Warriors concede rugby league ‘isn’t working for them’

Dane Eldridge Columnist

By Dane Eldridge, Dane Eldridge is a Roar Expert

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    The New Zealand Warriors have conceded that starting a rugby league team was a “poor business decision” and that the game “probably isn’t their thing.”

    The confession follows last night’s meek 30-14 resignation to the Dragons at FMG Stadium in Waikato, a loss that extended the club’s streak of wasted potential to 22 years.

    Playing with a virtual international team in their own conditions against an injury-depleted opposition, the Warriors lived up to expectations and caved spectacularly.

    Most notably it was their star-studded spine who gifted the hardy gathering of confused rugby union fans in Waikato a night they’ll never forget, turning on a performance more anonymous than the opposing quartet of playmakers they lined up against.

    In the end it was a six tries to three demolition that tidily complemented the spluttering narrative of their underwhelming season and hence their existence.

    However, this bewildering implosion was unlike those before it, as it ultimately revealed the organisation does have a pulse.

    The failure triggered the club into action, with a root-and-branch review conducted to determine the viability of being a professional disappointment.

    Following the recommendations of the review, the Warriors will now restructure their business model and cease trading in rugby league altogether.

    Many business experts have pointed out the high degree of financial risk this poses for the club, with a 260 per cent reduction in revenue forecast from no longer flogging off 25 switch jerseys per season.

    But the club believes winding up rugby league operations will open up an exciting opportunity to concentrate exclusively on exploring “the best fit for their brand”, which will probably result in them becoming a specialist Nines outfit.

    While acknowledging any day involving the word ‘brand’ to be one of deep sadness, the Warriors paid tribute to their decorated history of disappointment in the “conventional but highly complex 65-minute version of the game”.

    The club highlighted the successful campaigns of 2002 and 2011 and made special mention of the organisation’s greatest spike in popularity when then-owner Eric Watson reportedly beat up Russell Crowe in the toilets.

    The Warriors will now see out the season with an “orderly wind-down” of football operations, meaning a negligible change in product quality.

    The club plans to re-launch in 2019 under a new business model concentrating largely on assets consolidation.

    This will be mainly based on a shrewd strategy of abstaining from routinely sacking one coach every year.

    Dane Eldridge
    Dane Eldridge

    Dane was named best and fairest in the 2004 Bathurst mixed indoor cricket competition. With nothing in the game left to achieve, he immediately retired at his peak to a reclusive life ensconced in the velvet of organised contests. Catch the man on Twitter @eld2_0.

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    The Crowd Says (81)

    • May 20th 2017 @ 8:56am
      Fish said | May 20th 2017 @ 8:56am | ! Report

      It is an attitude thing for the Warriors and a good example of a team of champions do not make a champion team.

      I have tipped them more times than I should have, in the hope that these wonderfully talented players can finally live up to their reputations, but alas no.

      The Warriors need a coach that demands discipline, and let’s face it Kearney might just be like Jason Taylor, a wonderful assistant coach.

      It is a real pity that Shaun Johnson is getting very little support, because he has been in solid form. Even the addition of Foran has not been fantastic. His mind is clearly in Sydney going off last nights performance. Positional errors in defence that he ordinarily wouldn’t commit.

      BUT the truth is this team is lazy and to me look a little underdone, which is silly considering we are in round 11, almost half way through a season.

      Where has RTS gone? I think he believes he is on a holiday somewhere, he simply looks disinterested.

      Along with the Tigers I can not see any permanent improvement in the near future, as attitude is sometimes the most difficult issue to coach out of a team. Newcastle and the Saints are prime examples of what good attitude can achieve in the absence of experienced talent.

      • May 20th 2017 @ 10:53am
        Akari said | May 20th 2017 @ 10:53am | ! Report

        Just like James Maloney before him, Foran is just waiting for the end of the season so he could transfer to the dogs in one piece. The Once were Warriors should let the poor bloke go now and let Hingano lead the team IMO. They stuffed up by recruiting him and it’s not too late to admit and send him on his way. They should ask for a refund he gets to the door however.

        While they are at it, they should also release their lazy and unfit forward pack. The over-paid buggers could barely last 10 minutes before fatigue hits and all is downhill soon after.

        • May 20th 2017 @ 11:01am
          Jacko said | May 20th 2017 @ 11:01am | ! Report

          So I gather you dont want a club to help Inglis then? Just discard these guys Eh. I hope the warriors management has played a part in turning his life around and getting him back doing what he is best at

          • May 20th 2017 @ 12:13pm
            Gold Coast Bunny said | May 20th 2017 @ 12:13pm | ! Report

            Inglis was already playing for Souths and injured himself playing for us meaning Souths or any Club would assist a player already on their books in the circumstanstances. I think Askari was trying to say Foran difficulties arose when he was with Parramatta and the Warriors took him in to help him out. As a business decision probably not the wisest move unless he can help the juniors as he has not improved them at all.

            Always thought the warriors were best when they played an ad lib brand of football with second phase phase cutting defences apart. Their most recent coaches seem to want to play more robotic mistake free footy and it’s not working.

            • May 21st 2017 @ 12:14pm
              Jacko said | May 21st 2017 @ 12:14pm | ! Report

              Good to see the Warriors making decisions for the betterment of players not just all about business then I guess

          • May 22nd 2017 @ 12:53pm
            Akari said | May 22nd 2017 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

            Good on the warriors management, Jacko, but it’s still a poor business investment decision at the end of the day when the faith and support is not reciprocated in kind on the field. But my point was that they should invest in their future via Hingano or anyone else long term now instead of wasting any more time and space on Foran. In any case, the Dogs and Foran may also be a better fit for Foran’s sake and that of rugby league at the international level.

            • May 22nd 2017 @ 1:18pm
              Jacko said | May 22nd 2017 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

              TBH I think they dont believe they have a mature replacement for Foran’s position. Maybe having Foran at the club will pay dividends in the long term with the passing on of knowledge and experience. Having said that, you are right about it not being a business decision. I think the owner knows him personally and has done for many years so stepped in to help when it was needed. I dont believe it was ever a business decision.

              • May 22nd 2017 @ 5:09pm
                Akari said | May 22nd 2017 @ 5:09pm | ! Report

                I hope Hingano is taking advantage of any opportunity that is available to him to learn off Foran then. Foran IMO is still a class act league-wise and it’s up to the youngsters like Hingano to learn from the master himself.

    • May 20th 2017 @ 9:13am
      Raugeee said | May 20th 2017 @ 9:13am | ! Report

      😀 – sounds like an 80s plan. Maybe Alan Bond could facilitate it.

    • May 20th 2017 @ 9:30am
      Duncan Smith said | May 20th 2017 @ 9:30am | ! Report

      When I think of the Warriors’ “brand” I think you can always rely on them to be unreliable. That counts for something these days.

    • May 20th 2017 @ 9:31am
      Albo said | May 20th 2017 @ 9:31am | ! Report

      Yep ! It seems the Warriors are more dictated by their cultural “nice” attitudes, where the game is more of a social event to have fun with your mates, rather than a battle for supremacy on the footy field ! And you can get paid well to have such fun ! There is just no mongrel in their make up. Dire competition to succeed is not being embraced. Perhaps this is why these players never had a desire to play for those'”win at all costs” All Blacks…. they are far too competitive for their sensibilities. Until they get some real mongrel in their team, I can’t see any success coming their way. And it needs to come from the top with a coaching dictator through to on field leaders to drag the rest to a new attitude to succeed. Selection of roster needs to focus on some less skilful but competitive James Graham types rather than RTS or Isaac Luke types.

      • May 20th 2017 @ 11:05am
        Jacko said | May 20th 2017 @ 11:05am | ! Report

        Albo you have described League in NZ very well……..It is a game played so family can get together and socialise…..Its an amature sport played mainly for the community spirit rather than the competitive result. Just because the individuals look like they can excell doesnt mean they have the mental attitude to be the fierce onfield demeanor. The word “Gentle Giant” is very appropriate

      • May 20th 2017 @ 12:00pm
        Jeff dustby said | May 20th 2017 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

        That is one of the weakest excuses and strangest I have ever heard

        • May 21st 2017 @ 10:12am
          Jacko said | May 21st 2017 @ 10:12am | ! Report

          Why? There is no pro league in NZ. Why do you find that hard to understand? Is it your education? The NZ AFL aint going so great either…….Pity you seem to think that because you like and support a sport that the rest of the world has to do what you think they should….
          The “CULTURE” at the Warriors has been reffered to many many times yet you say its not true…Whatever

    • May 20th 2017 @ 9:32am
      Cedric said | May 20th 2017 @ 9:32am | ! Report

      become a nines team, really, weren’t you watching……
      Lazy in defence, look at the scramble, none really. A few big hits by Bunty and Gavet. Warriors need a couple of mean front rowers to compliment Gavet and 2 more Mannerings in the back row. Job done, the rest will follow!

    • Roar Rookie

      May 20th 2017 @ 9:44am
      up in the north said | May 20th 2017 @ 9:44am | ! Report

      For the life of me I cannot fathom why the Warriors are so piss poor. This side is virtually the national team, but they still suck, how is this possible. The same country that gives us the all conquering All Blacks dishes up this rabble in rugby league, the games aren’t all that much different surely.

      • May 20th 2017 @ 3:49pm
        Cedric said | May 20th 2017 @ 3:49pm | ! Report

        Mate their were 4 players from the last test match in thar warriors team last night. That is no excuse for their effort though.
        I do think warriors fans do get tired of the 2 most called wronguns;
        1. It’s nearly the kiwi side.
        2. The big warriors pack.
        Neither are right.
        There was plenty of fight and urgency in the dragons though and they had a kiwi front rower who is displaying just what you want.

      • May 20th 2017 @ 10:12pm
        Karlos said | May 20th 2017 @ 10:12pm | ! Report

        Up the north the biggest differences are they have 8 reserves in ru and only 4 in league and RU has many more breaks to rest.

        • May 21st 2017 @ 10:17am
          Jacko said | May 21st 2017 @ 10:17am | ! Report

          Karlos you are being derogatory. You seem to believe that putting a league team in NZ will instantly make NZers like the sport and follow the sport. League in NZ hardly exists. All those league coaches at junior level in AUs dont exist in NZ. So coaching is crap, pathweays are crap, Competition is crap yet tyou expect high level league competitive with Aus.

          • May 21st 2017 @ 10:25am
            Jimmmy said | May 21st 2017 @ 10:25am | ! Report

            By your definition the Melbourne Storm should be the worst team in the comp by a country mile, minimal juniors, small local interest , poor local coaching talent. Yet they are a powerhouse. Your lack of logic mimicks your lack of understanding and dislike of the great game .

            • May 21st 2017 @ 12:16pm
              Jacko said | May 21st 2017 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

              Jimmy I believe Melbourne is in Aus…It was last time I checked.

              • May 21st 2017 @ 1:37pm
                duecer said | May 21st 2017 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

                Yes, I think he missed the point – the juniors come from the RL states as do the other bits and pieces – from Australian states. The comparison would be valid if the Storm had only Vic to source all their needs.

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