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