The Warriors should be one of the best sides in the NRL
The Warriors should be one of the great sides in the NRL. Yes, they made the Grand Final last year, but it was a surprise to most.
They have the most talented/strongest youngsters and are second to none in the NRL under 20s. They seem like they can win whenever they want to.
However, this hasn’t translated to the NRL side. The question of why this is the case is intriguing many fans inside and outside New Zealand.
There are two answers. The first is coaching, the other is their style of football.
Let’s look at their coaches in the past 10 years.
Daniel Anderson coached the side between 2001-4. He took them to the GF and they lost to the Roosters in 2003. He has the highest success rate of all Warriors coaches in 17 years (55%); he left in acrimonious circumstances in 2004 after falling out with senior players.
Kemp did not last long, Cleary came next. He also took them to the GF in 2011 when they lost narrowly to the Manly Sea Eagles. He is has the second best strike rate among Warrior coaches, just under 50%.
Since the beginning of this year, Brian McLennan is the coach and it is probably too early to comment on his tenure.
OK, we got down to the second and perhaps the more intriguing part. Their style of football, which pretty much revolves around the flair factor. The flair factor can kill teams, but also can win premierships. However, in the long run it is not a winner.
Teams have to be controlled by few ways. Discipline and enthusiasm are two very important parts of the game after talent. The Warriors are very lucky talent wise, but very short of discipline.
Their main playmakers over the years (except the great Stacey Jones) are not noted cool heads, (perhaps Maloney, who is leaving this year, is the exception). They must find someone who can control the game – and the flair. This will give the team plenty of respect, and a better shot at the title.