Warriors need to Keep Calm and Carry On

Awen Guttenbeil, Yahoo! New Zealand Sport August 17, 2012, 10:47 am

This week has been an eventful one in the media for the Warriors.

Calls for an answer for the team's performances of late have reached a fever pitch and there is definitely a scent of blood in the water.

I think the club should take a deep breath and hold off on any rash decisions.

With only three games left to play this season, Warriors HQ would do well to send out the message that players and staff should just keep their heads down and focus on finishing the season with three wins.

If I was in charge of the club - my message would be clear and simple - we only have three games remaining in the season.

For the players: concentrate on getting the result on the field. For the coaching staff: we are not happy with the recent results but Brian Mclennan has a two-year deal and nothing changes as we finish the season.

To the media and the fans: we are not happy with where we sit at the moment and will do everything we can to show we are better than our last two results.

I would be surprised and concerned if the club was thinking of any knee jerk reaction to the problems they are facing at the moment.

There is no quick fix and no point rushing to do anything with only three weeks remaining in their season.

The next move they take could make or break the club and needs to be well thought out and well researched.

There was an independent review of the club and coaching staff when it was in a similar position in 2009.

I was part of the review panel and thought it was a sensible way to deal with obvious problems.

I'm sure at the end of this season a similar approach will help them gain a view from outside the Warriors bubble.

One thing I would warn against doing right now is bringing Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney into the mix.

While it may be a move that placates fans with the appearance of adding troops, I feel that it would be a déjà vu of the situation we had where Ivan Cleary was brought in to the flailing side when Tony Kemp was coach.

Cleary's role was clearly as an understudy with a view to eventually being head coach and Kempy couldn't help but know this.

It created a tense environment with some players feeling they had to pick sides and I can’t help but think that putting the current Kiwi coach under the former Kiwi coach would create the same state of affairs.

As for Kearney - as a coach outright or whether Bluey should carry on for his second year- I think the team should batten down the hatches and consider any decision thoroughly before rushing to act.

Breeding a winning culture is something built on many factors, and over time.

If the club is serious about building the biggest and best sporting franchise in Australasia they need to make decisions that will serve them in the long run, not just plug the leaks for now.

Focusing on this week, I will say it again.

All the best sides are the ones who are the most sound in defence, and I would hope this would be their main focus this week against a Penrith side that will be hungry and desperate not to end up with the wooden spoon.

Their coach Ivan Cleary returns to Mount Smart for the first time since he left the club at the end of last year and will have a few clues on what it takes to beat a wounded Warriors outfit.

I just hope the home side can keep their minds on the footy and not the dramas that have been happening in and around the front office this week.

They are a better side than they have shown over the last month and Mclennan is a better coach than his results are showing. I hope they can turn up and repay the loyal fans and put in a performance that will see them lift themselves off the canvas.

This will be a match that could change that fate of a few employees at Mt Smart and I hope for the better. Warriors to get up and bring some pride to the jersey.

This is an awesome round of footy when you look at the match ups. Most top eight sides play each other so not only will we see which sides are genuine title contenders we'll also see the points ladder move around a bit after this weekend. It all starts with two big Friday night games.

Broncos v Storm
These two sides have slipped down the ladder over the last few weeks and will come out full of attitude.
Brisbane has won for a month and although the Storm have stopped their poor form they haven't been that convincing. I'm backing the experience of the Melbourne side to pick up the win here.

Bulldogs v Tigers
This is a massive assignment for the Wests Tigers boys.

The Doggies have won eleven in a row and with another win should secure the minor premiership. This will be an entertaining game but I can't see the Tigers defense holding up so it's the Dogs for me.

Raiders v Roosters
This is a must win game for Canberra and at home they will be too good for the Roosters who will be competitive but once again fade in the second half.

Sharks v Robbitohs
I thought the Sharks were the dark horse with a month to play after they hammered the Warriors and I still think they are capable but they need this result.

The Souths boys are on fire and will make this a tough physical encounter.

The bonus for the Bunnies is the return from suspension of Greg Inglis. I'm hoping the Sharks get up but this could go either way.

Titans v Eels
The question is where has the recent form from the Parra side come from. They are trying to avoid the wooden spoon and have momentum on their side.

The Titans must win their three remaining games to make the top eight and at home will just sneak this result.

Sea Eagles v Knights
I'll pick this game to be throwback to the good old days when Mark "Spud" Carroll and "The Chief" Paul Harrigan used to slog it out.

There is no love lost between these sides and with finals places at stake this game will be epic. I think the class of Manly will get them home here.

Dragons v Cowboys
I love the way the North Queensland side stepped up against the Warriors last week and will need this win to hit form heading into the finals. The Dragons have been inconsistent this year and have reverted to their pre-Bennett days of having a soft underbelly. This will be their undoing and the Cowboys will ride away with victory.

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  1. BOOM11:43am Saturday 18th August 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Yeah man sweet as, don't worry about it.... lets just see how things pan out bro. Jeepers.

  2. Stephen John09:46am Saturday 18th August 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Should've shut your face after the second sentence Awen.

  3. Peter08:24am Saturday 18th August 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    the whole higher level in this teams management needs the boot, we have had some really good players dumped, for what reason, thats what i ask, look at michael witt, best goal kicker in the competition, goals can win matches, yet they dumped him, and so many other good players, its time for changes up top, as well as in the team, a new captain would be a starter, Jacob Lillyman has the experience, look beyond our borders for talent. we cant rely on rookies to win matches, yes we need them, but dont just shove upcoming under 20s straight into the side, bed them in in the vulcans first.

  4. X Rated07:14am Saturday 18th August 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    dorks have to wait to next season.................and im sure it will be the case in a yrs time............dorks

  5. Pieman11:01pm Friday 17th August 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Awen you are like every other ex leaguey nod your head and keep the free lunches coming, don't critisize or you will be left outside the square. This mob are no younger than anybody elses squad, many are test players , they have or had most of NZ supporting them , its not a too many PI 's in the team as the rednecks claim, look at the Cheifs they have plenty, but when you stick your arm out to tackle a player, you should be on sideline for the next couple of weeks.

  6. One life10:16pm Friday 17th August 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    The team with the best defence will win, Cleary is strong in this area Bluey is clueless. I hope The warriors win but I fear that The Panthers will punish us down our wings. Both Manu and Toupu drift in and are hopless on defence so expect Monsor to have a field day however on the other hand our forwards should dominate so as long as Bluey leaves them on the field long enough for them to get to work our go forward may make up for our leaking wingers I agree lets concentrate on using the last 3 games to restore some pride then find another coach for next year as Bluey is out of his depth and making too many bad calls

  7. Fly boy10:03pm Friday 17th August 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    @ Vegas -"Awen, name me another team that has entire country behind it with 4million fans when things are going well" Absolute rubbish! You insular Akld'ers think everyone supports the Penrose Sheep Warriors. Think again. You got one thing right - it's a toss-up between them and the cricket team to find out who the biggest joke is!

  8. Vegas07:26pm Friday 17th August 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Awen, name me another team that has entire country behind it with 4million fans when things are going well. Sure that last part may sound shallow but so too is the history of the Warriors seasons. In our 18yrs of existence we've rarely made the top 8.............................. comfortably, if at all. This from a team like the Black Caps have more excuses than drugged out dole bludgers bleeding off the system and blaming society for their failings. We're commited to rebuilding now with so many young formerToyota Cup players in the squad. They need to mature and it obviously hasn't happened over night. Even next year they'll still be serving their apprenticeships, atleasat for another two. Johnson, Tuimavave, Marra, Hurrell, Henry, Tupou, Fisiahi, the Lousi bros etc. The list goes on yet still we be off the pace come post season. It's a lot to ask of such a young team. We lose Brown, Luck and Maloney this season. Ropati is broken and indifferent. Vatuvei is on a downward spiral. Our buys for next season don't make for impressive reading. After Cleary's successful past it'll be hard for a few more seasons yet!

  9. Russell02:52pm Friday 17th August 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Owen i hope your knowledge goes beyond your clear and simple message "We only have 3 games left" YOU havent brought much to the table with that , i think the already know that, GOT ANYTHING BETTER THAN THAT.

  10. Jason11:32am Friday 17th August 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Isn't 4 weeks a long time in sport.Back then the warriors call this totally rediculous and over the top media conference to tell us how they are going to make "club the most succesful franchise in Australasia"...gosh ending up all but last on the NRL table is a long way from being that aye...


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