Monday, November 05, 2007

Police battle lawyers in Pakistan

Oops sorry thats an actual news headline and not some oddball attempt to be funny.

Anyway fantastic match Man U v Arsenal, a draw was the only fair result and 2-2 is plenty of excitement for all the fans concerned. I watched at the Clapham North pub and was impressed with the local rastas dancing for the Arsenal goals as well as the rabid Man U supporters who must have thought they were at old trafford what with the songs and chanting.

We are headed to Old Trafford this coming Sunday for Man U v Blackburn so I will give you a full match report and some pics on that in due course.

In the NFL the Patriots squeezed out the Colts 24-20 in a superbowl preview.

As for the Kiwis I don't think they even deserve a mention. I have accepted the fact that international rugby league is a joke, its about time everyone else did as well. Willie Mason is a nutjob and the Warriors should not sign him no matter how cheap he gets.....Yours please...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Don't you think it is interesting how sometimes it is more interesting to think about things and anticipate them than to actually do them? Like for example isn't it more interesting to talk about playing Monopoly or Table tennis against your mates than to actually play those games?

Or to put it in context isn't it likely to more in large part more interesting to anticipate Man U v Arsenal than to watch Man U v Arsenal? Well I anticipate its going to be stunning game but that may not be the case and right now I am able to imagine an infinite variety of matchups and events that the actual team lists and the reality of the game and conditions will no doubt displace.

Anyway a massive game coming this UK saturday morning, with a 12.45pm kickoff time I may have to lever myself into the pub no later than midday Saturday, oh the hardship.

A quick wrap on the other sports interesting me at present:


Massive game in the NFL this week - kindof a mini-super bowl with the hot as fuck unbeaten New Patriots vs the super bowl champion and also unbeaten Indianapolis Colts this Sunday. Peyton Manning(Colts QB) is probably the best player of his generation chased closely by Tom Brady (Patriots QB) so a close one is in store. For a few years past the Patriots had a habit of knocking Indy out of the playoffs every year and Peyton and the Colts were accused of having big game-itis second only to the All Blacks.

Anyway Indy won the Superbowl last year so maybe Peyton and posse are over that but certainly a massive game in store.


A brand new season started yesterday so a world of possibililty awaits, will the big combo in Boston be able to deliver? My opinion, no, they won't, each of Garnett, Allen and Pierce are individually stunning players but all are too old and too used to losing to put it together. I predict a series of serious injuries leading to a cold towel to the lottery for Boston.

My love goes to Lebron, go and get it this year bro. Spurs have got to be too old this year - I have been saying that for about five years now - does Duncan not age?

Anyway I reckon Houston v Cavs in the finals, Cavs in seven.

We out, Bring on Cleary Year III

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Post-RWC season overview and objective reflection

Hello people, I know it has been a while but I thought it was probably the right time to deliver a quick re-cap on the Warriors season. The All Blacks debacle just goes to show how fun it is to support a team like the Warriors, low expectations are a wonderful thing.

A Storm v Manly grand final was to my mind a fair representation of the NRL season 2007 with those two teams a step ahead of the chasing pack for the whole year.

Finishing fourth in a very even and tough 2007 NRL season is great acheivement by the Warriors, in fact placing Cleary Year II in elite company in respect of all-time Warriors seasons, with the second highest regular season premiership finish ever - behind only the 2002 golden team and a healthy fourth in all-time win percentage:

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 (*4pt deduction - salary cap breach )
2007 Cleary Watson Scurrah 13 10 1 54.17% 4th - qualifying final and semi-final

So overall you have to be pretty happy with Cleary - he has this team on a positive track upward. Its a pretty fine margin between greatness and mediocrity - the margin vs Eels in the home semi only two points (same as ABs losing margin v France). Losing a home playoff game is pretty grim considering they come along once in a blue moon at this franchise but hey - its a lot better than waiting four years to be knocked out at the first elimination stage.

Clearly looks to be slowly building a team that can contend - next year could be the last for Price - so lets hope they can make the most of it.

Cardiff is now but a dim memory in my new and improved positive outlook on the months ahead - bring on Cleary Year III.

Season tickets are already on sale - get yours now!

Monday, September 17, 2007

End of season mode

Well the Warriors are out of the playoffs after what can only be described as a stunning and humiliating collapse in Townsville.

The blog is of course pretty horribly out of date as I have just been away in France for a week watching the ABs demolish Italy and Portugal. Nice weather there too.

So to summarise the Warriors are out, the blog is out of date and I am back at work in London.

Its not cool.

I will update the blog though, just give me time, and if you are looking for a silver lining, look at it this way, Cleary Year II still ranks overall as one of the top five warriors seasons ever, and you have the rest of the RWC to look forward to.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Countdown to D-day

Well only 24 hours to go until the biggest game in recent Warriors history and not a single comment on the blog? Where are you Warriors fans?
Hope someone of you managed to get tix to the game - I love the quote from the Mad Butcher ("Butch") saying that he would "spit in the faces" of scalpers denying true fans the chance to attend the game. Hey mate why don't you show a bit of emotion - its almost like you don't care enough about the not.

Anyway I am pretty pumped up - both about the Warriors and that this is my last day at work for a week as we are flying out tonight to Marseilles for the All Blacks first RWC game vs Italy on Saturday.

A massive sporting weekend awaits, if I can watch the Warriors in Marseille tomorrow morning I will do so - should be 10.30am kickoff by my reckoning.
I hope all of you have a great weekend - get yourself a slab of lion red and enjoy the big games!
Go the Warrriors!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Booyaka - Into the TOP FOUR!!!

A win over the Panthers and the boys have done what I had thought was unthinkable only a month or two ago. The top four, it does not seem real. A new golden era awaits!

Anyway so now we look forward to a home semi next week. Who will the opponent be - I am trying to figure that out now but if you know already let me know - Broncoes or Eels if they win tomorrow I guess?
Stunning stuff I am excited! Hit me with your thoughts Warriors fans.

A big apology by the way to all those readers who may have noted my rather slack posting over the last couple of weeks, its hard to keep up with the blog sometimes but I will try and do better during this crucial time.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Warriors in the playoffs Hooray!

Hello again - what can I say - Warriors back in the playoffs for the first time since the Anderson era. Feels good doesn't it! A win against Penrith and a top four spot with a home semi the following week - you lucky Auckland residents - better start queuing for tix at the Mad Butcher now! I officially announce that unrestrained gushing over the Warriors can begin. This team looks like they may have what it takes to go to the grand final.
Anyway I watched the highlights of the Manly game on TV3 website - you have got to love Wairangi Koopu - as I understand he has been injured for a large proportion of this season but I would have to say he is about my favourite all time Warriors player. Well maybe him and Mr Effective and Tookey.

Anyways Penrith game should be a win - if the Warriors want to go to the grand final they should consider this game a qualifying final and bag that top four spot which will give them a bye in the second week of the playoffs.

First round playoffs will likely be a tough match but a home game makes it much more likely to be a win. Keep me up to date with your texts.

Also I never heard from the Wellington Warrior re his trip to Auckland for the Manly game - did it all happen in the end bro? I recall on your last trip your airline went bust at the crucial moment and you had to buy a substitute plane ticket.

As an aside I note Andrew Johns has indicated he has been on drugs. This is a pretty strange story - first of all he manages to get busted in possession whilst in London and then goes on to admit to drug use "throughout his career" so as to escape from the high pressure as a player of his stature. It wouldn't surprise me if Johns has been on pretty heavy pain mediciation for much of the last ten years but why he would choose to make this kind of admission unprompted kind of escapes me.
Go the Warriors!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Manly at home - Game of the Year?

Well Canberra loss was a real bugger. Warriors stand on the precipice and could either storm into the playoffs or snatch another year in playoff wilderness from the jaws of top eight qualification. I think its clear that if the Warriors don't win at least one of their final two games their top eight hopes are slim to nil.

Manly at home up first and a massive game is in the offing with a sell-out crowd for the first time in what seems like eons. Its definitely winnable but I would be careful of taking this team lightly even with the controversial "resting" of five starters.

I am going to the Lake District for the long bank holiday weekend and if I can manage it will try and catch the Warriors game at 3am Sunday if the hotel has Setanta - otherwise I am reliant on my peeps to keep me up to date with the score.
Was a terrible sports weekend last week with Man U losing to Sven's rejuvenated Man City side and the Warriors losing a heartbreaker in Canberra. I watched England lose to Germany last night as well so I need some positive results to improve my mood.

By the way - Corey Haim and Corey Feldman are cool.

Those of you who attend the Manly game this week - what about dropping your thoughts on the blog when you get home afterwards. Here's a discussion topic to get you started - Whats your favourite seating area in Mt Smart to watch the game?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

trash of the titans

Another great victory for the boys over the Titans 30-6 in front of a stunning turnout at Mt Smart of over 20,000!

Nothing to complain about here with Rovelli delivering a master class performance with three tries.

Warriors now stand 4th with the balance of the round pending on Sunday. 25 points in hand with three games left, Raiders and Panthers away and the Sea Eagles at home. I think the goal now should be to win all three of these games and storm into the top four or win two with a chance for the top four. Cowboys results will be crucial as for the last few weeks it looks like they could be our playoff week 1 opposition - either home if we finish 4th or away if we finish 5th.

Anyway this season is starting to look like the real deal. Consistency is key and if we can win both our remaining two away games it bodes very well for our playoff future.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


What is this story? Crocket is some sort of alleged sex related scandal? This franchise is always psychologically fragile - this is a disaster at this stage of the season!

The story is already in circulation and Crockett has denied the allegations. Quote: "Sydney newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported that sexual assault claims had been made against an unnamed NRL player.
The Telegraph said a woman made a complaint to police in the inner city suburb of Redfern early on Monday.
It is understood the player allegedly met the woman while out with teammates, the paper said.
The pair were believed to have left the group some time before the woman went to the station to complain that she had been sexually assaulted."

This the follow up story - nothing new here - other than a new Latu brain explosion. Anyway Crockett is out of this weekend's game vs the Titans. Patrick Ah Van will play instead.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Pressure Chooker - 31 all draw with Roosters

Sounds like a great game a real thriller.

Enthusiasm levels have rarely been this high for the Warriors franchise.

Sorry for the brevity of the post - check the comments on the post below for some awesome feedback on the Roosters game. And like the wellington warriors please make an effort to go and attend the remaining home games. Despite the fantastic recent form of the boys - the season remains in the balance.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Warriors frenzy

Well the media is going wild - NZ herald asserting that Warriors can make the playoffs with only two more wins and three wins a high likelihood of a home semi-final!.

The Warriors have only had a home semi once in their history vs Canberra in 2002. Whilst this brings back warm memories of my attendance at the game and chants of "Ali Ali Ali" after Ali scored a try on his first touch of the ball, please lets not get ahead ourselves here. That 2002 team was the greatest Warriors team ever - this team have not yet done enough for us to consider themselves up there with that 2002 team . I would be delighted for them to prove otherwise but the way things stack up now even the playoffs are not yet certain. In a couple of weeks I will be gushing too when the boys make the playoffs but I am keeping a lid on it for now.

Cleary has set a very measured tone which I think is the right attitude to adopt - its not that long since this team lost six in a row after all. Check out the post match press conference for some awkward silences and blank stares from Cleary and Price. These guys are not getting swept up in the hype. (cheers to Paul from TV3 for hooking me up with the link ).

Tigers crushed the Cowboys on Monday night so the Warriors are safe in fourth for now.

By the way I am aware that some of you attended the nine try romp over the Knights at Mt Smart during the weekend - so please don't be shy - lets hear your thoughts on the game.

Big ups to Stacey Jones performance over the weekend as well - who after a couple of un-inspiring years in the UK Super league has finally taken the Catalan Dragons to a major cup final. Nice one.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

We're Not Mad, and We'll Continue to Take It

Well the headline above has nothing to do with the Warriors emphatic win over the Knights, in fact its about apathetic fan reaction to the NBA betting scandal but I like it nonetheless.

NZ papers calling the 52-10 win a steamroll and the scoreline certainly backs that up.

Warriors have now got a 10 win 9 loss record which means they have a win percentage above 50%. Being a .500 team might not sound very impressive but if you cast your eye over the table below you will see Cleary Year II is now in pretty elite company when it comes to Warriors history. Anytime you get above 50% with a Warriors team you are doing very well, if Cleary can maintain it this will be only the 5th time in thirteen seasons the Warriors have ever finished a season with a positive win record.

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 )
2007 Cleary Watson Scurrah 10 9 0 52.63% 4th (mid round 20)

Only five games left now - Warriors looking good with 22 points. Three more wins required for absolute saftey, Roosters up next, actually looks like a very tough match. Roosters are on fire since Fittler took the reins and I would be surprised if the Warriors can win it. After that Titans, Raiders, Sea Eagles and Panthers. Barring Manly we should win three of these games. So thats the recipe - lets see it happen!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

rush of blood to the head

Remain calm Warriors fans. We are not in the finals yet. But it looks good after a great win over the Tigers away from home with a display of form in adverse conditions, and with unfavourable referring. This is a good sign - when the team can win under pressure, away and without having fifty fifty calls going their way. Jonah was in the dressing room after the game - apparently he is a big fan and helped the team through their horror run of six losses.

Warriors now stand sixth, with even a chance at fifth if the Eels beat the Broncoes by 14 or more points on Monday night.

The NRL table looks something like the English football premiership with Manly and Melbourne off in a world of their own and all the others around the same points. With the Brisbane game pending on Monday, the Warriors now sit equal on 20 points with three teams in the 5 -8 spots all just seperated on point diff, those teams are: Brisbane, Dogs and Tigers.

Eels and Cowboys stand just one win ahead in 3rd and 4th on 22 points.
So its a very interesting run home indeed, every game remains crucial as one loss could see the boys drop right out of the eight. I still think they need four wins from six games to qualify for sure. Insane as it may seem - a couple of further wins could see the boys qualify in the top four so the season is on a knife edge - its hard to get bored with this but I could do without the nervous tension.
The Warriors' form seems to be coming on at just the right time so lets keep that ball rolling and for gods sake those of you in Auckland please attend the last few home games. Only three remain - Knights (Saturday 28 July, 7.30pm) , Titans (Saturday 11 August, 7.30pm) and Manly (weekend of 24-27 August). The first two of these games have got to be wins so f$$king turn up and the Manly game should be a smoker in Round 24 with the season likely to be on the line for the Warriors. Those of you who do attend can then post game reports on this blog.
Only bummer coming out of the game this week is the sending off - would be interested in your feedback on that - in particular what kind of further penalty do you think WadeMac might suffer - we need this guy to play all the games in the run home.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Work is so so so lame

Hello once again from the world of my office - its after midnight and I am stuck in a feedback loop of email proposals and counter-proposals. Comments on the draft then comments on the comments then a markup of the comments. Its riveting.

But not as exciting as that massive steam explosion in NYC - woh that looks like a doozy - almost as good as the monster sized Brazilian plane crash the day before. Bad taste to make fun but seriously if you are going to be in a plane crash you hope you don't crash land across a major road into a petrol station.
Also something about the photo to the right is just really really special. I am still figuring out what that is but the essence is definitely there.

Anyway enough bitterness the Warriors are alive, alive I say! Its squeeky bum time as Sir Alex Ferguson might say - lets win every game for the next five games and let the other teams sweat to make the playoffs. Sweet as.
I also note that Ma'a Nonu is most likely not in the All Blacks world cup squad - what up? I am clearly missing something here but has Nonu fallen from grace? I know he's not got great ball skill but he does provide a lot of "impact" off the bench?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Warriors are alive

Well the Warriors are back in the top eight. After all my doom and gloom if the Warriors continue to win this way they have a shot at making the playoffs and maybe lasting beyond week 1.

That said being in the top eight now does not automatically mean the boys can stay in the top 8 without winning virtually every remaining game. The teams 3rd-8th are very close and those teams below the Warriors aren't that bad either. So a very interesting run home remains.

Next game Tigers away - as always a seemingly winnable game - however Tigers have climbed to 6th on the table on the back of some decent form and rank ahead of the Warriors on wins - not just points difference. This week however the Tigers got blown out by Manly 34-4 so the Warriors have to beleive they can win this and continue to build the momentum into the playoffs.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Join the Black Parade

Well apologies are due once again - my work and life is such at the moment that daily posting just isn't going to happen. I will try and update the blog once a week but I really don't want this blog to die so if there is a keen bean out there who would like to be contributor of posts to the blog if they would like to contact me maybe we can keep this baby alive a little longer even when I am otherwise occupied.

With that boring house keeping out of the way without further ado let us wallow in the irritating 18-12 loss to the Cowboys which sounds a lot like a game the Warriors could have or should have one - particularly with a try disallowed by video that sounds like complete BS.

The table may be compressed but I would have to say to make the playoffs now the boys have to win most of their remaining eight games. Beating the cowboys would have been a big help and got us into the eight this week but we can't cry anymore over spilt ball.

Run home is as follows, with current table rankings of opposition teams alongside:

Round 18 - Sun, Jul 15 (2.00pm) -Dragons (H) - 13th

Round 19 -Sun, Jul 22 (2.00pm) - Tigers (A) - 5th

Round 20 -Sat, Jul 28 (7.30pm) - Knights (H) -12th

Round 21 -Sun, Aug 5 (2.00pm) - Roosters (A) - 15th

Round 22 -Sat, Aug 11 (7.30pm) -Titans (H) - 8th

Round 23 -Aug 17-20 - Raiders (A) -14th

Round 24 -Aug 24-27 - Manly (H) -2nd

Round 25 - Aug 31-Sep 3 - Panthers (A) -16th

Warriors sit on 16 points with 8 games to play. My std playoff cut-off of 28pts would require six further wins (or seven wins to make 30pts for certainty). Maybe the boys can get away with five wins in this compressed table but its still tough. If they beat all the teams currently ranked below them (10th) that is five wins and that should be seen as the absolute minimum requirement for the balance of this season. Titans at home is also a winnable game and that would give them six wins and probably get us to the playoffs. So go out and get it peeps!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Back in London

Well my apologies for letting the blog slip a little, the combination of a shocking Warriors run and a very busy time for Rachel and I has meant that my attention has been elsewhere in recent weeks.

To quickly recap in the last weeks we have visited Barcelona, I went to Budapest with my work, we went to Corfu for a few days with Rach's dad and then rushed back to London to board a coach to Glastonbury. We returned from Glastonbury, this Monday morning at 7.30am. Its been a great few weeks but very full on and I fortunately have today off to rest and recover. Poor Rach has had to head off to work. Glastonbury was fun, but ultimately marred by shocking wet weather which is now flooding significant portions of the UK and closing various highways.

Anyway enough about me and on with the Warriors. A couple of recent wins, including an impressive thrashing of the Panthers have seen the boys climb a few spots in the table to 9th and only outside the eighth slot on points differential. So with ten rounds left, if we say the Warriors need 28 or 30 points to make the playoffs, that means they need to win at least a further 7 games and ideally 8 games. The eveness of the competition could mean the threshold for the playoffs is lower than in recent years however I think you will find this is realistically about where the cutoff will shake out.

Titans next up for the Warriors away at Carrara. The Titans are riding high at 4th in the table. This could be a tough match but very much a game the Warriors need to win, particularly as the Warriors will meet the Titans again in Round 22.

All the best and great to see the All Blacks win and Team NZ back in the saddle against Alinghi - lets hope they can keep it up!

Monday, June 04, 2007

How do you solve a problem like the Warriors?

It seems the outcome of the Warriors v Dogs match was certainly predetermined by the sending off after 4 minutes of winger Crockett. However there is a simple way to avoid this kind of thing - don't commit stupid violent swinging arm fouls in the early stages of a crucial home game with your season on the line.

This might seem a bit harsh but I've seen the replay - the victim Cameron Phelps was unconcious and vomiting for 30 minutes after being stretchered off the field - this didn't happen by accident - i.e he slipped and fell headfirst into my aggressively swinging closeline arm. The Warriors need to take responsibility for their own fate. They are the masters of their own destiny - pick it up guys. The playoffs are still a mathematical possibility - chase that possibility before it slips away.
Team NZ are flying the flag for NZ sporting hopes and dreams at the moment - lets hope they don't blow it.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Warriors Season Over

Well the Dogs won big at Mt Smart. Can't beleive this was allowed to happen. The Warriors season is OVER. Warriors needing 9 or 10 wins from 13 remaining games to make the playoffs. On current form I would say the chances of this happening are about 100 to 1.

On a lighter note following on from the post below the Cavaliers won game 6 vs Detroit so Lebron James is now going to the NBA finals to play San Antonio. At 22 Lebron is joining the pantheon of the greatest athletes of all time.

London is sunny and warm today, so I am not going to wallow in disappointment about the Warriors. The question is where to from here? Axe Cleary? Elevate the development squad? If anyone has any creative ideas lets see them as comments to this blog fools!

As an aside I have been getting quite impressed by the Facebook website lately. Its a pretty cool site and if you are not registered on it I would recommend doing so, you can keep tabs on all your peeps worldwide.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Lebron James

Well this post isn't even going to pretend to be about the Warriors. Its about Lebron James who yesterday single handedly led his NBA team to within one win of the NBA finals. He is 22 years old.

Lebron scored 48 points including the game winning basket in Double Overtime to defeat Detroit in game 5 of the 7 game eastern conference finals series.

This performance is already being labeled the greatest single game playoff performance in NBA history.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Well this post is mainly just a placeholder to mark the fact that I am aware of the Warriors spiralling fortunes and that although I am upset about it I can bear to talk about it.

A ray of hope with the signing of Tate from Brisbane - if it works out he could be a really big contributer. On the other hand at 25 he has already had a serious back injury and thats a big problem for an NRL player going forward, the real reason he is coming to the Warriors may not be the "lifestyle" but may in fact be that the Warriors are most willing to pay up big and suck up the risk of his back limiting his playing time.

Vatuvei is in the dog house this week and fair enough.

On a lighter note I went to Lagos, Nigeria last week. Was a real eye opener. Got back on Friday morning and after another day at the office went to Oslo, Norway for the long bank holiday weekend. The two places could not be further apart - although they both have massive oil wealth.

Anyway the doomsday countdown suggests the Warriors season is over, I hope this is not the case - although I am thinking they need 10 wins to make it into eighth, 9 wins may be enough, but even then they need to win 9 of 14 remaining games - thats a 64% win ratio. Those of you who have followed the Warriors for a while no this team has only won more than 50% of its games in three seasons in their previous 12 year history (1995, 2002 and 2003). So I'm not holding my breath.

Friday, May 18, 2007


Well if the warriors manage to win this fu$k$en game then I will be majorly suprised.

I am due to travel to Nigeria AND I DON'T LIKE it. so that is that. The Warriors are a disafu$k$npointment to me. Save me please.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Lame lame lame - stunning collapse against the Knights and another loss -Cleary Year II now slips into the void with which we are far too familiar of desperately trying just to make the top eight. Top eight is of course still a possibility, but you need to be in the top four to be a real competitor in the playoffs.

For now though top eight is the dream and I have updated the doomsday countdown accordingly. Ten wins from sixteen remaining games is what is required. At the current win rate of 50% the Warriors will win only eight of those remaining games and will not make the playoffs again. So pick it up now guys or wait out yet another season in the wilderness.
Sixth in the table is not a fair indication of where this season is at.

With all that said - this was a round of upsets - tipping this competition is hard when its so even. Only one more week till Origin so the Warriors need to make the most of any advantage they can take from this and get some wins. Next two games Tigers and Eels are both winnable games - however both of the last two games were winnable as well.

Friday, May 11, 2007


Warriors face the Knights tomorrow at a presumably antagonistic Energy Australia Stadium in Newcastle. Cleary is frankly lucky that he has held onto his table position - which due to the bye is making this season look better than it really is - had things been different the Warriors could have spent this week in 10th. Cleary has this team on the cusp of either bottom top eight worthieness or another wasted season. And frankly I don't blame Cleary - I think he is clever and able - but its a pyschological battlefield out there at Warriors training and in particular in the changing sheds before they run out on the field. God knows how to coach this club to get the best out of them.

By the way I note Lowe's columns have resumed in the Herald, and they continue to haunt me. I originally passed on the opportunity mock Lowe's analogy between rugby league and.....the first Gulf War - however now I can't help it anymore - do you read the f$$cking paper Graham or watch TV for that matter- is this analogy good taste - is Stormin Normin Swartzkopf still a hero to you in hindsight - what happened to your brain while you were on that surgery table......and on and on.

Enjoy the weekend of games, I see as of Friday nights games the Sharks have beaten the Broncoes and Manly continue their very successful season (Minor Prems in waiting?) with a further win over the Eels. Warriors need a win to stay with the top 8 - go out and get it.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Woeful performance

Well a total disaster against the Sharkies culminating in the loss of the type of game which should be a given win. Typical Warriors. Five players on report and two players suspended for a game.

What a bath.

Anyway I guess we can start thinking about next week - Cleary has been forced to make changes and Hiho returns from injury - at least he has sufficient depth in the squad to cover for the suspended absentees.

Milan was great by the way and Man U have won the premiership so that is some consolation for a dismal Warriors performance.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


A good opportunity for a further home win this week for the Warriors v Sharks on Saturday, the Warriors are unbeaten at home so far this year and some of the Sharkies are surely going to be tired after playing Monday and then five players backing up from City v Country mid-week. McKinnon's out which is a point for concern but lets hope for a thrashing. Sharks are sitting eighth in the table with three wins - having beaten only the Raiders, Dragons and Penrith. These are junk wins so it will be interesting to see how Ricky Stuart's tired Sharks side deal with a real opponent and in particular the Warriors pack.

Its a Saturday night game (kickoff 7.30pm) so those of you in Auckland - don't stay home and watch the game on Sky1- get on down to Mt Smart and drink a warm over-priced beer out of a plastic cup and cheer the boys on in person.
And yes I did watch Man U get crushed by AC Milan in the Champions League second leg semi-final last night so the treble dream is over. As long as Chelsea don't win the premiership I think I will be able to cope. And I am due to travel to Milan this bank holiday weekend so its all ok.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Triumph over Souths - Sharks this week

Great win for the boys over Souths last weekend - sorry I have been a bit slack in updating the blog - spent Sunday down in Brighton by the sea side enjoying the remarkably early summer weather here in the UK.

I really liked the Watson v Crowe angle on the whole Souths matchup and hopefully with the big Kiwi contingent this can grow into a real heated rivalry between the two clubs and owners.

Was disturbed to hear that fullback McKinnon has been suspended for two weeks - it is these kind of dumb suspensions that have killed the Warriors in years gone by (read Ridge) - anyway Patrick Ah Van is to deputise at fullback in his first NRL hit out of the year vs Cronulla this week which should be interesting.

I have also updated the warriors doomsday countdown in the status report in the corner of the blog - Warriors now need 10 wins from 18 games in order to get the magic 30 point mark which should guarantee beyond any doubt that they will make the playoffs.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Action stations

Well a couple of games coming up tonight - Dogs v Tigers and Broncoes v Storm. The grand final replay should be a good game - if theres any change to the Warriors table position after these results I will update the status report in the upper right hand corner of the blog - although only a Dogs win should have any effect.

Cleary has noted that the Warriors have not won away this year yet (losses to Manly and the Storm)- and he is not happy about it - wants to improve the away form of the boys this week against the Rabs. Frankly I can see the Warriors losing this week but at least they could then say as an excuse that they have lost to the three best teams in the NRL away?

And does anyone apart from me think its bizarre that the premier league feeder club of the South Sydney Rabbitohs these days is the North Sydney Bears - isn't something about that just geographically wrong? Its a sad story for the Bears though - to go from being an NRL franchise in their own right to being a joint partner in the Northern Eagles - to being a premier league feeder to the Rabbitohs - ouch - bet the old Norths boys don't like that much. Or maybe its all part of a Jason Taylor (Norths 1994-99) master plan now that he coachs the Rabs? Anyway the Warriors feeder side Auckland Lions play the Bears this weekend - it looks to be a pretty strong Bears side featuring former Penrith grand final winner Joe Galuvao.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Super Rabs

To touch quickly on the two big sporting matches mentioned in my previous post - obviously the collapse of the Black Caps when it really mattered was a big disaster - but then again making the semis was likely all anyone expected anyway? Or is that the problem - even the team thought their tournament was unlikely to continue beyond the semis? Fleming gone as captain - should only be picked in the team on form in future.

As for Man U those of you lucky enough to watch the game against AC Milan witnessed one of the most spectacular and entertaining matches in recent memory - Man U up 1-0 early on only for Milan to come back to lead 2-1 after Kaka scored twice in the first half - only for Rooney to score twice in the second half including an injury time 91st minute screamer for Man U to win 3-2. Stunning sporting entertainment. Chelsea beat Liverpool 1-0 in their leg 1 semi but the differences in the scorelines typifies the differences in the teams - Chelsea are a boring team and tough to watch.

Anyway on the subject of the Rabbitohs they are clearly enjoying a revival after a complete offseason revival and the forwards matchup of the incumbent Kiwi captain vs ex captain Wiki looks to be a good one. TAB have Warriors as favourites but I note the Sydney morning herald "expert" tipping panel is unanimously picking the Rabs. Should be a good match - enjoy.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The latest

A big day in world sports today - NZ v Sri Lanka to play in the first world cup cricket semi-final - as of writing that game is due to start in less than 1 hour. And tonight at 7.45pm UK time Manchester United will play the home leg of their Champions League semi final vs AC Milan. Both massive games!

Following on from the post below it turns out that Walker has been spared the axe by the Titans on the condition that he go into rehab for eight weeks during which time he will not play first grade NRL.

Warriors news - this week we look forward to a big round 6 match up against the red hot - beleive it or not - Rabbitohs. I am unlikely to be able to post any Watership down material this time - I recall that in the most recent matchup between these teams the Warriors won 66-0.

Anyway Witt's contract has been extended for two years after his impressive play filling in for the long term injured Jerome Ropati (who has recently played his first game back in Bartercard - scoring a try for the Auckland Lions) and Cleary has named his team to play this weekend including a return of Gatis to the bench. Looks promising. Jerome is play another week in Bartercard and will be joined by fullback recruit Aidan Kirk who is also returning from long term injury.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Possible brain explosion candidate?

I quite like this story about recurring offender Chris Walker getting tossed from a nightclub over Easter and subsequently on the verge of being axed by the Titans. It's since been revealed Walker is suffering from a 'psychological condition', which is exacerbated by alcohol use." The Daily Telegraph in Australia has the scoop that the Titans won't fire Walker after revelations that Walker has "alcohol dependency, brought on by anxiety". Seems to be some confusion here - whether the alcohol causes the mental problem or the mental problem causes the drinking.

Genuine mental illness aside alot of problem drinkers have this condition - that is - can't control their drinking or their behaviour once they are drunk. Without wanting to cast the first stone, this mental illness ploy is PR BS as far as I am concerned. Walker would be better off to be contrite, admit a drinking problem in a public statement and then go to AA.

The Titans were considered the last stop for Walker, who has acrimoniously split with Brisbane, Sydney Roosters, South Sydney and Melbourne during a chequered career. His most infamous brain explosion was in May 2004 when he was charged with assaulting police outside Brisbane's casino during an Origin camp and dumped from the Queensland squad.

Who would win in a Sione v Walker drinking face off?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Brain Explosion drought?

Well theres a long way to go but this years NRL seems to have been marked by a high degree of focus on quality football and little or no scandal or brain explosion drama. SBW had a drunken encounter with a female triathlete in a toilet (pictured at right) but his girlfriend is standing by him and Mason's brain exploded permanently a long long time ago but nothing has really tipped the scales sufficiently to qualify for the brain explosion 2007 prize. If anyone has further suggestions just let me know as this state of affairs is far to fragile to continue indefinitely.

I had also missed this story re the Warriors being "cashed up" and looking to spend up to $400k on a new player in 2008. Apparently the depature of stars (like Webb) and the strong kiwi dollar mean the Warriors will have money to spend - but it still may not be enough to attract a star quality centre. The story also notes that the Warriors are likely to re-sign around two-thirds of the nine players who come off contract this season. Seven of those players are wings Todd Byrne and Cooper Vuna, centre Tony Martin, utility Lance Hohaia, standoff Michael Witt, hooker George Gatis and second-rower Logan Swann.

Monday, April 16, 2007

ANZAC test bye week - Taking Stock

ANZAC test this week so a bye for the Warriors - I have to say I am becoming ambivalent about one off league internationals and would be interested in your thoughts on the kiwis chances this week.

As for the Warriors, those that aren't involved in the test will have a week off to train and relax. As will all the other NRL sides whose players aren't in the test - as such the test bye is by no means a true bye for the Warriors as they typically have a large number of players contributing to the kiwi side together with Price in the Australian pack. This year only Price, Mannering, Rapira, Tuimavave, and Vatuvei have been named in the respective squad lists - accordingly there will be a significant portion of the Warriors squad able to rest and heal any lingering injury worries.

With that said lets take a look at the post-bye run of ten games that the Warriors have (with the current table position of the opponent teams):

Round 7 - Rabbitohs (A) - 5th
Round 8 - Sharks (H) - 9th
Round 9 - Knights (A) - 8th
Round 10- Tigers (H) - 14th
Origin 1 - midweek
Round 11 - Eels (A) - 6th
Round 12 - Dogs (H) - 10th
Round 13 - Storm (H) - 2nd
Origin 2 - midweek
Round 14 - Sharks (A) - 9th
Round 15 - Panthers (H) - 11th
Round 16 - Titans (A) - 7th
Origin 3 - midweek

If we divide these games into three blocks - between each Origin match - of the first block I think Cleary should be aiming to win at least three of these four games with (perversely) the Rabbitohs away likely to be the toughest of these games, although Asotasi and Fa'alogo are both named in the kiwi test squad. Post Origin 1 I would suggest the Eels away should be a close win with Dogs and Storm at home both tough games - but the Warriors should be looking to make the most of their home ground advantage (100% this year) and win these as well. Post Origin 2 the Sharks, Panthers and Titans are also all winnable games. There is usually some benefit to the Warriors in the pre and post Origin matches as the NSW and Queensland players stand down in the round before Origin and have to back up for their clubs the following week so hopefully that should soften up in particular the Storm (Slater standing down?) in round 13.

However I don't really expect the Warriors to win all ten or even nine of these games, I think six or seven is a realistic target and will go a long way to guaranteeing a playoff berth. I am ready to lose to the Rabs, the Storm and maybe the Eels or Titans or splitting the two games with the Sharks. All the others I will be looking for wins - however we need to prove we can win away from home this season and a whipping of the Rabs and Knights would be a good way to get the monkey off the players backs.

Enjoy the ANZAC test this week.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Warriors blast Cowboys

Great win for the boys this week managing to hammer the Cowboys at home 34-14. Sounds like a close contest up until the end when the Warriors ran amok. Good to see and with the ANZAC test break coming up lets hope the team can continue to consolidate a solid fourth table position after the bye.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Well before I return to normal un-interupted Warriors coverage I thought I would post a couple of pics from my trip to watch Man U thrash Roma 7-1. Just two pics for you - one is a picture of the police maintaining a cordon between the incoming Man U fans and the Roma fans queing to get in at the back of the photo. Apparently this is where most of the trouble was as the Roma fans were a stationary target for psycho fans to attack. The other picture is the end of the match with the scoreline clearly visable in the top left corner.

FA Cup semi final today Man U beat Watford 4-1, Chelsea play Blackburn for the other final spot of Sunday afternoon.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Reversal of Form

I don't think I can adequately sum up the experience of attending Old Trafford to watch Man U demolish AS Roma 7-1. I will post some pics but they will not capture the atmostphere provided by the rabid united fans chanting "are you City in disguise", "you can stick you f****n Ultras up your ass", "Totti, Totti whats the score", "he plays on left, he plays on the right, our boy Ronaldo, makes England look shite", "theres only one Ronaldo" and the long time classic "who are ya, who are ya" over and over again. The alleged rioting was over by the time we arrived outside the stadium but there was tension in the air and alot of heavily armed riot police, police dogs and mounted riot police.

Am looking forward to an improved Warriors performance this week - a couple of key injuries in the Cowboys should soften them up. However this Cowboys side has very talented backs and the Warriors will need to keep them in check. Also new high scoring recruit Crocket will be absent and will be replaced by Bones Byrnes.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

America's Cup Valencia

Well we took our chance to check out the AC village in Valencia over Easter and my general impression was that its more spread out than the Auckland setup and perhaps less vistor friendly. Not the same viaduct basin lineup of bars and restaurants. The place gave an impression that it was slightly unfinished - however this may be just the retrospective impression given by the completed Auckland village after hosting twice - I don't have a clear memory of what it was like on day 1 of the 1st defense. There was also heavy security in Valencia with metal detector doorways like the airport to enter and exit the village. This did not deter the local peeps who on Easter Monday in particular were visiting the base in their thousands. Pictures are 1) a shot of peeps queing at the security gates to get into the village, 2) as close as we got to the Team NZ base, and 3)the Alinghi base and boat.

Monday, April 09, 2007


Easter has produced a string of dissappointing sports results, headlining with the Warriors going down in a narrow loss to Manly. Warriors are now 2-2, hanging onto eighth place in the table by a thread. However all the way to fifth is on points difference alone. The boys need to get a result vs the Cowboys at home this week, if they drop another consecutive game their season is on a slippery slope and they may well find themselves once again out of the top eight. Your thoughts on this weeks game would be appreciated. Sounds like an improved defensive effort - although not enough to get the win.

While we were away in Valencia (full America's cup village report in next post) Man U also managed to lose whilst Chelsea won. Chelsea now only trails Man U by three points - Man U vs Chelsea on May 9th is shaping to be a title deciding match.

In addition Champions League quarter final second leg games are on this week with Rome playing Man U at Old Trafford (I will be in attendance) bringing a 2-1 aggregate lead and a wave of bad press after the ugly scenes of fan and police violence - (watch the video on this link) during leg one in Rome with 11 Man U fans hospitalised. I will try and steer clear.

Had a great time in Valencia - not as hot or sunny as anticipated but good fun none the less. Am travelling to Manchester via Leeds tomorrow. Champions League Kick off is at 19.45 GMT.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Warriors playoff plan

In light of the bubble bursting on my dreams of the Warriors riding through the season on top of the table I have decided to revert to the tried and true state of perpetual worry and paranoia with my new dream the hope that the Warriors can be a certainty to make the top eight. Yes thats right - I am re-evaluating my expectations - making the playoffs is the first goal.

Last season there were 24 rounds of games and two byes for each team. So a total of 52 points were available. The eighth place Eels got 28 points. In 2007 there are 25 rounds and only one bye but still a total of 52 points available so probably 28 points should again be enough to make the eight. However to be sure lets say the Worriors need 30 points to be certain.

The Warriors have a bye in round 6 (21-23 April) for the Anzac test - so thats two points guaranteed plus they have won two of their first three games, so thats six points in the bag. Now they just need to go and get the other 24 points - 12 more wins from 22 remaining games. I have updated the status table in the right hand corner of the blog to indicate the wins needed for top eight certainty vs games remaining to be played. This will be a countdown throughout the season - if the Warriors are good enough this should not be a nail biter or an exercise in mathematical possibility, this should be a state of affairs where around round 20 we can safely say the Warriors are in the playoffs - go out and get it boys.

Tough game this weekend away - Manly have been on the up for a few years now - and these guys have produced some good results this year, in round 1 producing a 32-6 win over the Canberra Raiders, in round 2 beating the Tigers 19-8, and in round 3 delivering a 30-8 win against the Roosters to remain unbeaten. Cleary has opted to start Fien at hooker this week and lets hope this injects some renewed confidence and structure into the team. Key tip at this weeks training - try not to drop the ball, particularly in your own half. Overall I think the loss vs the Storm may have been good to cool the expectations and bring these players back to earth but they need to put on a performance this week.

We are headed to Valencia on Thursday for the Easter long weekend - will go and have a look at the Team NZ base and America's Cup Village and post some pics on the blog next week.

And finally on a non-sporting topic - lets hope for all our sakes that the 15 British navy personel get released soon.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Isn't this inappropriate? Its appropriate enough.

Well the Warriors got pasted by the Storm. So maybe I have been getting all excited over nothing. First away game of the season and it is a bath. Too many errors - giving the Storm too much quality field position. Next week top of the table Manly at their home ground, Brookvale Oval, it does not fill me with confidence.

Warriors are clinging to 6th in the table, luckily the Raiders somehow obliterated the Knights to avoid any chance of the Warriors dropping into 7th this round. Anyway your thoughts on the Warriors shocking turn in form would be appreciated.

On a more positive note any thoughts on this suggestion that Eric is considering making an offer to buy Mt Smart outright (rather than leasing it from the ARC). All sounds very NBA to me - would be a good way to improve the chances of making the Warriors profitable - and could see further improvements to the ground. This post also suggests Watson could make shares in the club/ground available to fans. All sounds good to me - but its absolute crap.
Big news of the evening is the UK following France in pulling out of the "HeinekenCup" european interclub comp - its like the Champions league for rugby - frankly these rugby nations don't know whats good for them. I look forward to seeing the All Blacks run all over them in September, provided that they are not all in a hospital ward by them.

Friday, March 30, 2007

NRL Parity - Warriors v Storm

We are now into Round 3 of what is shaping up as a scintillating NRL season 2007. A double upset in Rounds threes Friday games with the Eels knocking off the Tigers and the Panthers beating the Broncoes in OT.

For the Warriors simply making it to the starting line unsoiled by any kind of scandal or upheaval has created an atmosphere of hope and confidence at the club and amongst the fans and media that has not been seen for several years. In retrospect, it's clear that the psychological and competitive disadvantage of a points deduction at the 2006 season's outset was nigh on impossible to overcome. However, having come through that particular maelstrom, the players seem hardened and ready to prove themselves in the 2007 competition unrestrained by any handicap.

In a salary-cap era, the NRL that the Warriors compete in is becoming increasingly characterised by parity, and the early results are backing that up. This season is wide open with every game open to an upset - there are no longer games of Broncoes v Cowboys where the Broncoes pay $1.01 to win.

It may now truly be the case that a team of Rugby League stars simply cannot be maintained for a sufficient length of time for true dynasties to become established. The 2002-2004 Sydney Roosters are the only NRL team since 2000 to defy this logic, making three consecutive grand finals, but winning only one. This seems like an anomaly and questions exist about how that Roosters team managed to comply with the cap - but that's a subject for a separate post.

Of the four teams that made the grand final in 2004 (Roosters v Bulldogs) and 2005 (Tigers v Cowboys) none even managed to make the top eight the following year. Accordingly we will have to wait and see whether the same drop-off could happen for the 2006 grand finalists, the Storm and Broncos. Broncoes have now gone three rounds without a single win!

NRL parity is not something we should be complaining about - it is the natural and intended result of a salary-cap system and makes the NRL sustainable. NFL and NBA salary caps have the same effect. For the NRL, the English Super League and world Rugby Union acts like an overflow into which highly-paid players can eventually drop when their fame, talent and experience (read age) become too great for their salary demands to be satisfied by any NRL club. In this way, each NRL season a new crop of talented young league players get a shot in first-grade NRL competition and this keeps the NRL fresh and open. The salary cap has been increased for 2007 to A$4m.

A successful NRL club in compliance with the salary cap must be one formed with an eye to the future out of an ideal combination of young and improving players and established stars, together with a few "sleepers" - overlooked or underrated players who perform above their pay packet. At this moment the 2007 New Zealand Warriors look to be a club with just this sort of combination.

So with the balance of round three still to play the competition looks amazingly open - it is imaginable that virtually any permutation of the 16 teams could form the top eight who will go into the playoffs at the close of the regular season. With this in mind, the Warriors' opportunity to shine looks tantalising.

A big game this week - with a virtually unchanged Warriors side facing up to a Storm side at home that have won both their two opening games. Melbourne were 32-16 winners over wooden-spoon favourites the Raiders in Canberra last week and scraped through for an 18-16 win over Wests Tigers in Round 1. These results aren't that impressive however it looks like the margins of victory are going to be narrow this season. Go the 12 and under at the TAB. Anyway this weeks game is the true test - win this and the Warriors are contenders!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Warriors hammer Broncoes 24-14

This team seem to be almost like a self fulfilling prophecy at present - winning big again this week vs the Broncoes - 24-14. Melbourne up next away from home - another big game against a high level opponent.

Eric is in the house

Following on from my post below - maybe just maybe even Eric thinks this year is special - for the first time in a long long time - he is giving public interviews in his role as owner of the Warriors -looking a little worse for wear but check this article.

Frankly Eric would sell if given a good enough offer but winning the NRL would be the best way to raise the value of the asset and attract the bids. So I think as fans we can feel pretty comfortable that Eric wants to win the competition. I am 100% keen on his ownership. Please comment if you think otherwise.

Am currently listening to Deaker via internet ZB broadcast and he is fresh - such a kiwi true blue. You can bet your boots on that. Have spent the better part of an afternoon and evening drinking and watch England v Israel - what a waste of my life - McLaren has to go - maybe the Woolmer treatment is a bit over the top but something has to change - NOW.

In other news Portugal has qualfied for the Rugby World Cup - I have tix for the NZ v Portugal game - (and the other group games) sweet!

Also got great news today that I have tix for the Man U v Roma Champions League second leg game at Old Trafford, April 10, super stoked! Over and out.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Golden Season 2007?

You know there is a really uplifting sensation around this Warriors side. This article quotes Hiho saying the camp has never been more stable or upbeat than in 2002. And frankly that is the season that I keep thinking back to. I mentioned late last year that the 2006 campaign could be seens as a parallel to the Anderson 2001 season when he took over the team - rebuilt it - and scraped them into the playoffs in eigth spot. This is exactly what would have happened last year but for the points deduction.

So we face 2007 and Cleary Year II is starting to look like a plausible successor to the 2002 golden season. He seems to have really built a platform here - a team that is balanced between style and consistency with a crew of solid young Australian recruits to grind it out and hopefully help us win some of those close games that we lost last year. I think dreaming of the minor premiership might be a bit ambitious - I mean we are only at Round 2 - but the top four is real possibility.

With all that said I remain worried whenever the Warriors are strong favourites - TAB has the Warriors at $1.50 to win - that is too short for my mind.

It would be nice to see a super talented NZ rookie emerge this year as well - ala - Hiho or Motu Tony in 2001-2002 - Simon Mannering can join this category - but a new 2007 kiwi rookie sensation would be great.

And finally foundation captain Dean Bell has rejoined the Warriors in a development role. I have nothing against Dean Bell - I am sure he can make a valid contribution to the club - however I would rather no reminder of the Warriors early years was kept at the club. Those seasons were nightmarish and guys like Bell profited hugely while the club went down the sinkhole. I recommend the book "Beleaguered - The Warriors From Dream to Nightmare" by Chris Mirams (if you can find a copy) and want some background on the excesses of this period. I don't want the kiss of death to land on this team this season.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Bad boys

Following on from my thoughts below re this weekend's Broncoes side being potential ripe for the plucking - Bennet has announed that the Broncoes are playing an 18 year old at halfback this week - Joel Moon - who will apparently also handle the goal kicking duties. Grand final halfback Shane Perry has been asked to play five-eighth in Lockyer's absence. So Mr Moon who made his debut last week will be playing halfback and seems likely to assume the goalkicking duties with both Parker and Lockyer unavailable. Thats a lot of responsibility for an 18 year old in his second week in first grade. This has got to be a win for the Warriors - please don't blow it!
As an aside I note that this blog has had a dangerous tendency to actually focus on the Warriors as its subject matter lately so I thought I would open things up a bit by asking if anyone knows who this is?
And on a distasteful note does anyone NOT know who this is? Ugly story this.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Cleary names team to play Broncoes in round two

Cleary has named his squad for round two, only real change is Louis Anderson is out injured so Evarn Tuimavave will take a place on the bench and Michael Luck will join the scrum. Cleary is sticking with Mannering in the forwards - I guess because he has to get as many of his top guys on the field as possible - ala Hiho - in whatever position he can fit them.

Still waiting on some thoughts from the readers who actually watched the game - I have only seen the highlights package as per the link below to the TV3 website and Wade McK looks like a talented player with real gas.

Broncoes look like they could be ripe for the picking this week without Lockyer and Parker - so lets avoid a letdown and get this season off to a bold and fast start with another win!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Warriors triumph in opener - 34-18 over Eels

It is such a great feeling to make the effort to crawl out of bed at 7.30am on a Saturday morning in London to see the Warriors up 24-0 with 35 minutes gone. All those fans who turned up at the ground deserve that kind of performance. Crowd of 13,587 is not too bad - but I know the team (and me) were hoping for over 15,000.

Awesome start to the season - lets keep it going!

Anyone who was at or watched the game please drop some feedback into the comments section of this post about your thoughts on a big first round win.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Warriors v Eels - Teams for Round 1

The Warriors have now named their team for the first game of the season vs the Eels on Saturday. The team is as follows:

1. Wade McKinnon, 2. Michael Crockett, 3. Tony Martin, 4. Lance Hohaia, 5. Manu Vatuvei, 6.Michael Witt, 7. Grant Rovelli, 8. Ruben Wiki, 9. George Gatis, 10. Steve Price (captain), 11.Simon Mannering, 12 Logan Swann, 13. Micheal Luck.

Substitutes: Nathan Fien, Evarn Tuimavave, Epalahame Lauaki, Louis Anderson, Sam Rapira.

Notably as touched on and debated in my earlier post - Lance Hohaia has been selected in the centres. Simon Mannering will join the forwards in the second row together with Logan Swann and Cleary has opted for the Witt/Rovelli combination in the halves. Ropati is nowhere to be seen and Gatis has been preferred to Nathan Fien to start as hooker. So this is a new look side - with no preference being shown for seniority or reputation - this is very encouraging and Cleary is getting creative here - making space for Hiho by putting Mannering in the forwards.

As for the Eels you can check out their team selection here . Key news is that back rower Nathan Hindmarsh and winger Eric Grothe are both out injured. However Ian Hindmarsh has been cleared to play after settling his contractual dispute with former Super League club Catalan Dragans.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Price extends contract with Warriors

I know that I have previously expressed doubts about such an extension, however when fit Price is the model player at his position and he will be great to nurture and encourage the young props in the Warriors squad as they grow to eventually replace him in the 2009 season.

My only concern is that Price will not stay healthy - considering his age I think we can expect him to miss of the order of 10 or more games this season with injury - particularly if he were to play Origin again. No numbers have been mentioned in the context of the extension so with this in mind I can only hope that the Warriors have not over-paid to keep Price at the club.

Overall I am pretty happy with this extension as Price has been a consistent performer at the highest level and a stabilising influence at the Warriors during what can only be described as a rebuilding phase. I would be very happy for him to slide on into a management or coaching position at the club when he finishes up as a player in 2009.

Halves selection debate is really heating up out there as well - will it be Rovelli/Witt or Rovelli/Ropati - and where to slot in Hiho? Will be an interesting week for Cleary.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Packer brothers

As noted last year on this blog the Warriors have recruited the two enormous young Packer brothers from Foxton. To put it bluntly these guys are huge and we may see them in the senior Warriors squad sooner rather than later.

After trolling through the new and improved TV3 video news on demand website (nice work Paul) I located this profile item from John Campbell live last year on the brothers and their family in Foxton recorded after their signing for the Warriors. Nice touch of NZ charm in this one.

Friday, March 09, 2007

SBW signs with the Bulldogs

SBW has signed for five years with the Bulldogs for A$2m. See also this Bulldog for life story blah blah. Instead of feeling disappointed that the Warriors did not manage to sign him in fact I feel vaguely releived that the Warriors have held firm and resisted the urge to grossly over-commit the franchise to this one player. Is that so wrong?

Anyway so now we can get on and focus on the impending round one - looks like the bookies may name the Warriors as favourites against the Eels. While this seems valid on the basis of trial form - trial form is worth slightly less than photos of my butt and the Warriors are never a good bet as favourites so I will treat such favouritism with unqualified disdain. Unless of course the Warriors win by a massive margin - either way I will be ok.
I also had a shot today at projecting the 2007 table - its hard thing to do - I can't tell who are the absolute bunny teams anymore - Raiders and Panthers maybe? As for the top four can the Broncoes maintain or are they on the downward slide? Storm and Slater are still young so maybe its their year? And just how high up the table can we project the Warriors - fifth? Maybe even higher? Let me know your thoughts.