Was a big day for me turning out at the Temple Walkabout at 8.30am Saturday only to find 300 kiwis already there drinking snakebites. Caught a bit of the Broncoes v doggies after the final and have to say the broncoes looked crisp and in control from the get go.

Bad news by the way, Webb is probably gone at the end of 2006 season, if I was him I would go to franchise that know how to win.

Warriors now need to win 10 from 12 to make the top eight, and if you honestly beleive that that is going to happen you are borderline delusional. Cleary called the performance against the sharks the "worst performance of the year" which clearly begs the question how can a team yo-yo from one end of the performance spectrum to the other in just one week. The Warriors desperately need some consistency.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Warriors v Sharks Preview

Whenever the Warriors play the Sharks I can't help but think of 2002 watching the semi-final where the Warriors knocked out the Sharks to make it to the grand final. It was certainly a special day - images of Motu Tony stripping the ball inside the Sharks 10 to score a try and Toopi sprinting 50m to score in the corner, these are warm memories that will remain for ever. However Tony has been axed and now Toopi is on the out so we had best move on and deal with the 2006 matchup.

You know having not watched any Sharks games this season before I sat down to write this I didn't even know who they had in their team anymore. My mind had immediately turned to David Peachey, but of course he is well gone by now and is playing in purgatory apparently at that well known international league powerhouse club - Widness Vikings:

>>>UPDATE: Peachey has this week been sacked by Widness Vikings and re-entered the NRL by signing up with Rabbitohs:

Unfortunately my suspicions were confirmed that the least likeable player in the NRL, Kimmorley is still running the Sharkys show. But I was suprised to note that both ex-Warriors stars Nigel Vagana and Gorillasanti will run out against the Warriors. Its funny how some things change but some things stay the same.

So here is the preview of the match:

Vatuvei is still harbouring a hamstring injury:

and Toddy Bones Byrne will start in his place.

Anyway as far as the game goes I would say it is the usual 50-50 with the Warriors a slight favourite in my book on the basis of recent form and the Latu scandal.

Where are they now

Another new feature that I hope will become a regular here is the follow up on ex-Warriors of note to see how they are going these days.

First up we have perennial fan fave Mark Tookey.

The question is where is he now? I'm sure you have all been missing him just a much as I have.

Tookster left the warriors in July 2004 and shifted breifly to the Castleford Tigers, who were then relegated. In September 2004 Tookey joined the then named London Broncoes along with a number of other ex-Warriors. The team has since been renamed London Harlequins and the Tookster is still plying his trade in heavyweight forward play.

Here is a breif bio on the Tookster:

Hailing from Sydney, Mark originally played for the Logan Brothers and Springwood junior clubs.
Upon turning professional Mark signed for the ill-fated South Queensland Crushers, playing in the same team alongside Steele Retchless and Mat Toshack.
After a two year spell with Parramatta in Sydney, Mark crossed the Tasman to join the New Zealand Warriors. It was at the Auckland based club that Mark fully confirmed his reputation as a tough, rampaging forward. Stocky and relatively short of stature, but with immense power, Mark certainly takes some stopping from close range, which in the process often creates space for other runners.
After a successful 2002 season in Auckland, culminating in a NRL Grand Final appearance, Mark’s opportunities at the Warriors became limited and in July 2004 he signed for Castleford Tigers.
Quickly becoming a firm favourite of the Tigers crowd, Mark’s performances helped give the Yorkshire side a big boost in their ultimately unsuccessful fight against relegation. Mark signed for London Broncos in September 2004.

Here is his current profile with the Harlequins, notable for his playing weight of 110kg:

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Brain Explosion of the Year - Latu

Well this could be a continuing feature - as the incidents come up over the course of the year we will consider these posts to be nominations and then maybe around the time of the Grand Final we can select - with your help - Brain explosion of the Year.

Without a doubt the first nominee is ex-warrior Latu - in case you missed it from what I can gather it is alleged that Tevita Latu, now playing for the Cronulla Sharks, went out after the weekends game against the Doggies, had a few drinks and ended up punching a 19 year girl in the face outside a service station. And all this after recovering from TB to emerge as a potential star at the hooking position for the Warriors.

Check the story here:,2106,3677189a10713,00.html

Then the consequences - sacked by Cronulla and an apparent lifetime ban from the NRL,2106,3677667a10713,00.html

Nigel Vagana thinks this is a little harsh -

Don't worry the NZRL will still have him -,2106,3678907a10713,00.html

Remember those charming Warriors development players - I do - "In 2003, three Auckland-based teenage rugby league players were jailed after a pregnant girl was beaten and kicked in the stomach to try and procure an abortion. Shaun Metcalf and Geoffrey Ruaporo were sentenced to 18 months in prison, while Kyle Donovan got a 15-month term." These guys are now playing Bartercard! What kind of an example is this.

Now I like Latu as much as the next guy - he is clearly talented - I was shocked when the Warriors released him - but do the NZRL really want to lock in the view (particularly in Australia) that they are bottom feeders of the worst kind willing to accept any player no matter how heinous their particular violent crimes. I mean do the NZRL have to maintain some kind of standards for the good of society - or is this just recognition, as the NZRL claim, that League has a role in rehabilitating these deviants?

And finally despite my self-righteous protestations - if the NZRL are going to let him play how about asking the NRL if the Warriors can do the rehab? - we could use Latu as a backup hooker.

Game of the Year

Although I did not have the pleasure of watching this game it seems that this could be one of those moments that will either sustain me through another season of mediocrity or actually mark something of a turning point for Cleary Year 1.

Warriors 34 - Tigers 12

Full match report:

Mannering putting in another solid performance and the boys seem to have basically hammered the opposition into submission with gang tackles and bruising defence. While smaller faster players are clearly becoming far more dominant in the NRL than they have been recently their small bodies do tend to break a lot easier when crushed by a large Warriors forward pack. It even seems that Guttenbeil "The Pedestrian" is actually playing well for a change. Rugby League Week even named him to team of the week. What a team that must be. I do not miss those hitups of his and would not be unhappy if he got the axe. Let me know your thoughts on this.

Overall I am delighted to see the Warriors deliver something on what we have to beleive is their untapped potential but they will need to win a significant number more in a row to have any shot at the top eight.

Price back in the squad this week - sharks disrupted by the Brain explosion of the year (see next post) - one has to have hope that the boys can pull out another win at Shark Park.

Warriors season recap

Hello and welcome

Let me temporarily put the stunning ("best of performance of the year") win over the Tigers aside and recap my views on the whole season so far - what some are calling Cleary Year 1:

Now that I am resident in London I wistfully log on to the internet when I wake up the day after each Warriors' game and let out seemingly the same sigh of disappointment each week. Why are they so bad? I see that Toopi has been dropped and that Mannering managed to score another try in his start against the Dragons. So this seems to bode well for the future - do they have Mannering on a long term deal? Can't say I was lying awake hoping they would extend Tony Martin and Rovelli but they seem to have done so anyway. As long as it is all part of the master plan I am ok with it.

Price is playing origin and I can't decide whether this is good or bad. Surely good that he continues to play at such a high level but at his age can his body really cope with origin duty? Whether Queensland win or lose (update: they lost) it will be the warriors who are left trying to heal his broken body while they continue to pay his exorbitant wages.

Finally if I allow myself to accept that this season is yet another lost cause for the warriors is there any hope for the future - are all these rookies Cleary is pulling out actually showing any signs that they can play at a top 8 level without their brains exploding?

A friend of mine - we shall call him Paul recently had this to say about the Warriors season (pre-Tigers blowout):

"this warriors team is the worst I have ever seen. sure they have been bad in the past but at least they would occassionally score freaky deaky tries and pull off amazing come from behind wins. Those days are gone. they are so boring. Not one player has any x factor. I think Cleary may become a good coach but the players he is choosing from make his task almost impossible. Rovelli looks a better half back option from Fein but then that wouldn't be hard. rovelli has just been signed for an extra 3 years. Toopi may finally have brain exploded himself right out of the warriors squad he is dropped this game and apparently is considering offers from england. mannering looks solid but not spectacular. still he's only about 19. the only hope for the warriors is if they find a miracle player from barter card or something. depressing isn't it."

Let the comments begin.....