Here at NRL Warrior HQ, I’m a little too frustrated to come up with an interesting anecdote this week, too downcast to wade through the darkness in search of a glimmer of sunshine. So, instead, I’ve decided to change things up: it’s question time.
In an ideal world, I’d like to ask a bunch of questions and have them answered immediately, but, since I couldn’t find an SP Kearney in the White Pages, you’ll have to picture an imposing man nodding his head slowly with his arms crossed while you read the questions and then use your imagination to come up with the answers. Full disclosure — I have so many questions about this season, recent events and the future, I decided to stick with the Set of Six format, focused largely around Friday night against Souths, mainly because I think it’s about all any of us can take right now. Then when I’d written six questions, I had to throw in one more. And then another. I also decided to treat this as a press conference, so all questions are directed at Stephen Kearney, although I appreciate some of the questions relate to the organisation as a whole. Here goes: Continue reading A Bunch of Questions
Wow. Didn’t see that coming. A Warriors side that had been playing well, had been defensively sound, who were in a tight tussle for the playoffs, at home, against a side that had lost 9 matches in a row — this was two points in the bag. A stress-free night where the 17,000-plus in attendance could start the party early. The kind of fixture where the men from Mt Smart could send a message, could show the rest of the NRL that they were a side capable of winning this competition. The kind of fixture where it felt like even a slightly sub-par performance might still be enough to win.
It’s not possible to have been more wrong.
In front of the biggest Mt Smart crowd since 2014, the Warriors continued the frustrating trend of falling flat every time the fans start to believe again. For the umpteenth year in a row, the men from Mt Smart now find themselves in danger of missing out on the playoffs after mixing an impressive run through the Origin period with a slow start and a sloppy finish. Continue reading Searching For a Silver Lining
The Warriors have spent the last 10 weeks in tight tussles, clawing their way back into contention to the point where they now hold their own destiny in their hands. A first taste of finals footy since 2011 is within touching distance — three home wins against sides below them on the ladder will do it — but nothing ever comes easy in the NRL. With the Panthers, Tigers and Titans all within a point of the men from Mt Smart, there’s no room for complacency in the race for those last few playoff spots.
This week, it’s the Bunnies who hop over the Tasman Sea in search of their first win since Round 11. To say 2016 has been a disappointment for Souths is an understatement, especially after the much publicised return of Sam Burgess, as the club faces up to the reality of a year without finals football for the first time since the Warriors were in the Grand Final. It feels risky to underestimate any side featuring names like Burgess, Inglis and Reynolds, but, given they arrive in Penrose with very little to play for other than pride, if they get behind on the scoreboard early, there’s a chance heads could drop very quickly. Continue reading Breakout
Unfortunately, Saturday night confirmed our worst fears — the men from Mt Smart aren’t actually playing very well.
Three wins against weak opposition had given us hope, but, not long after 8pm New Zealand time, that hope was well and truly crushed.
Perhaps the less said about the actual game the better, although the solitary try the Warriors did score was quite lovely. As they say, a picture tells a thousand words, and who better to hold the paintbrush than our very own Stephen McIvor. Continue reading Reality Check