Preseason 2018 Warriors Season Predictions

Discussion in 'General Warriors Discussion' started by #robbiemears, Nov 13, 2017.



  1. #robbiemears
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    #robbiemears 1st Grade Fringe

    It seems many of us have short memories as the inevitable 'excitement' around 2018 builds. I hate to be the harbinger of bad news, but it's worth putting everything into context before we all get carried away by exclamations around 'best ever recruitment' and 'hardest ever pre-season'.

    Fact #1. Steve Kearney is STILL coach.
    Kearney's first grade coaching record now stands at 66 matches; 17 wins; 48 losses; and 1 draw, at a wholly unimpressive 25.8% winning ratio. Get your head around that. It is literally one of the worst winning percentages in NRL coaching history. Heck, even Craig 'Tugger' Coleman had a better one at Souths (31.5%). You want to know what Matty Elliott's overall winning percentage is? 45.7. McFadden? 43.3. Kearney's is barely past 25%. It's atrocious, and no amount of excuses about poor clubs, poor rosters and other familiar refrains can be justifiably thrown out in his defence. This season, the Warriors had a decent roster. It was certainly a much better roster than their final position on the ladder would attest to. So before you get all buzzed about what lies ahead, remember the good ship Warriors is being steered by one of the worst NRL coaches in history. And no one should feel enthused by that - least of all the players.

    Fact #2. There will be virtually no Aussies in the first grade line-up next season.
    Want to know how good an all-Kiwi side is? Just check out this RLWC. Or the previous few Test matches against the Aussies. Our Kiwi 'stars' are majorly over-hyped and over-rated. And the proof lies in the recent performances. Further, there has never been a near all Kiwi Warriors team that has ever threatened the top 8. The best Warriors teams have always featured a well curated blend of enthusiastic, motivated Kiwis, and hard nosed, gritty Aussies. Think back to the Anderson years with Campion, Tookey, Carlaw and others. Then later with Price, Luck, Cleary, and so on. This Warriors side, more than ever, needs those tough Aussies in there to prick the soft shells of our Kiwi lads and get them playing above themselves. Instead, the likely make-up of the 2018 side, however 'impressive' you consider it to be on paper, is a disaster in the making. There's NO hard-edge about it. It looks awfully soft, and it will get found out very quickly when the going gets tough. But I guess what's new, right?

    Fact #3. We lost 2 of our hardest trainers.
    You really think Hoffman and Lillyman were the problem? Seriously? Hoffman may not have done a whole lot on the field, but he put in off the field. What's more, he got cranky at those that didn't. Why do you think Bellamy took him back at this stage of career. He's a battler, he's a fighter, and he almost certainly wasn't part of the Warriors problem. Lillyman, too, is an Origin player, respected by all in the know for his off-field work ethic. You don't think he was putting in at training when the rest of the team were slacking off? Ok, so perhaps Matulino and Lolohea won't be missed. But Matulino should really be the game's leading prop, and he briefly was a few years back. The fact that he wasn't is a more an indictment on the coaching staff. Doubtless he will thrive away from Auckland.

    Fact #4. Not much has changed, but what has is not all positive.
    Remember at the start of last season when we were told by Doyle that the Warriors now had the 'finest coaching line-up' in the club's history? How did that go? Well, the one coach in the mix who was probably half decent has since left, leaving the two that weren't behind in his wake. Throw Tony Iro - yes, that Tony Iro - into the mix as the reserve grade coach, and you arguably have the WORST coaching line-up in Warriors history. And I include Bluey's set-up in that comparison. At a 36.4% winning NRL record, Bluey was practically a super coach compared to what we have in there now. Yes, the addition of strength-conditioning coach Alex Corvo should add some much needed spark to the team. He will brutalise the pre-Christmas trainers with plenty of running. But no amount of extra fitness can make up for a badly coached and poorly motivated squad. They'll still play like headless chickens. Only now, they'll probably do it for longer periods of the game.

    Fact #5. For the vast bulk of the first grade team, this will be a shortened pre-season anyway.
    They're all off playing rep footy. So Corvo WILL break some spirits, but it won't be the spirits that matter. The bigger names in the squad will come back after Christmas and will have only a few weeks before the season proper kicks off. Given the horrors of last year, these guys desperately needed a full pre-season to whip them into shape - both mentally and physically. As it stands, they will enter 2018 - with the most players involved in the RLWC - seriously underdone.

    No, I think 2018 could easily be worse than last season. In fact, I'm convinced that nothing will change at the Warriors until the purse strings are dramatically loosened (and that is what it will take) and a top drawer coach is brought in. Rack your brain for the last time we had one. Anderson, perhaps. But since then - with one exception - it's been one failed coach after the other. Yes, we blame the players for their slack attitudes, and that's painful to watch.

    But really, it all starts at the top. Players have to completely buy into the culture, the philosophy, the message of the head coach. Since Clearly, that's been left to McClennan, Elliott, McFadden and Kearney. Honestly, who would be enthused by that motley crew of messengers? Not me.

    You?
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
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  2. fizurg
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    fizurg 1st Grade Fringe

    Sadly I agree with most of what #robbiemears has to say.
    Props were a big issue last year and now our two best props have gone.
    On all honesty very few of our players have proven themselves very far above journeyman level.
    We you compare the stars we have in our squad with any other squad the top 8 starts to look pretty far away.
    And that’s with me me somehow still believing the Kearny could turn the team around.
     
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  3. francis faafua
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    francis faafua Warriors Bench Player

    well after all that....why dont you go & find another team to support...im not a big fan of sk..but im willing to sit back & watch to see how some of the changes on & off the field are going to pan out...after all this is the Rugby League club i love & will always support
     
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  4. Worried2Death
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    Worried2Death 1st Grade Fringe

    Excellent post but should have a mental health spoiler, I'm off to neck myself.
     
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  5. mrblonde
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    mrblonde 1st Grade Fringe

    Good post.

    However, if I took your second to last paragraph I'd say "I'm convinced that nothing well ever change at the Warriors because even if they're offered well over their market value, no top drawer coach will be brought in." And increasingly it's more than the money and distance from family, do you think a top tier coach would want to risk screwing up their resume with a Winning Percentage that would suffer quite a dip.

    We might get an Australian expereienced ex-coach as Director of Football. Don't rate the chances of a top grade "I'm doing with the clipboard" coach retiring to do that here, however.

    Matulino? Part of the Stupid Six so not sad to see him leave. Lolohea? Suffering from entitleitus. And it sounds as if Hingano might be showing symptoms. You talk about the team being poorly motivated, why should that motivation be provided by the damn coach? I agree, absolutely, if you've got who you think is a bad coach, your motivation would be at less than premium, but at what point to professional sportsmen - and the Warriors players in particuliar - play well for themselves? I don't actually care if their motivation for playing well is that Craig Bellamy might snap them up and free them from Steven Kearney, I just want to see them playing well. They don't even look inspired by playing for the dosh and I sometimes think there's no point given the players win bonuses, try bonuses etc the motivation is that low.

    The shortened pre-season doesn't bother me greatly as, given what I've said about motivation should be largely from within, I don't think Corvo will change the poorly motivated into decent rugby league players - or back into being decent rugby league players. Maybe then we might see another player or two released
     
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  6. bruce
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    bruce Warriors 1st Grader Contributor

    Great post brother and you make it even more scary by quoting facts about Kearney and his coaching record. WTF would give Kearney a first grade job on that record, especially when they sacked his predecessors who did way better. Only a dropkick could employ the guy, somebody tell me that isn't true.

    For those of us who choose to live in hope (i.e. dream of winning Lotto) there are two straws to clutch.

    One is that from our squad two of our props might turn into genuine first graders.
    Two is that Brian Smiths influence might develop an attacking game plan to follow the dreams in the forwards..

    If a board of directors approved a business plan like that they would be seriously risking the clubs future.

    Yet ladies and jellybeans they are.
     
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  7. Mr Frank White
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    Mr Frank White 1st Grade Fringe

    Hoff and Lillyman were endemic of the Warriors "great trainers" problem. Look great at training average on the field.

    Also fuck Hoff and his getting cranky. He's great and pointing out others flaws in the paddock, yet commited huge defence errors while pointing out others.
     
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  8. The Truth
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    The Truth 1st Grade Fringe

    Robbie is pretty spot on. I think there will be plenty more of these types of posts as the repetitive “toughest pre-season” ever rubbish gets thrown out again and we all start to slowly get dragged into the same old build up for nothing as the season progresses/fizzles out.
    Winning on the field is the only thing that will change this.
     
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  9. bruce
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    bruce Warriors 1st Grader Contributor

    I remember when Kearney was playing for the Warriors. Being a big man he often got exposed by others defensive flaws that weren't as obvious at the time. Apparently he was at his most aloof in the squad then. I will give Hoffman some credit on that score, especially if he knew the offender was a slcaker at training.
     
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  10. Swanley
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    Swanley 1st Grade Fringe

    100% true...At some stages he was a turnstile....Age well and truly caught up with him. Not signing was a god thing. Lilyman, meh...Mr Average on the field, did nothing special, cannot remember the last time he bent the line.
     
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  11. brightman
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    brightman 1st Grade Fringe

    Hoffman? Isn't he that egg who tried to start a fight after the opposition scored a try on the Final whistle..
     
  12. InsideBall
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    InsideBall Warriors 1st Grader

    I think this preseason is make of break for Luke's NRL career. If Corvo gets him up to career best fitness, and he's ready and hungry come round one, he might just save whats left of his dwindling career. If that doesn't happen though? ESL for Luke.
     
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  13. warriors4eva
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    warriors4eva 1st Grade Fringe

    i totally agree, and he will be even more dynamic behind a bigger brutal pack
     
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  14. Gizzyfan
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    Gizzyfan 1st Grade Fringe

    One aspect of Warriors play that has been covered is lack of go forward. However, other than size not a lot has been discussed about why this is.

    IMO one of the poorest aspects of play has been the passing. Size (mass) needs to be maximised by speed onto the ball (momentum), basic physics. Our players tend to pass to the receivers hip, which kills momentum. This happens in the backs as well. In other words pass where the player is going to be rather than where he is.

    Fitness will help, creeping (not maintaining depth) is a big momentum killer, happens with fatigue, so you get these stop start hit ups. Laziness and lack of confidence are other reasons. So combined with creeping and poor pass execution makes the D line's job easy.

    These are work ons that are easy to address over a pre season, there are heaps of drills to help with this. It is simple to show a squad how much is lost with creeping. Line up a slow player and a fast player on the try line for 2 sprints to the 22 metre line. Get the fast player to take one step back before starting and he should win quite easily. The second one they are both on the line, when you call go the fast player takes one step back before going forward. Usually the slower player wins. It really shows the loss creeping creates.
     
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  15. Gizzyfan
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    Gizzyfan 1st Grade Fringe

    Exactly and this is where the club as a whole has to man up and set the standards. Not just the coaching team everyone must be accountable not just players.
     
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  16. mt.wellington
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    mt.wellington DIE FOR TONGA Contributor

    Every year I get amped up as the season draws closer. Signings, preseason news and preseason games have had me chomping at the bit to watch this team win their maiden Premiership. Every year its our year. Every fucking year!

    Wont be doing it to myself this time. Wont be falling for any new signing news. Brian Smith, Blake Green, Jesus Christ meh. Don't give a shit about the hardest preseason ever. Don't care if they belt the Broncos in spectacular fashion in Dunedin again. This year I refuse to bow to the hype and spin.

    Don't get me wrong. I'll be along for the ride but I'll go in without the heavy expectation. Figure I'll enjoy it more and would certainly be less heartache. Theres also the uncomfortable realisation that without a major change in the culture and mindset of the team we will be looking at a 7th year outside the top 8. Don't think Adam Blair alone is going to be enough to remedy that. In fact I can guarantee he wont be.

    Much of the same next season unfortunately guys...
     
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  17. Jimi Jones
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    Jimi Jones 1st Grade Fringe

    Its almost a whole new team ,We have gained some much needed experience in
    The back line ..An have recruited the bones of a good forward pack ,Mannering. an
    Gavet are the only survivors from last season .An replacements look a lot more aggressive
    Hopefully this is a step in the right direction .Any way I'm excited ..Haven't been this excited
    Since we signed RTS an Luke or Foran ,,
     
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  18. Defence
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    Defence 1st Grade Fringe

    I've got hope but just like last year it hinges on 2 things.

    1) Vete and Lisone realizing their potential.
    2) Kearney proving me wrong.

    Stranger things have happened I suppose.
     
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  19. AlexM
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    AlexM 1st Grade Fringe

    Nobody get excited.
    Then we can really go ballistic when we start to succeed.
     
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  20. Diesel
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    Diesel 1st Grade Fringe

    On-field I see this as the 2001 side with a few recruitments for 2019 it could be a 2002 side.

    Corvo is a massive bonus.

    Kearney is the unknown for mine
     
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