Tag Archives: New Zealand Warriors

I Heart Hoffman: Part 2

As Warrior Nation gathered at Mt Smart Stadium, we cast our eyes towards the giant replay screen at the northern end of the ground. We arrived with high expectations, as we always do for Round 1, desperately hoping the cinema’s first showing would be a new release highlighted by young, fresh faces starring in a win — something that hadn’t been seen since 2009. Instead, we witnessed a vintage performance from a treasured relic of the previous generation.

Those of you who like to delve into the film archives may remember a masterful performance from Sunday’s lead actor back in May 2015, but our hero has changed a great deal since then. Back when he won our hearts and minds as Best Supporting Actor in The Jaws of Life, Ryan Hoffman was a highly touted summer signing, a man characterised as a man of honour, a leader by example who would think nothing of putting his body on the line for the cause. He embodied everything that was good in the world. Continue reading I Heart Hoffman: Part 2

2017 Storylines: Part 5

The article below is the final instalment in the NRL Warrior 2017 Storylines series, where we ponder the potential storylines of the upcoming season. If you missed them, click here for Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4

26 June 2017

Young Warriors making a huge impact

With the injury to Ben Matulino and the departure of cult hero Charlie Gubb to the North Queensland Cowboys, there were big question marks surrounding the strength of the Warriors’ forward pack going into Round 1. What good would their star-studded backline be without forwards to set the platform? But week after week, Albert Vete and Sam Lisone — affectionately known by the Mt Smart faithful as ‘The Hungry Hungry Hippos’ — have stepped up to the plate. Their stellar play has earned praise from all quarters, as they regularly find themselves in discussions regarding the most-improved players of 2017. ‘There’s no better one-two punch in the NRL right now than Albert Vete and Sam Lisone,’ said Fox Sports commentator Andrew Voss. ‘Albert’s first hit-up is must-see television, and the things that Sam Lisone can do with the ball — sometimes it feels like the Warriors have got two Shaun Johnsons on the field at once. You’d think there’d be some kind of rule against that.’

Continue reading 2017 Storylines: Part 5

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.’

Continue reading 2017 Storylines: Part 3

2017 Storylines: Part 2

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

7 March 2017

NRL registers Foran’s contract with immediate effect

Almost six months after Kieran Foran put pen to paper with the New Zealand Warriors, the NRL has today determined that he is fit to return to the game. ‘We are satisfied that Kieran has taken all the necessary steps to prepare himself to contribute in a positive way on the footy field, both for himself and for the game of rugby league. His contract will be registered with immediate effect, meaning he’ll be eligible to be selected for Round 2 . . . We’d like to thank Kieran, and the New Zealand Warriors, for their cooperation during this process,’ said NRL CEO Todd Greenberg in a statement released at 1pm AET. After a 2016 filled with challenges both on and off the field, Foran told reporters that he’s buzzing to get back on the park. ‘The past twelve months have been the most difficult time of my life, and I’m really thankful to have had some good people around me who have helped me get through these tough times. It’s been a long preseason waiting for the contract to be registered, and now I’m buzzing just thinking about being back out there with the boys again, whether it’s this week, next week or whenever.’ Continue reading 2017 Storylines: Part 2