Saturday, June 14, 2008


Well through the freakish pervisity of freeview Setanta coverage since their live transmission of the Warriors match today vs the Sharks carried on past midday UK time I was able to watch the final 17 minutes or so of the game live at home on my couch in my London flat. Who would have thought such an occurrence would seem remarkable?

Anyway what a 17 minutes it was - it makes me realise just what I haven't been missing. This was truly poor. Warriors going into the second half with a narrow lead 8-6 and then failing to score a point in 40 minutes and giving up what appeared to me to be three carbon copies of the same try - by way of bomb to the right wing corner. In a game this tight this was unforgivable - as was the constant turnovers and lack of cohesion or line breaks from the Warriors whilst they were in possession of the football and still in with a chance. What a pitiful mess this team is right now.
The Australian commentators seemed to delight in pointing out that the Warriors failure to pick up any points in this game likely eliminated them from playoff contention and I have a hard time arguing with that. Its now seven wins needed from eleven games to have a chance at eighth spot. Unlikely I fear.

Friday, June 13, 2008

rise the phoenix from the ashes

First up I have to admit this blog has been sliding in terms of keeping up to date. The fact is I find it hard to maintain my enthusiasm for discussing the Warriors when they are doing things like dropping points to the Rabs at home. Most recently my sporting attentions have been focussed on Euro 2008 which in the absence of England is really an exercise in enjoying football purely for the sake of the quality of the participating teams. Portugal look the real deal and the Croatia v Germany game was a fascinating contest. I have been assisted by the fact that I am off work at the moment and kick off times of 5pm and 7.45pm have made for some convenient viewing.

Getting back to the Worriers at hand, facing up to the Sharks at Toyota Park this week it seems Clearly is desperate to get this team back on track - but if he in fact knew how to do that the team would not find themselves in as dire a situation as they have now got to. Injuries haven't helped but you cannot play this competition and hope to compete at a high level by hoping for a miracle seven or eight game win streak late in the season to get you into the upper top eight. This club has got to find consistency - but in saying that this has proved elusive for thirteen years and I don't expect it to suddenly emerge now. Cleary may not in fact be the man for the job - Daniel Anderson has said he shall quit SuperLeague coaching soon and a part of me can't resist wondering whether it would be worth giving him a 2 year contract to try and rebuild this team.

Some of the quotes re Cleary's predicament in the Herald are pretty awesome - i.e. "For a coach who doesn't panic and certainly doesn't do scary, Ivan Cleary was in an ominous mood on Friday night after his side threw away a golden chance to claim consecutive wins for the first time this season". Hugh McGahan has asked in the Herald if it is time to "push the panic button" - and frankly I would say yes - push it repeatedly as fast and as many times as you can as if it is small punch and you are trying to beat Blanka with Guile with cheap tricks on street fighter II.

So Cleary has threatened major changes if things don't improve - but what changes could really be made to make a positive change? The return of Price and Tate can't hurt - but wholesale benchings on grounds of poor defense doesn't seem like it is really going to happen. Luaki seems to have been the scapegoat and has been dumped for the Sharks match this week.

Looking at the Sharkies they have managed to produce consistent results with a team that does not look stunning on paper. "Their defensive record is good, 160 points better than the Warriors who are letting in an average 30 a game while the Sharks concede around 16."

I will this week be reinstating the countdown to oblivion in the status window to the right. This is based on the assumption that to make the top eight you need a certain number of points. In recent seasons this magic number has been 28 points. The Warriors currently have 12 points so need an additional 16 points to reach the magic threshold. They have a bye in hand which is good for 2 free points so they will need 7 wins from 12 remaining games to make the top eight cut-off. We have seen this team pull a rabbit out a hat before so the time is now for them to do it again - but lets face it - this is not the way to win titles and this club again needs to go back to the drawing board for a fundamental rethink.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

First away win of the season

Finally the Warriors squeeze out a win away, scraping home against the Knights.