Thursday, September 25, 2008

Biggest game in six years - Warriors v Manly

First up for those in London - hope to see you all at Walkabout Temple branch Saturday morning for the 10.45am kickoff.

Building up to the Warriors game this week has made me reminisce about years gone by and in particular 2002. That game vs the Sharks which got the Warriors to the grand final for their first and only time to date has to be regarded as their most important win ever (close call vs recent win over the Storm).
I watched that game in NZ with my mates and it was a special game full of excitement. Highlights for me were Motu "Tony" Tony stripping the ball near the Sharks line and scoring as well as Toopi burning down the left wing for a 50m run to score in the corner. As I remember it was an extremely stormy day in West Auckland that day, I watched the game in Swanson and we had been worried all day that the weather would knock out the SkyTV at an inopportune moment. As it happened it all worked fine throughout the match and only on fulltime after the Warriors were confirmed winners did the screen go blank. It seemed fitting for the moment which felt like a miracle.

The Warriors find themselves once again on the cusp, back to their usual status as long underdogs. I always feel uncomfortable with the Warriors as favourites, in general they are too inconsistent to deserve it. But it has to be said the last 10+ games the Warriors have delivered consistency and solid defence together with insightful attacking play. The game is there to be won, the Warriors are more than capable of delivering on the dream, lets just hope Menzies and co don't spoil our party.

All the best for the weekend, its either going to be amazing, or not.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Warriors hammer Roosters

I hope I never wake up from this dream. The Warriors have beaten the Roosters and are into the semi-final vs Manly - one win away from the Grand Final vs either of the Sharks or Broncoes!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Warriors vs Roosters on Setanta

Just for the information of those Warriors fans in the UK, Setanta have now confirmed the Warriors v Roosters will be shown live at 9.30am this Friday morning. I may have to come to an arrangement with my employer to enable me to watch it. However if anyone has thoughts on bars etc that may be showing the game in London let me know. I spoke yesterday with the Walkabout (Temple branch) and as of yesterday that were not planning to open early on Friday.

Let me know what your plans are to watch the game where you are in the world. I note Dan Ham has already got his tickets to attend the match at Mt Smart. Nice work - lets hope the home fans can make it a cauldron.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Greatest Victory in Warriors history, Warriors stun Storm

Unbeleivable, the Warriors have gone and done the upset of the century, Mr F Witt with a try in the final two minutes to win it, Warriors beat the storm 18-15. I hardly know what to say, will add more when I have had more time to digest. Home semifinal next week against the Roosters, bring on the sellout.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Can you feel it?

Well the Warriors on a hiding to nothing this weekend but a part of my gut is starting to think they have a chance. These are the reasons:

1. They are spiritual brothers with the England football team - who blew out the cobwebs and the Croatians with a blockbuster 4-1 victory in Zagreb last night as massive underdogs, who knew they could deliver like this - Capello thought should be Cleary thought (you kindof little red book Mao style) - lets get a meeting of the minds between these two battlers who like nothing more than to lift a phoenix from the ashes;

2. Melbourne have some injuries, looks like they are going to play a dude only a week after knee surgery -aka the kiss of death for that poor mans leg, Warriors have full strength minus only WadeMac (AKA capitano insano (Paulos Ballos you feel me raglan style?) on a ban for spit;

3. Melbourne are just way too favoured and the Melbourne public do not give a toss; and

4. forecast is for Mt Smart style crap ass rainy cold windy weather, Warriors need to specialise in this shit. Lets face it you are not going to beat Slater in the sun on dry ground are you?

Anyway thats it for me, I am feeling it, is the Warriors massive still out there?

PS. Poll data suggest Obama is on the ropes

Monday, September 08, 2008

Warriors Storm playoffs

Congratulations to the boys on a big win away against the Eels to make it to the playoffs for only the fifth time in fourteen seasons in the NRL.

Unfortunately the reward for this impressive performance is instant death away at the minor premiership winners Melbourne Storm. Whilst a massive upset is possible and would be fantastic this has disquieting overtones of the Warriors first trip to the finals in 2001 when they met the minor premiership winning Eels away and sufferred an absolute hammering. The Eels at one point so far ahead that their coach played a man short voluntarily as part of a man-down drill. This was embaressing stuff.

The weird thing about the Warriors that we all recognise is that they could beat anyone, its just highly uncertain that they shall do so. No eighth place team has ever beaten the number 1 team in the NRL McIntyre finals system.
Everything aside I am delighted that they have qualified, a win at the Storm would put me and the club into the stratosphere. However one way or another the club have to learn how to get the team to perform in the first half of the season.
Another thought I have been having lately arises after reading recent commentary about the England football team. The key point being that the team on paper has the quality to be at the top tier of international football but that psychologically they are to fragile and uncertain to deliver. The problem is not with their football skills, it is in their heads. Does this sound familiar at all? There is money to be made if someone can crack this conundrum. How to get teams like the Warriors and the England football team into the mental state to consistently deliver their potential?

A final thought - I love the beards! Keep them for next season - we can have a whole team of mountain men by next year!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Warriors playoff hopes on Knife edge

Well its been a big week for the Warriors. I managed to watch a replay of some of their great win over the Panthers on Setanta this week. A couple of things struck me.
One was how most of the team have great beards. When did this trend emerge? I had a pretty good beard rocking for a while this year and it makes me think that unintentionally I may have been displaying my unity with the boys.

The other thing that struck me was that Wade Mac has a psycho streak. This is emphasised by the beard. I have to say I like it. The guy is clearly a quality player and his ban for alleged spitting is unfortunate, he brings an edge to the Warriors that they have been missing, he just needs to avoid the pitfalls of the sporting pyscho edge - when the red mist descends someone has to keep him in line to avoid any Rooney-esque dismissals/bans. His ban will be be over by the time next season rolls around so I am not too worried.

Anyway the game vs the Eels shapes up as a screamer with the Warriors actually favourites away despite the absence of WadeMac. I couldn't resist jumping on the bandwagon at the TAB for Warriors to win by less than 12, about the most marginal bet I have made in a while.

Knights were well beaten by Broncoes Friday night so based on my understanding of the table that means a win for the Warriors should put them at least in eighth and maybe seventh. While playoff qualification at that level is better than not making it all but its basically instant death at the hands of either of the top two in an away qualifying final. But who can complain while the season is still alive. Lets go and do it!