Well sorry guys I have not made it to Roto tonight for the trial. So no first hand info this time I am afraid. But, as Seymour would say, next time will be different.
On the plus side after putting the team through what Cleary has called their most rigorous off-season training program ever, the Warriors have won strongly, beating the Roosters 26-8.
The Herald managed a big feature on the Warriors halves options today. Worth a look at the graphic on the actual hard copy of the paper if you haven't seen this Saturdays (13 Feb) paper yet - its page B18. Basically it looks like Seymour as first choice and then a question of who will pair with him out of Isaac John (21), Joel Moon (21), James Maloney (23) and Shaun Johnson (19). The young guys all looking promising but it looks like Moon and Seymour will be the starting combo.
With that in mind lets not forget about Seymour's past troubles with alcohol and while I am in no doubt that he has the talent to be the playmaker he has to stay on the wagon. So any info or photos or spottings of Seymour on the town or in bars or hotels would be worth letting us all know about. I don't want to be too hard on Seymour, we all like a drink and he had a good game in the trial today apparently - his first game for the Warriors and his first top flight outing for eight months or so.
On the captaincy front in the absence of Mannering - Seymour actually captained the side in tonights trial on debut for the club. An interesting development and something we could see more of. While injured Mannering has been doing referee training courses to better understand how to hassle referees in his anticipated new role as captain. If Seymour emerges as a real captaincy option whilst Mannering and Price remain injured - are we going to have another round of the captaincy drama?
Alot of new exciting talent emerging at the Warriors this year and that could be the story of the season. In particular - outside of the young halves already mentioned - there is the development of Locke to watch. Also the new Vatuvei apparently in the form of the 19 year old Elijah Niko. This guy has a younger brother Kenny thats 106kg and wants to play second row. Um, thats big, and thats his younger bro.
Of course no Price or Tate in the trial either. They are on the mend but are not back yet. Interesting article also from the Herald re the Warriors being "fitter than they look". Weird title and a weird concept generally. Basically the idea is that it looks like all the stars are injured but that in fact its not that bad. Hmmm not sure I feel so confident. Price won't play round 1 - he's got an infection after off-season heel surgery. He is also 100 years old. Tate is coming off his second knee reconstruction in 3 seasons but will theoretically play at least one pre-season game and feels like he owes the Warriors a decent season. And Mannering should also be back soon. So I guess its not all that bad, but I would feel a lot better if these three were all match fit, training at full tilt and ready to run out in round 1.
The inaugural NRL All Star game was last night as well. I didn't actually watch the game but the Indigenous all stars won 16-12. I like the idea of an All-Star game but am not sure about the format. I guess they are trying to retain a distinction between this and what is the real All-Star competition - State of Origin. The worlds most elite rugby league competition.