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Fragile Warriors struggle to make a mark

Ravi Nyayapati – Extended chance-Ravi Nyayapati Web

In a season that provided more promise than the last five, the New Zealand Warriors spectacle has been mediocre so far.

This year saw Ryan Hoffman assume captaincy after six seasons of Simon Mannering at the helm.  As with the change in any leadership, expectation and hype ran high in the pre-season lead up.

The Warriors made it to the finals of the Auckland Nines, one of the pre-cursors to the premiership seasons. They subsequently succumbed to a strong Parramatta Eels in the finals but had shown enough determination and promise for a great season ahead.

However, the enthusiasm dampened even before the support base warmed up to the 2016 season.  The Warriors made headlines for the wrong reasons with three straight losses in the first three games.

Serious doubts

This created a doubt as to their new structure but soon after these defeats they pulled off two great wins, only to lose again in the next.  It has been the same old pattern of taking two steps forward and one step back.

Every win has been a work of art, showing just how good the young side is.

When the victories have come, they have come in style.

Nevertheless, it is the losses that are unbearable, not because of the losses themselves, but the method in which Fragile Warriors struggle-Captain Ryan Hoffman has a major job Webthey seem to capitulate to sides whom, on occasion, they have thoroughly outclassed.  On field consistency continues to elude them.

The Anzac Day outing in Melbourne was a painful experience for both players and fans. Home team Melbourne Storm ran riot against them on April 25 with a thumping win.  They capitalised on the vulnerability of the team, as a unit, against a well grouped opposition.

Frustrating collection

The Warriors failed to get their side of the scoreboard ticking while Storm kept attacking relentlessly and humiliate the Warriors.  The referee added to the Warrior’s woes and seemed determined to appear biased, providing a possible red herring to provide consolation to fans for the humbling defeat.

The Warriors have great players in the team but these are outstanding individuals who just can’t seem to click as a unit on field.  Collectively, they can even be frustrating to watch on a bad when they cannot get their act together.

With nine games gone in the premiership season, they have managed just three wins.  Yet again, they have found comfort in the bottom half of the 16-team ladder.

The Warriors’ last decent run in a premiership season was in 2011 when they reached the Grand Finals.  Since then, they have struggled season after season.

The 2016 season started with a better promise and greater hope but they keep fans waiting for that magical turnaround in consistency.

The only team in the League from New Zealand, the Warriors must be loyally thankful that despite their lacklustre show for five years on the trot, they continue to enjoy unwavering support from their die-hard fan base.

Enter the Dragons

On an optimistic note, there is still time to make amends and ensure reaching the top eight, and a place in the finals series. The next task on hand is a home game against a week (St George) Illawara Dragons side on May 1.

The Dragons have also struggled this season but now sit above the Warriors in the ladder, thanks to a close victory last weekend over Sydney Roosters, the whipping boys of the season.

Coach Andrew McFadden has the right mandate to get an effective strategy in place, and work well with Hoffman to ensure the team lift their game and execute plans as per instructions.

Photo :

  1. Simon Mannering’s shoulder injury would be the least of his worries
  2. Captain Ryan Hoffman has to a massive resurrection job ahead

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