As Isaiah Papalii touched down for the first time in his NRL career, a spark ignited in my brain. Maybe it was the cold air restricting blood flow to my vital organs, but for a split second I thought I was onto something revolutionary, something that could change the game of rugby league, and in turn the direction of the New Zealand Warriors, forever.
Saturday night was a tight tussle, with all three results in play right until Javid Bowen pounced on a loose ball and went the length of the field with a minute to go. The loss leaves the Warriors’ season in tatters — the hammer poised to smash that final nail into the coffin at any minute. Yet another year is set to pass in Warrior Nation without a taste of the playoffs. Another season that’s failed to meet even the humblest of expectations.
Townsville is a difficult place to go, and the Cowboys are a good side — even without Johnathan Thurston. In other circumstances, this would have been an acceptable loss, if there is such a thing. We’d sit back now and reflect on a game that was evenly fought and could so easily have swung the other way. Both Mason Lino and Kieran Foran looked certain to score — Lino in the first half and Foran in the second — until Gavin Cooper intervened. On another day, we might highlight the positives, might look to build on the good moments. But, unfortunately, Saturday night’s loss means there’s very little to build towards. It leaves us waiting for that hammer to fall, with very few reasons to be optimistic about the six games still remaining in 2017. Continue reading Too Little, Too Late
The silly season is firmly upon us. Day after day we wake up to rumours of player movement that range somewhere between the truth and fake news. It’s terrible. It’s only Round 8! But, despite the NRL transfer process currently being an unwanted distraction from the regular season, unfortunately we seem to be stuck with it, at least in the short term. So, instead of complaining about what a farce it is that Kieran Foran has played just three games for the club and already has to make a decision about whether he wants to stay for another year, below is a list of all the current Warriors off-contract at the end of 2017 and my arguments for whether the club should hold them or fold them. Continue reading Silly Season
On a night when Joseph Parker became the number one contender for the IBF crown, it was the Canberra Raiders who landed a massive body blow to the Warriors’ finals hopes. As Mt Taranaki watched on, the men from Mt Smart sunk to new lows in what is fast becoming a nightmare season.
There’s been some bad nights, some difficult 80-minutes so far this year, but I think the reason Saturday felt like such a cheap shot is because we were supposed to have hit rock bottom already — why on earth did we have to go back there again? Continue reading Low Blow