Warriors in bid to save NRL season

Alastair Bull, NZ Newswire July 23, 2012, 5:27 am

In theory, the Warriors are well in the hunt for an NRL playoff spot.

In practice, they've got a lot to work on after losing to Newcastle on Saturday, their first home loss against the Knights since 2005.

Many of the problems which have left last year's finalists in danger of missing the playoffs resurfaced: the inability to play for 80 minutes and defensive lapses out wide the most obvious.

To make matters worse, they now have to travel to Perth to play Manly, who lost 20-12 to the table-topping Bulldogs on Friday. A win is looking vital for the Warriors, especially if the eighth-placed Wests Tigers defeat North Queensland on Monday night.

"Every lost opportunity of getting two points makes it harder," Warriors coach Brian McClennan said.

"We've got our backs against the wall a bit now. We need to go over to Perth and put in a really good performance."

McClennan says he's a bit mystified at the way the Warriors threw away an 18-0 lead after 20 minutes to go down 24-19 to the surging Knights.

He speculated the team may not have recovered from the previous week's energy-sapping loss in the rain against Brisbane, though he wanted to do some homework before coming to that conclusion.

The team wasn't helped by the loss of wing Manu Vatuvei to a hamstring twinge, with his replacement Omar Slaimankhel caught out a couple of times in defence. McClennan said Vatuvei should be available for the Manly game.

After the Manly match, the Warriors face the Sharks at home, the Cowboys away, Penrith at home, St George Illawarra away and Canberra at home.

The away matches look the toughest: a trip to Perth is never easy, and the Warriors' away records in Townsville and at Wollongong don't make pleasant reading, but they do have a favourable points differential if it comes down to that.

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  1. Russell08:47pm Monday 23rd July 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    yea dont panic still in the top 14

  2. Russell05:08pm Monday 23rd July 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Karma , more to come for whittler watson great !!. Well ,they are still in the top 14

  3. akkerz02:13pm Monday 23rd July 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    thh I thought Bluey would be an improvement on Cleary but same issues still coming up. Can't blame players who are used out of position - coachs decision, players that are unprepared - coaches decision or players who are slower because they are still carrying injuries. Definately going backward and looking like we through the game on Sat due to coaches decisions. Makes you wonder

  4. Craig01:45pm Monday 23rd July 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    they should give up on the idea of playing specialist fullbacks on the wings it didn't work with the fish and it's not working young omar. you can't put all the blame on the wingers the inside guys are the ones who are moving infield and making them move in. Wayne Bennet knew this and exploited it. He has now shown the other teams where to attack the Warriors. I don't know how they're going to beat manly this weekend when they're flying to Perth on Friday night and then playing on saturday night. Tony Williams and Jamie Lyons will have a field day running out wide.

  5. John01:03pm Monday 23rd July 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    after sat night,who cares

  6. ron12:39pm Monday 23rd July 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Are those bagging Bluey now the same ones that wanted him appointed when Cleary departed??? Turncoats... come on fess up like real men...

  7. David11:49am Monday 23rd July 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    looks like the decision to get rid of Cleary n replace him with an out of his depth coach will bit the Warriors. great to hear Owen Glenns news but maybe need to look at the front office first as the Warriors are the clubs flagship. they certainly need a good recruitment manager and coach as the encumbents are not up to scratch.

  8. second5eight11:24am Monday 23rd July 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    been saying all year that Bill Topou is not up for it... and what do they do... re-new his contract and get rid of Inu hmmmmm go figure??? bluey has some serious selection issue's and to date he has got it wrong.

  9. Ron11:22am Monday 23rd July 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    how is the fact that the 13 muppets on the field that cant tackle Blueys fault? The players are the ones with no guts not him!!

  10. 11:09am Monday 23rd July 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    warriors not , wankers yes


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