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.


James D said...

My thoughts:

Bring back Big Joe Vagana.

Search the local clubs for the new Stacy Jones (need a local superstar).

Do what NZ league does best. Put leathal weapon Wiki in second row// back him up with two mean heavyweight props// and throw in another hard hitting player like AB Jerry Collins at Centre/// This would create holes in the line and set up our backs for a field day.

Win or lose I think Warriors are playing to the Aussies strengths - our game is hard and humble. Lose the underhanded razzle-dazzle and bring back the good old days.



James D said...

I'm talking Gary Freeman /// Dean Lonagan // definitly talking Tawera Nikau//....Inga the winga// Steve Kearny///

No dainty behind the backs - no super side steps/// Just setting a play // hitting it up hard// drawing players.... scoring ties????

Matlock said...

I think maybe the Warriors need to look beyond the usual local nz clubs and aussie outback in their search for new talent.

Whatever happened to the good old fashioned thievery of union players? Lets face it - most of the rugby talent in nz is in union. Surely teams like Canterbury have development squads choca bloc with young rugby talent in them? If the salary cap is an issue as far as it limits the amount that can be paid (and makes union relatively more attractive) then maybe some lateral thinking is required - training camps in Miami and Hawaii perhaps?

also, i've always been intrigued by the fact that Doug Howlett was a late convert to the game of rugby (my understanding is that he took the game up in his mid to late teens). Prior to playing rugby he was a track sprinter (and again, i believe he held some sort of age group records). The moral here is that you can teach a sprinter to throw a ball and tackle whereas the reverse is not necessarily true. Maybe the warriors scouts should be attending regional athletic meets around nz to see if they can find a young sprinter/athlete that may be able to play league.

Perhaps they do this stuff already, i don't know.

Just some thoughts

Gingadino said...

I agree lets start thieving Union talent - I have already suggested Orene Aii although personally I can never forgive him for defeating Kelston Boys in the Auckland Final with a drop goal

Highlights of the year - apart from getting rid of Sione - would probably be for me the roosters game - okay they were pretty woeful but they are the team I hate the most - and it got rid of ricky stuart

Lowlights for me was going to the first game of the season to see them lose - as every Warrior game I have gone to watch they lose i now watch hiding behind the counch - and I find it a lot easier to swear without an audience

Mclennan for the Roosters - no wont happen Fien for the Kiwis - hmm - I think he will put on the black jersey - am worried about the Tri Nations though - watched the final in a pub in Edinburgh - after being at the All Black V Scotland game and I can quioet honestly say I have never been more excited in my life - wont happen this year -or ever again?

Munners said...

Steve Irwin was a barely amusing lunatic who should not be mourned as a hero. He is like the guys from jackass, but only did animals and wore the same thing every day.

Peter Brock is a true legend and a real loss to the world. I am genuinely sad to hear about his death.

Oh, and you tell Ivan Cleary to leave the Canterbury rugby stocks alone - I would much rather keep Canterbury winning than see the Warriors improve. If you want a decent rugby target though, I would aim for Nick Evans. Fabulous kicking game, imagine averaging 5 or more 40-20's a game. And he is never going to get game time for the All Blacks with Daniel Carter and Luke McAllister around, so might as well become a Warriors and Kiwis star.