Monday, 30 May 2016

Stacey Jones: Long Term Plan not Short Term Fix

Written by Gareth Sykes

There has been plenty of talk surrounding the future of Andrew McFadden as head coach of the NZ Warriors, some would say "and rightly so" while others will argue the blame doesn't fall directly on his shoulders.  As it is, whenever any coach has his position come under scrutiny, the rumour mill begins to churn and we start to see suggestions as to who his replacement may be if the club were to decide his services were no longer required.

If there is one thing that i have learnt over the last 2 and a bit decades supporting this organisation, it's that when it comes to coaches, we don't seem to learn from our past mistakes.  It doesn't seem to matter who we have running the show within the club, we tend to make very poor decisions when it comes to deciding who we thrust into the vacant, or soon to be vacated, head coaching position.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Beasts Issues Have Come Home to Roost

Recent media has come out with Manu Vatuvei saying his family suffered and his children were bullied in the wake of his Shameful Six incident. He was close to giving it all away to protect himself and his family from the public backlash they endured when his night out against team curfew became public.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

The Other Half - Her First Warriors Experience at Mt Smart


Written by Ryan Lamont
FaitherRyan tells us the story of when he took his wife to her very first Warriors Game





We all remember certain Warriors games, some for different reasons. The very first game in '95. The grand finals in 2002 and 2011. That is just a few examples. But a round nine game against St George? Are you telling me in 10 years it's going to be a game you will remember? Most will say no, but that is a game myself and my wife will never ever forget! 

I love the Warriors a lot. They can break your heart and they can make you feel all warm and fuzzy (come on!! You have all been there after a Warriors win). As much as I love the Warriors, I love my wife even more. 

Today is her first ever warriors game day experience! We have been together for 10+ years and it's only her first one? I know!! Crazy right? She's not the biggest sports fan but she knows how much I love the Warriors. She has finally decided to come to a game. 

The opposition we face on this grand ocassion are St George. This is the week of the energy drink/prescription pills drama. I should also tell you she is 7 months pregnant. It's a boy and I told her if we win this game then his middle name will be the surname of all the players in the team that day. 

After a little baby scare an hour before kick off we finally head to Mt Smart. She is quite excited too which I am glad. I want her to get the whole Warriors game day experience.

When we get inside the gate the first thing we do is head to the bottom by the members tent to give her a close up look of the field. She said it's pretty cool. We then see the photo tent where you can have your photo taken with a couple of the players. Today's players are Simon Mannering and Ben Henry. Once our photo is taken I tell Simon today is my wife's first ever game and he says hi and he hopes she enjoys the whole day. ( I would turn for Simon by the way). 


Next we head to get a feed. Now because she is pregnant she has to be picky about what she eats. So after spending $500 on a bag of popcorn and a drink we head to the merchandise van. On our way there we are stopped by the TAB people that walk around asking if we want to buy a first try scorer bet for $5. She eventually caved in. They only had 2 options left. Blake Ayshford or Shaun Johnson. Gee, I wonder who she picked? Even though she doesn't know many players EVERYONE knows SJ. 


Then we moved on for merchandise. She chose a cuddly toy for the baby. Then it was on to our seats. Up high in the east stand. Now you would know all those steps ain't easy for a pregnant chick. But she does it like a champ. As we sit she takes the view and atmosphere in. She likes it. Great seats on the 40m line too so we can see all the action. Then the players run onto the pitch, I stand up clapping, cheering and whistling, while she does a good old fashioned "golf clap". 

The game kicks off. I try to tell her some rules as the game goes along but I'm sure she gets lost in all I'm telling her. 10 mins into the game we get the first try. And who should score it? Shaun bloody Johnson!!!! NOW she gives it more than a golf clap!! 10 mins into her first Warriors game and she wins $65. You couldn't get the smile off her face. I was loving it too. We opened the scoring and the wife was getting more and more into it. Although I'm sure the money had something to do with it. 

Tries to Matt Allwood and Charlie Gubb rounded off the half. Great start considering the mess that the club was in the last 7 days. After a couple of half time photos and the halftime entertainment it was back on again. It's only then did she ask me if Manu was playing! I had to hold in the laughter. But of course I very nicely told her the true story of why he didn't play.

Play in the second half was tough but a Jeff Robson try after an hour sealed a 26-10 win for us. A great result after the disaster against Melbourne and having the naughty five stood down for this weeks game. 

So we both left the game and we were both very happy. A great day out. More importantly SHE LOVED IT!! Then again, the money probably had something to do with it, but she did love the whole experience. 

She's not gonna watch full games on tv but she will check the score now and then. It's more notice than she has ever given them before. I must add, thank god she made the decision not to use the Warriors team list as our baby's middle name!

For those of you who have a partner who has never been to one, try and get them to a game. It will be something new for them. They will also see first hand the passion behind a Warriors supporter and why at times you wanna cheer them and sometimes you want to shoot them.

------------------------------------------------

On behalf of all Faithers, we would like to extend our gratitude to both Ryan and his wife Robyn for sharing their story. Awesome read and glad you both had a great time by not only seeing the boys get the win but also win some money in the process. I think it's fair to say that it was a wise call from Robyn not to hold Ryan to his word with the middle name of their unborn child, that would have been epic! Thanks again guys! Legends!

If anyone out there would like to submit anything for the blog please feel free to contact us with your ideas. Whether it be an opinion piece, an experience or whatever else you may wish to get off your chest, we're more than happy to post your thoughts.

This blog was created by the fans, for the fans. We aim to make this as interactive for our fellow fans as possible. 

Faither: "It's not just a slogan, it's a movement."

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Friday, 27 May 2016

Flashback Friday - Konrad Hurrell

This Flashback Friday we take a look at Konrad Hurrell's highlights package from his time at the Warriors.

After being picked up from Rugby Union he would star for the Warriors 2011 U20 team setting a tackle break record that's unlikely to ever be beaten and helping his team win the U20 Grand Final.

The following year he would make his NRL debut and be one of the few bright sparks in Bluey's year of extreme disappointment. In seasons to come he became more famous for his social media antics (particularly one involving a former Shortland Street actress), training ethic, weight issues and late night activities. He showed glimpses of his brilliant ability but was inconsistent and let down by his fitness, running technique and defensive issues.

Despite all those issues there will always be a question mark over Konnie and what could have been if he had of put in more effort and the coaching staff were able to better develop him.

Anyway, here's a clip of Konnies short but memorable career at the club. Wish you well Konnie and hope you fulfill your potential at your new club the Gold Coast Tits.

Click HERE to view the Konrad Hurrell highlight package

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Round 11 Faither of the Week

Round 11
Yarrow Stadium, New Plymouth
NZ Warriors 12 - Canberra Raiders 38
Faither of the Week - Sam Lisone

Our "Faither of the Week"‬ winner vs the Raiders was Sam Lisone. Sam made 11 tackles and 120m with some barnstorming runs and 4 tackle breaks.

Player Profile - Gene Ngamu

NAME: GENE NGAMU
WARRIOR NUMBER: 6
NICKNAME: GENO
DOB: 27/1/74 (AGE 42)
BORN: NZ
WARRIORS DEBUT: 10/3/95
POSITION: FIVE-EIGHTH/HALFBACK

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Pack Your Bags Mannering

Written by Gareth Sykes

All good things must come to an end and for me the time has come for Mannering to pack his shit and walk away from the NZ Warriors.

Simon is one of the few that has pulled on the Warriors jersey and worn it with pride and through his actions has shown the meaning of leadership, commitment, pride and courage on a weekly basis. Mannering regularly tops the tackle count throughout the competition at seasons end and has more often than not gone above the 1000 tackle mark for the season.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Round 10 Faither of the Week

Round 10
AMI Park, Christchurch
NZ Warriors 18 vs Penrith Panthers 30
Faither of the Week: Jazz Tevaga

Time for Cappy to Walk the Plank

Its time for the club to close the curtains on Andrew McFadden. Whats become clearly obvious in the last few rounds is that he has lost the dressing room. The body language of the players on the field, the lack of trust in the attacking and defensive systems, the careless actions of the shameful six during the sleeping pill saga and Konrad Hurrell's cringe-worthy retweet are all testament to the fact that the players no longer believe in the coach. They no longer respect him.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Couch Coach - Warriors Seek Help to Find Heart from the Wizard of Oz

We're off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz. Let's be honest, could the Wizard of Oz actually have the ability to give this Warriors outfit enough heart, courage and/or brains to help drag this side out of the depths of despair, prevent them from regularly showing no thought process that results in unforced errors and stupid penalties or perform a modern day miracle and give the side the courage to actually turn up for each other and hold an opposition team out instead of opening a path through their defense like they're fucking Moses? It's a pity those gale force winds weren't a little bit stronger and blown the team away to at least have a chat with the Wizard to see if he could actually do anything for us. Let's hope the team take the Yellow Brick Road back to Auckland.

As is standard procedure after a Warriors loss we get to see the cheer leaders bring out their favorite set of poms poms and do their Konrad dance claiming that on his own he can miraculously change the fortunes for the New Zealand based franchise. I've even seen someone ridiculing a form based selection in Allwood over the man who can do know wrong in their eyes (Hurrell) claiming that Cappy has no idea and selection shouldn't be form based. YOU FUCKING WHAT MATE? Sure, at the end of the game it's all well and good to point the finger and say "so and so played shit" but the fact remains that selection is and always should be based on form, not on what a bloke did 3 fucking seasons ago and currently can't even stand up and show he is a class above the rest in reserve grade.

We'll be in for yet another week of reading and hearing about how rubbish Cappy is and how he should be sacked and that we need to bring in a new coach. Does nobody else see the pattern that is forming within this organisation? We lose a few games, the players drop their bundle, the pressure valve shows no sign of being released and when results don't come it turns into a player power stand with the "we've lost faith in the coach" and allow him to fall on, not his own sword, but the one placed their by the players who have not only let the coach down, they've let themselves, fans, sponsors and staff within the entire organisation. For the players to say they've lost faith in a coach is a bit fucking rich in itself as they expect the fans to keep the faith with them. What coach do we bring in if Cappy is another victim of an under achieving Warriors outfit? We cannot afford to bring in another rookie we MUST hire someone who has a proven track record as a head coach in their NRL IF we decide to fold to the players, yet again, and look to another coach to wave his magic fucking wand. Harry Potter is about the only one who would have the magic to dig this team out of the hole they've dug themselves, unfortunately he is a fictional character.

There might not have been too many positives to take out of the game but one in particular was the involvement of Sam Lisone. He went into beast mode tonight and needs to use those efforts as a level of expectations he should have on himself for the remainder of the season.

As is the case with most weeks, it's the unforced errors that kill this side and the teams inability to defend their line on the back of a turnover or a penalty conceded. Mark Gasnier hit the nail on the head in the pre-game show saying "The Warriors beat themselves more often than not with silly mistakes".

The thing's you cannot coach into players is desperation. You cannot coach Urgency. You cannot coach attitude. These are the KEY components within this Warriors outfit that are lacking and this responsibility falls squarely on the players shoulders. Until they get themselves sorted with the way they approach a game then there isn't a coach known to man that would be able to turn this club into the successful club we all crave.

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Round 11 Game Day




NZ Warriors vs Canberra Raiders
Saturday 21st May
Yarrow Stadium, New Plymouth
7.30pm (NZT), 5.30pm (AEST)
Match Officials: Referee - Grant Atkins 
Assistant Referee - Matt Noyen




1. Tuimoala Lolohea
2. Jonathan Wright
3. Blake Ayshford
4. Matt Allwood
5. David Fusituá
6. Thomas Leuluai
7. Shaun Johnson
8.Jacob Lillyman
9. Isaac Luke
10. Ben Matulino
11. Bodene Thompson
12. Ryan Hoffman (c)
13. Simon Mannering

Interchange

14. Jazz Tevaga
15. Sam Lisone
16. John Palavi
17. James Gavet
18. Toafofoa Sipley



1. Jack Wighton
2. Edrick Lee
3. Jarrod Croker
4. Joseph Leilua
5. Jordan Rapana
6. Blake Austin 
7. Aiden Seizer
8. Shannon Boyd
9. Josh Hodgson
10. Paul Vaughan
11. Josh Papalii
12. Elliot Whitehead
13. Luke Bateman


Interchange

14. Kurt Baptiste
15. Jeff Lima
16. Clay Priest
17. Joseph Tapine
18. Sam Williams
19. Frank-Paul Nuuausala


Both teams head into this Round 11 clash with 4 wins apiece, with the Raiders draw against the Newcastle Knights back in Round 3 giving the Canberra side the higher position on the NRL Ladder. Looking at the 2 sides rosters, i think Canberra would be relatively happy with the way they've been going while the Warriors would be feeling very disappointed with not just results, but effort!! On the flip side to that, Canberra's recent form has been rather ordinary having lost 4 of their last 5 games with the 1 victory in that period coming when they gave the Wests Tigers an absolute flogging in Round 8. 
The Warriors missed out on a golden opportunity to lift themselves into the top 8 last weekend against the Panthers. On the back of numerous unforced errors, which were unable to be defended on multiple occasions, the Penrith side took advantage and were able to convert those errors into points. The concerning thing with a high percentage of those tries leaked in by the Warriors was the absolute ease in which Penrith were able to penetrate their defense. Justin Morgan must be having absolute nightmares about trying to sort out this flimsy defensive outfit. 

Looking at how the ladder stands for this round, Canberra are the only side of the two who have a realistic chance of sneaking into the 8 at the completion of the round. The Warriors for/against is (un)suprisingly the thing that would likely see them finish as high as 9th position with a win today.
Simon Mannering makes a welcome return to first grade from injury this week while Kata sits out due to suspension. Matt Allwood is the man to come into the side to take Kata's place. If you listen closely you can hear the Konrad cheerleaders sharpening their knives waiting for Allwood to make any mistake so they can all collectively say "i told you so".

Canberra will be without their work horse Shaun Fensom due to injury but look for Sia Soliola to be a late inclusion. 

Jono Wright and Matt Allwood are going to have to bring nothing less than their "A game" tonight as they face up against arguably the most lethal edge combination in the competition this season, Rapana and Leilua. 

Both sides can be very hot and cold and can be an absolute nightmare to support at times. It's hard to predict what side will turn up today from either camp, although i feel the Warriors may be travelling ever so slightly better based on current form. The trip across the Tasman has been a hurdle for the Raiders in the past and i think today will be no different. Look for Issac Luke to have an absolute blinder in front of his home town and take out the MOM award. Raiders might roll over in this one, Warriors by plenty.

UP THE WARRIORS

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Player Profile - Mark Tookey



NAME: MARK TOOKEY
WARRIOR NUMBER: 76
NICKNAME: TOOKS/BIG TOOKS
DOB: 9 MARCH 1977 (AGE 39)
BORN: PADDINGTON, NSW, AUSTRALIA
DEBUT: 7 JULY 1996
POSITION: PROP

Flashback Friday - 2014 vs Canberra Raiders


This Flashback Friday we go not too far back and it involves the team we are playing this weekend in New Plymouth. The year in question is 2014 and when it comes to the Canberra Raiders its significant for three reasons. Two of those reasons are how we beat them by scoring 54 points (54-12 at Eden Park and 18-54 at GIO Stadium).

The third reason is the fact that the victory at GIO Stadium was the first time we had beaten the Raiders at Canberra Stadium since 1997! Not only had we broken the Canberra home game advantage hoodoo, we absolutely pulverized it. Sadly for the Raiders they were not only bent over and given what for, they also suffered the embarrassment of having to do so while debuting the ridiculous Incredible Hulk jersey with those awful purple shorts as part of the Marvel round.

Anyway, sit back and enjoy the highlights of out 2014 Round 9 and 21 spankings of the Faiders

Friday, 20 May 2016

Konrad Conundrum

Written by Gareth Sykes

When it comes to Konileti "Konrad" Hurrell, supporters of the NZ Warriors rarely tend to agree on one another's personal opinion of the man. It's easy to find yourself scrolling through a Warriors Supporter Group/Page, stumble across a thread on Konrad and proceed to settle in for the next 10 or so minutes as you read through the inevitable shit storm that is unfolding in the comments section.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

About NZ Warriors Faither

ABOUT FAITHER

Warriors fan blog, by the fans, for the fans.

DISCLAIMER

As this is a blog that is purposely designed to be "by the fans and for the fans", it is inevitable that there will be differing opinions in articles from time to time. The views and opinions expressed in articles are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Faither Community as a whole.

Although we will endeavor to do our best in ensuring that articles are accompanied with the name of the person writing the article, it is at the individuals discretion as to whether or not they wish to include their name on the piece of writing that they submit.

The admin of the blog will have the last say as to whether or not an article is suitable to be published. On occasions it will be necessary for admin to decide an article is not suitable for publication and therefore decline the authors submission to the blog.

The declining of an article will be taken seriously and in most circumstances will only be declined if, and not limited to;


  • The author is making personal attacks on players and/or their partners/family/friends
  • The author is an obvious troll
  • If the author is including material that can be seen as the spreading of malicious rumors 
  • If an article is deemed to have too many obscenities included
  • If an article is deemed to contain forms of abuse, including and not limited to; Discrimination (Race, gender, gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion)  psychological (threats of harm, humiliation, intimidation, harassment), financial (fraud, scamming) etc


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Faither: It's not just a slogan, it's a movement

1996: "Brandy" Alexander Takes Over As Captain


1996 SEASON

As the club entered their 2nd year in the ARL they would again be coached by John Monie. The captaincy position was vacated by Dean Bell as he returned to Leeds to take up a coaching role (in which he would play 1 game as player/coach) and was filled by Greg Alexander heading into his 13th season of 1st Grade Rugby League.

Player Profile - Shontayne Hape


NAME: SHONTAYNE HAPE
WARRIORS NUMBER: 80
NICKNAME: SHAPE
DOB: 30/01/81
BORN: AUCKLAND, NZ
DEBUT: 18TH MARCH 2000 vs ST GEORGE DRAGONS
POSITION: WING/CENTRE

2 Team Tracy Round 11: Flicking the Magic Bean


After starting off with a flawless opening couple of rounds 2TT had a bit of a stumble with her picks of the week and is less than impressed with the results. At the conclusion of Round 10 she decided to make herself feel better and she slipped into her loose fitting, silky nightie with her bottle of JD, energy drinks and prescription meds. As her concoction of self prescribed medications begun to take effect she recalled a childrens tale where a fella named Jack was given some magic beans. With this in mind and her burning desire to only support the best teams week after week, she decided to try her luck with her own magic bean. As she was flicking her magic bean her teams of the week popped out like the dildos she has crammed in her top drawer whenever it is opened and with one last flick her predictions became clear.

Rabbitohs vs Dragons
ANZ Stadium
Thursday 7.50pm

Both sides have long and proud histories and if we have a look at the rivalry between the two clubs since the inception of the NRL in 1998 the stats show that from the 26 times these two have faced off with each other, St George have the upper hand winning 16 times to South Sydney's 10.

The recent form guide for the two sides reads pretty bleakly for the Rabbitohs with only their last start victory over the Eels providing them with their sole victory over the last 5 rounds. 2 of the 4 losses have come from last years grand finalists but the important result here is the victory over the Eels.

Coming up against a team that had gone through the week that they had faced is never an easy task and history suggests that facing a side that's been dealt a cruel blow to their season is not an enjoyable time (remember the Storm vs Warriors game after a similar situation). South Sydney would have gained plenty of self belief from that victory and to hang in until the death and win it at the end may just wake up the sleeping giant in this competition. They've got a star studded roster and that may well have been the kick start required to turn their season around.

St George on the other hand seem to be the quiet achievers, going about their business with not many people paying attention to them at all. After a tough road trip that saw them face all 3 QLD teams in enemy territory they've managed to sneak into the 8 with 2 victories in their last 3 outings. They may have lost to an under-strength Warriors outfit but victories over the Rooster and Raiders are more than impressive.

2TT is backing the Rabbitohs ($1.40) at 1-12 ($2.90)to go back to back and get their season on track in a close one.  First try scorer will be on old Warriors favourite in Dane Nielsen ($10.00)

Eels vs Storm
Pirtek Stadium
Monday 7pm

This game is basically do or die for Parramatta. It's vital that they come away from this game with 2 competition points otherwise the task they face to feature in finals footy in 2016 is almost out of reach.

Although not named, it wouldn't come as a surprise to see Foran return for this game and the inclusion of this man would be a massive boost for the Eels coming off their heart breaking loss at the death against the Rabbitohs.

Melbourne Storm are being their clinical self and for reasons that remain unclear continue to be a side that fly under the radar until finals time and all of a sudden have the 7 teams remaining looking very cautiously over their shoulders.

The Eels ($1.89) have everything to play for in this game and it should prove the difference between the two sides. It'll be another close one but they'll get the job done by a margin of 1-12 (3.15) with the big fella on the wing, Semi Radradra, crossing over for 1st try scorer.






Saturday, 14 May 2016

Round 10 Couch Coach



Both teams entered into this contest with the chance to consolidate their position in the top 8. Unfortunately for Warriors fans it is Penrith who now move up to 7th position while Cappy and his troops can potentially slip down to as low as 14th. When you're presented with your team facing such a daunting proposition, given the roster that they have at their disposal, it makes me, as a supporter, wonder when these "cheer leading" fans will put down the pom poms and quit pretending like mediocrity is an acceptable form of "professionalism" from the 17 blokes who run out on the field every weekend.

As is a common theme within the NZ franchise supporter base, regardless of results, it's likely social media will be flooded with hair brain calls like "ermagherd we need to pick Konrad cos Blake is so shit and stuff and LOL couldn't even play first grade for Cronulla" followed by, if not proceeded by, "Sack Cappy. He Sucks", without giving any real indication or backing to their statements leading to an array of verbal abuse because they have the fucking intelligence of a genital wart.

Considering the opportunity to climb into the top 8 for the first time in 2016, welcoming back both suspended and injured players, a sell out crowd with the assumption some of these first grade regulars position in the top side would be on thin ice after an under strength  team came away with the spoils in their last start, they decided to dish up a flat performance which was compounded by unforced error after unforced error. Not to be outdone, a half back who seems to be more interested in making sure his hair is right before the game, judging by his sneaky look into the mirror and quick fix of his locks before the lads left the dressing sheds instead of being focused on the game at hand. Maybe he might have been aware that it was blowing an absolute gale tonight and been able to correct his kicking game accordingly. What i would like to know is why was there plenty of mention about Soward being out the day before practicing his kicks in the breeze while our playmaker was, most likely, at the local hair dressed tending to his do. It wasn't obvious at all which of the play makers entered the game with the best preparation.



 One of the biggest concerning parts of the New Zealand Warriors play, not only tonight but what seems to be most games, if not all, is the sheer volume of unforced errors that are committed by the team and then their complete lack of ability to defend the ensuing set of six. Every try that was scored by Penrith tonight was on the back of an unforced error;

First try came about by SJ trying to offload a ball with 3 or 4 Penrith players surrounding him in his own in goal. With the restart of play the ball goes agonizingly close to being blown out on the full due to the breeze. You'd think that would be a lesson learnt, right? Wrong!

A penalty kick was the next scoring play, coming off the back of Palavi giving away a penalty on the Penrith 40m line, giving them an easy path to get out of their own end while facing a stiff breeze. 3rd tackle into the 2nd set of 6, Gavet gives away a penalty right in front of the sticks for an easy 2.

As mentioned before, nothing was learnt from the earlier kick off and the ball flies out on the full from the restart. The set following that penalty, Penrith stroll over for yeh another soft try against the Warriors.

Try number 3 comes from Gavet trying to push the pass with 3 defenders around him. This leads to a STUPID penalty being given away from Luke for a push on the man playing the ball and Penrith are in again through flimsy defence.

With the game still tight another silly offload, this time from Matulino, under heavy traffic is thrown and possession turned over. The next set Matulino gives away a penalty and if that wasn't bad enough, after a handling error then a penalty, ANOTHER penalty is given away, this time by Kata, allowing Penrith to stroll down the paddock and touch down comfortably in the corner.

The final try of the game came from a no look pass from Kata at the death. This one could almost be forgiven as we were in desperate need of points, but a couple of metres out with a couple of tackles up our sleeves the smart option was to take the tackle, get a quick play the ball and then shift it wide.





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Round 10 Game Day

Penrith Panthers vs NZ Warriors
Saturday 14th May
Ami Park, Christchurch
3pm AEST







1. Matt Moylan (c)
2. Josh Mansour
3. Waqa Blake
4. Peta Hiku
5. Dallin Watene Zelezniak
6. Jamie Soward
7. Peter Wallace
8. Sam McKendry
9. James Segeyaro
10. Reagan Campbell-Gillard
11. Bryce Cartwright
12. Isaah Yeo
13. Trent Merrin

Interchange:
14. Tyrone Peachey
15. Jeremy Latimore
16. Leilani Latu
17. James Fisher Harris
18. Suaia Matagi



1. Tuimoala Lolohea
2. Jonathan Wright
3. Blake Ayshford
4. Solomone Kata
5. David Fusitua
6. Thomas Leuleuai
7. Shaun Johnson
8. Jacob Lillyman
9. Jazz Tevaga
10. James Gavet
11. Bodene Thompson
12. Ryan Hoffman (c)
13. John Palavi

Interchange:
14. Issac Luke
15. Ben Matulino
16. Charlie Gubb
17. Shaun Lane

Referee: Matt Cecchin
Assistant Referee: David Munro

Over the years the Panthers slightly hold the advantage over the Warriors in the head to head department, with a total of 34 games being played between the two sides, Penrith winning 18 and Warriors 15 with the solitary draw thrown in. Penriths winning percentage isn't quite as strong when they fly across the ditch but that shouldn't be an excuse to take this side lightly.  Over the last 2 years Penrith have managed to notch up 3 victories to the Kiwi outfits 1.

These sides would be happy to forget the 2015 season, with both teams suffering a cruel injury toll that proved to be a mountain too steep to climb with Penrith not able to so much as leave the foot of the Blue Mountains while on the other side of the Tasman the cleaners were out in force and sweeping away anything that crossed their path. A player clean out at the Warriors was always on the cards with the arrival of their 2 major signings in 2016 but questions would have been asked and many a fans eyebrows raised when it seemed in certain instances the club were keeping players based on potential and a good season a few years back while showing the door to some of the hardest working and dedicated players in the competition. 

Fast forward to 2016 and some could argue that one side hasn't been able to be mentally strong enough to overcome last seasons failings. While the other side has shown a fight and determination to win, shown their mental strength in overcoming a part of the game that's not in their control and in doing so they haven't allowed a season ruined by injury to affect the way they approach and play the game this season. 

 Penrith will head into today's fixture with a spring in their step combined with a self belief that they can match it with any side in the comp. Their results have shown exactly that, with their biggest loss coming in Round 1 by 8 points courtesy of the Raiders. As you delve deeper into their 2016 season results it shows just how easily they could be much higher on the ladder having lost 3 games by 2 points and 1 by 5. The argument to that is they could be going much worse, having won 2 games by 1 point and 1 game by 2 points. 

The NZ Warriors on the other hand offer us with a different prospect. The old saying "beware the wounded Beast" may ring true in more ways than one this afternoon.  With an outside chance of Manu lining up on the wing as a late inclusion, it would be hard to imagine the man in any other sort of mood than Beast Mode if he takes his place on that left hand edge. Add to that Matulino and Thompson who are also going to be itching to make amends for their indiscretions along with the return from injury in the form of Tommy Leuleuai and Tui Lolohea, the Warriors side suddenly seems a very formidable opponent. A sell out crowd in Christchurch is going to give the boys a massive boost on the field. I get the feeling that the events surrounding the club in recent weeks will be the turning point of the season and the catalyst to propel us deep into finals footy.

The Warriors will need to be wary with their emotions and be sure to keep them in check. Penrith are a side that know how to hang in and make you pay when you begin to let discipline and concentration slip, which is a trait that Cappy will be hoping has been left behind in Auckland. 

Solomone Kata could well be a very big piece to the jigsaw puzzle in this fixture and the standard of his performance today could well be the key to the Warriors coming away with the Win or going home empty handed. Bryce Cartwright plays out on Kata's edge in defence and it has been no secret that we've been exposed down that flank plenty of times already this season. The importance of shutting down Cartwright could not be more important in today's game. If you're fractionally off with your D this man will show you up and make you look like a schoolboy, but it Kata can keep him contained and get enough ball himself to start sending traffic back to Cartwright that will take us a long way to victory.

Warriors by 14

FAITHER









                                                                       
                                                                                                                             










2 Team Tracy - Round 10 Edition

With the rep round behind us it is time to see what 2 teams our "favourite" bandwagon supporter will be cheering on this weekend.
Eels vs Rabbitohs
Friday 13th May
7.50pm
Pirtek Stadium

You have got to feel for the Parramatta Eels and the shit they've gone through, not just over the last few days since their punishment has been handed down, but the months and months on end that this whole saga has been dragging on for. The way in which the players and coaching staff have handled these events is to be applauded. Just imagine how it would be going down in some of the cheerleading pages if it were the Warriors engulfed in this controversy, it'd all be Cappys fault.

With that being said, 2TT is donning the blue and gold this weekend as the Eels face off against the Rabbitohs.

If we cast our memory back to when the Storm were punished for their salary cap breaches and the way they responded against the Warriors in dishing out all the emotion that had been built up due to the NRL's findings, it's hard not to back the Eels against an under performing Rabbitohs team.

The players have put on an extremely brave face during this whole ordeal and the comradery and willingness to still make 2016 count shown within the camp has the alarm bells ringing if you're a Souths fan.

2TT is backing the Eels ($1.61) in this one and is expecting a bit of a boil over with Parra running away with the contest and winning by 21-25 ($18.00). With Peats being moved on to get the club back within the salary cap, look for De Gois to crash over from dummy half early on as 1st try scorer ($26) to set the tempo for the remainder of the match

Panthers vs Warriors
Saturday 14th May
3.00pm
AMI Stadium

With what can only be explained as one of the tougher weeks the NZ Warriors franchise has been through over the years, the under strength team managed to turn up and produce a stellar effort against St George a fortnight ago and come away with a morale boosting victory.

With the "shameful 6" having served their punishment and now back in the frame for selection (apart from Manu who is still working his way back from personal leave) only 2 have been named to take a spot within the 17. (Matulino and Thompson)

With those two influential forwards returning to the team and the addition of Tui Lolohea and Tommy Leuluai, who both return from injury, the Warriors will be a force to be reckoned with this weekend. Add to that Issac Luke's snubbing from the test arena and the point he will be out to prove as he looks to redeem himself as the premier hooker in NZ and win back the black jersey, all the signs point to a Warriors victory.

Penrith will be no easy beats though. Having come up with their biggest loss in Round 1 by 8 points against the Raiders, Penrith have gone on to lose 3 games by 2 points and 1 by 5 points. On the flip side, they've gone on to win 2 games by 1 point, 1 by 2 points and 1 by 4 points. While they have been well and truly in every game they've played, do not underestimate the grueling toll that would have taken on the players, especially with a few of them enjoying stellar performances during the rep round, 2TT foresees that they may have a below par peformance this week against a side that is looking to let their footy do the talking.

Warriors by 16-20 ($17) and look for Fusitua ($10) to crash into the corner for the opening try on the end of a slick backline move with Lolohea handing him the try assist in his return game.

*Side Note*
Gotta give a huge wrap to the folk in Christchurch with this game being a sell out. Brilliant stuff! Also big props to Penrith for taking their "home" game to the shakey isles.

2 Team Tracy currently stands at 4/4 winning teams picked.

Couch Coach - Test Match Edition

New Zealand vs Australia

It's never a good feeling to lose. It's an even worse feeling to lose to Australia. It's sad to say that we can go even one better than that. We lost to the Aussies without scoring a point. Where was that G.I mentality at the end of the game where we could have been taking a shot at field goal?

Due to some sort of secret squirrel business involving the formula that is used in the International Rugby League Rankings and the lack of material to be found online, we now have to sit through the rest of the month until we find out if we even retain #1 spot in the world. Judging by the little information I could find, it seems part of the criteria is based on the last 3 years results. With NZ currently sitting on 897 points and Australia 719 there may be hope that we hold onto those bragging rights. Let's face it, when it comes to the Aussies bragging rights are as good as a win.

Let's dust off the old chalk board, doodle up a couple of quick illustrations of some cock and balls then have a look at some key points to be taken away from last nights game.

1. No specialist hooker

We'll start with the obvious. I think we can all agree that leaving Luke out of the game put us on that back foot before a ball had even been kicked.

Although he has started the season off with the Warriors with some unflattering form there has been the positive that he has looked better with each game he plays.

Not only does he add speed around the ruck, quality ball service from dummy half, adds a dimension of play with his darting runs that gain valuable metres and gets through his fair share of defensive work, he is a leader within the squad. He is a senior member who provides confidence around the squad and has the ability to take pressure of those around him. He leads our Haka like a man possessed and brings with him experience and a calm head when the going gets tough.

What message does leaving Luke out of the squad send to the rest of the team? Does it give them an edge and determination to keep their spot or does it create doubt in the mind adding unnecessary pressure in a game that has enough of its own already?

2. SJ Flying Solo

I've seen plenty of criticism fired SJ's way in the aftermath of the match. While I am one to quickly have something to say about a players performance I feel he is a little hard done by in this instance.
Australia would have gone into battle with one very clear message coming from the sheds; "SHUT DOWN JOHNSON". What's the man to do when the opposition are putting even more attention on him that usual while knowing full well that there isn't a Plan B for the kiwis if SJ gets taken out of the game.

Meninga enters every game he coaches with the mindset of winning that particular game. He has been very successful using that method and is something we needs to have endorsed within this squad. When we're down on troops you have to pick the best options for positions, that means picking Benji at 5/8.

Imagine the extra possibilities with ball in hand just by adding those two very experienced blokes in Marshall and Luke. I applaud Kearney for his record over the last few years but if he was a junkie and dropped the ball like that he'd be giving wristy's in the truck stop in an attempt to have a second chance at holding the ball next time around.

3. Jordan Kahu

I must admit that I raised an eyebrow when I saw his selection at fullback. I thought Josh Hoffman would have got the nod before him to fill in the void.

It is clear I need to pay more attention to Broncos games as I haven't seen a great deal of the guy and his effort for the Kiwis was simply outstanding.

Kahu made a number of try savers both by his determination in defence, his ability to pop up at the right time and a never give up attitude.

Most notably was his try saver on Semi that just stopped the big guy in his tracks 5m out from the line, then with the very next play getting across to the other side of the field to stop/almost stop another try scoring effort. Right on halftime he managed to put enough pressure on an Australian kick to force the ball dead in what otherwise could have been another try and a very ugly halftime score.

4. Defence

Not much to say here. Pure desperation, fight and pride in the jersey were key to stopping the flood gates from potentially opening up. With the sheer weight of possession against them it was refreshing to see this mob not drop their heads and start kicking stones because it was getting too hard. Now, wouldn't it be nice to see that sort of attitude in defence from the NZ Warriors?!?

Flashback Friday

In 2003 the Warriors finished 6th on the ladder and had a tough trip to play the Bulldogs in week 1 of the finals series.
As always with the Warriors being the underdogs and backs to the walls they played amazing footy and took the game to the more fancied Bulldogs.
Winger Francis Meli who scored an amazing 23 tries over the course of the season touched down 5 times which is still a finals record today for most tries in a game.

Faither of the Week



This weeks "Faither of the Week" award goes to Jordan Kahu for his sublime performance against the Aussies on Friday Night. The Faither votes saw him win this in a landslide.

Player Profile - John Simon



Warrior #69 - John Simon

Born: 29/5/72
Birth Place: Port Kembla, NSW
Position/s: Halfback and 5/8


Injuries and Suspension



Injuries
  • Ryan Hoffman (Ankle -Rd 23)
  • Albert Vete (Broken Arm - Rd 22)
  • Nathaniel Roache (Hamstring - Indefinite)
  • Shaun Johnson (Knee - Season)
Suspension










Faither Rant

The Warriors are certainly not a team that have fans jumping ship to support them, the bandwagon supporters tend to flock to the successful sides, just like 2 Team Tracy. Whatever team is winning, that's the one they'll inevitably support.
In saying that, it's really just stating the obvious to suggest that 99% of Warriors fans have been supporting the side since day 1, or for as long as they can remember for the younger folk......and maybe some of the older fans.