2017 Storylines: Part 3

The article below continues the NRL Warrior 2017 Storylines series, where we ponder the potential storylines of the upcoming season. If you missed it, click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2

6 April 2017

Players back Kearney

Ryan Hoffman has today rubbished suggestions that Stephen Kearney has lost the locker room only five games into his stint as head coach of the Warriors. The embattled Kiwi side finds themselves anchored to the foot of the ladder after only one win from their opening five games of the NRL season. Speaking in the lead-up to their home game against the Parramatta Eels this Sunday, Hoffman was asked to address a New Zealand Herald story that claimed senior members of the playing group were already beginning to question whether Kearney was the right man for the job. ‘Look, Stephen’s not the one out there dropping the ball or missing tackles. Despite what it might look like sometimes on the field, there’s a lot of positivity in the squad. I’ve never been part of a more united club. We laugh a lot, the boys genuinely enjoy each other’s company, and that includes the coaching staff. Mooks [Kearney] has brought a great energy and we’ve learnt a lot from him in the short time that he’s been here. The start of the season has been disappointing, that’s for sure, but I’ve got every confidence in the coaching staff, and this playing group, and I know the results will begin to reflect that soon enough.’

Okay, this is a headline that nobody wants to see, but is it realistic to think a Warriors side can start a season well? Is it likely we can make it through a full season without discussing whether or not the men from Mt Smart need to fire the coach? A wise man said to me recently ‘if they win, good. If they lose, bad,’ and it’s actually as simple as that. Regardless of what we think of Kearney as a coach, he’ll be judged on his results, and nothing short of a playoff spot will satisfy Warrior Nation.

Will Kearney make it through the season unscathed? How about Andrew McFadden?

Click here for Part 4

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