Warriors need to trust Bluey to beat the Sharks

Awen Guttenbeil August 3, 2012, 3:06 pm

The Warriors will need confidence in their coach if they are to beat the Sharks on Sunday.

We can all look at the last two weekend’s capitulations from the Warriors and easily get angry at them for blowing 18-0 leads, but I can tell you the players don’t purposely try to blow it. I can see that they simply don’t believe in themselves - and maybe what their coach is telling them.

Brian Mclennan came out after their two point loss to the Broncos three weeks ago and said that they need to concentrate on scoring more points, and that if they do that, they will win more games.

With all due respect to Bluey, I can tell you for a fact that nine of the last ten teams to win the competition have been either the best or second best defensive sides during the regular season.

This leaves me – and I have to assume some of the players – puzzled at attack being their priority when they have conceded 24 points in their last two games.

I often talk about defense being the key, but it’s not just from a personal bias – it’s based on the stats. I’ll say it again; nine of the last ten teams to win the comp were the best defensive sides. That doesn’t seem like a coincidence.

I wonder if the emphasis on attack is something that worked for Bluey in the northern hemisphere. I’ll concede that scoring plenty of points with a star studded line up is possible in the English Super League but there is a marked difference between the quality of teams across the table there.

The NRL is a tougher and tighter competition and there is only a very slight difference between a side that is winning and one that isn’t. For me this is true for the Warriors. They have shown they have the tools to get the job done I just wonder if the instruction manual they use has been tailored to them and the NRL.

A lot of people have asked me about Bluey as a coach and if he should be there next season.

I think the club has a responsibility to give him another year in the role but should be looking for a long-term coach that will be at the club for 5-10 years following that. If the owners are serious about building the most successful sporting franchise in the southern hemisphere then they need to get the right man at the top.

For me that would be the Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy.

He’s molded the Storm into the benchmark team in the comp over the last few years and turned average players into some of the games elite. Just imagine what someone like him could do with all the talent the Warriors have at their disposal.

Speaking of talent at the club it was great to see Sebastian Ikihihifo make his debut last weekend - and to now see Carlos Tuimavave named to play against the Sharks.

I’m sure they will both deliver on the field but it will be the experienced players that will need to step up and be counted on Sunday.

The Sharks will have Paul Gallen, Jeremy Smith and Todd Carney steering their ship and the Warriors will need James Maloney, Manu Vatuvei, Feleti Mataeo and Nathan Friend to match them.

At the end of the day though, this game will come down to which side believes in their process the most and which team defends the best, not scores the most.


I am hoping Mclennan can inspire his troops for the full eighty and have them trust that if they deliver what he asks they will win. If he can’t and the home side switch off for a few minutes the Sharks will be primed to end the Warriors finals hopes and push themselves back into the top four.
I think the Warriors will muster up enough character to get the job done.

Here are my picks for the rest of the weekend’s footy.

Roosters v Dragons
The Dragons sit just one win off eighth spot so this is a must win game for them, especially when you consider the Sydney Roosters are winless from their last five starts. The Roosters won’t play in the finals and won’t win this game. Dragons for me.

Storm v Panthers
The wheels have really fallen off the Storm over the last month. They have lost five matches in a row for the first time under coach Craig Bellamy. They will fancy getting their finals momentum going with a win over the lowly placed Penrith side. The Panthers will be looking to spoil the party as they did last weekend in beating the Sharks but I can’t see them winning this one. I’m going with the Storm.

Knights v Bulldogs
If you want to see where your finals credentials sit, playing the top team is the answer. The Newcastle boys have been in form over the last few weeks and are within striking range of being in the top eight. The Dogs though are at another level and although this will be a close one I can’t see the Knights footing it for the full eighty minutes with the Canterbury boys. Dogs to win.

Cowboys v Sea Eagles
The winner of this game could seal a top four finish to the season so there’s plenty at stake here. I just wonder if playing in Perth last weekend then traveling all the way to Townsville will hurt the Manly side’s chances? I have to lean towards the North Queensland side at home.

Raiders v Broncos
If the Raiders lose this match their season is over. If the Brisbane boys drop the game it would seem a very tough ask for them to finish in the top four so this game will have plenty of passion and desperation from the Raiders. I think this could be an upset and the Raiders will take it.

Titans v Rabbitohs
This should be a very entertaining and physical game. The South Sydney boys have been in devastating form over the last two months and the Titans have found form of late winning their last three matches. This will go down to the wire but I just can’t back against the Bunnies given the form they’re in. Souths.

Tigers v Eels
The Eels have put on two very good performances over the last fortnight and will fancy tipping over the Tigers. I think the Wests boys will step up a few levels and try to send a statement to the competition that they are still a genuine threat to the title. I think they will deliver so it’s the Tigers for me.

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  1. BOOM09:26am Saturday 04th August 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Hit the nail on the head there John.

  2. 10:42pm Friday 03rd August 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Bluey is the guy who does the Forward rotation, left a Limpet Hurrell to face Matai and they should trust him? Really ?? I know this is an opinion piece Awen but come on, are we really still sticking to the softly softly prayer approach ?

  3. Pieman09:37pm Friday 03rd August 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    With the Sharks small budget, they picked up the double trouble players that were kicked out elsewhere, would be some questions if they were to beat the big budjet Warriors, but then Inu is still getting a fair amount of that.

  4. ron09:35pm Friday 03rd August 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Don't keep blaming the coach. These guys have had good leads in their last couple of games. The coach didn't lose it from there...THEY DID. The players must stand up and accept responsibility.

  5. TRACER08:58pm Friday 03rd August 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Believe, Focus, Committment, Come on Gentleman we can do this. Dig DEEP, Lets Go!!!

  6. TRACER08:57pm Friday 03rd August 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Believe, Focus, Committment, Come on Gentleman we can do this. Dig DEEP, Lets Go!!!

  7. Perplexed08:36pm Friday 03rd August 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Warriors like so many neeed to realise WORK goes on an on ah, no matter how stuffed yu feel yu gotta get up an do it again. so till THEY work that out? & hey thu moneys good either way isn`gt it??????

  8. second5eight08:27pm Friday 03rd August 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    the warriors need...WAYNE BENNET !!! bluey's the problem,same team but cant win this year.

  9. Nach08:16pm Friday 03rd August 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Hey the Warriors have been like this since day one! This year is no different it is the culture of the club. Too many PI's with the flash game. They've had good coaches and Bluey is another who has to try and get them up every week. But this club ain't like no other in the NRL. They're either very, very good or bloody bad.

  10. John07:06pm Friday 03rd August 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    McClennan is at fault for not utilizing the bench rotation properly. There's a reason why we keep losing games late late late into the second half and that's because this coach doesn't know what players to put on at those times. Mateo is an 80minute player...don't need to take him off. Packer doesn't know how to play at the end and is a liability because he's way too tired. Look at Ivan Cleary's bench rotation from last year...that was nearly perfect...he knew exactly when to insert players and take them off. Pity he's not here anymore. Do or die this week...and for the next 4 weeks after that.


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