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.

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