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!