General Ivan Cleary

Which is it for Ivan?

  • Yes Ivan is the cause of our poor season.

    Votes: 8 44.4%
  • No, he is not the reason we are playing so poorly.

    Votes: 10 55.6%

  • Total voters


He's pulled the Warriors out of slumps before without making wholesale changes to the team. I thought the first 15-20 minutes, to the point where they shot for goal, against Brisbane was outstanding. I also think if Denan Kemp is paying attention and not worrying about the gel in his hair, and if Mannering looks inside instead of outside that we get two extra tries under the posts and I reckon that pretty much does Brisbane.

He's also shown a lot of faith to players in the past who have gone through 'slumps, like Vatuvei, Hohaia, Rapira, and generally those players have come through the other side and repaid him big time.

THe only blokes I think who we need to replace are Lilyman and McKinnon. I've been an avid fan of Wade's but clearly he's going through some turmoil with his pace due to the injury. Next season I'm sure he'll be back, but for now Locke should be getting involved more which would happen if he's fullback.

We certainly did dominate Brisbane in the first 20 minutes but once again looked stagnant in the opposition 20 and our only try to show for our efforts was a forward barge-over as opposed to any slick attacking moves.

I'm not saying wholesale changes need to be made, but to single a couple of players out it seems nearly every Warriors fan and his dog agrees that Jones is nowhere up to NRL standard anymore. The guy is a Warriors legend and always will be but our attack (the lowest statistically in the 15-season history of the Warriors) comes down to the halves and he just isn't stepping up. Last year our late winning streak did come about at the same time that Rovelli was dropped for Fien. While management have shafted nearly every half this year there still remains some viable options in Heremaia or Hohaia or even an eye to the future with John or Johnson.

Agree on McKinnon and Lillyman. Wade clearly is still nowhere near pre-injury form and would benefit from some time away from first-grade to attempt to get it back. It's punishing Locke who has been performing well above expectations and deserves to be played in his natural position. Lillyman should never have been here in the first place.


ya know who Wade looks like back there now? Ivan Cleary back in his day.

They reckon it takes a year to 18 months for a knee reconstruction to come right. But yes right now Wade looks like Ivan at the back.


After looking back at our winning streak last year, it's blatenly obvious what's gone wrong. We are quite obviously missing the beards. Bring them back and we'll go on a huge winning streak and win the premiership :cool:


They reckon it takes a year to 18 months for a knee reconstruction to come right. But yes right now Wade looks like Ivan at the back.

Nothing wrong with that. i rated Cleary as a FB when at the Warriors. I sat down at ground level a few times and watched the way he 'helped' players such as Meli, Fa'afili and Toppi. Cleary was the one giving direction.


Cleary was a good first grade full back. Played under study to Mathew Ridge for a few seasons at Manly.


can't believe people are turning on him so badly every team had bad years wayne bennett never had the perfect record but look how loyal they stayed too him. this season will only make him work harder to improve next year this could be the kick in the guts they need . i just think ditching him now will set us back years.

I'm with stuboy here.
I didn't vote on the poll.

If the Warriors sack Ivan tomorrow, who takes over for the rest of the season? Either J Ackland or T Iro. Bear in mind they probably can't bring in a new player from outside unless they're off contract - there's no midseason transfer window like the European football. On Friday's score - I didn't actually see the game so I can't say performance - the U20s aren't setting the U20 Competition on fire and (I know, I know, I've banged on about this before) J Ackland as the assistant must surely have some say in the makeup of the 1st Grade team so he's not free of blame if we are - and I don't BTW - to purely blame the coaches for this year. Let me repeat the obvious. This happens every year! Okay, definitely 06/07/08 and I'd wager money on most if not all seasons previous. Something in the water?? Suzie, put that bottle down!! :p
Would Iro or Ackland take the somewhat poisoned chalice of coach for the rest of the season given that the club would have to pay out Cleary so the money honey wouldn't be flowing too well and knowing their futures were'nt settled for 2010 and also, who moves to full the role they currently have?
Also, Stuboy's mentioning of Wayne Bennett - He's been quoted as reckoning that an NRL player doesn't get really useful until their 100th game. Look at the lack of games in total and individually - not just Warriors games, but NRL games in total, our 17 has every week. Rather low. Graham Lowe, who I strongly suspect was taking the pee (not taking p), said after the ANZAC test that the Kiwis should name a bunch of newbies because it would freak the Aussies out as they hadn't seen them play before. If it happened it would work, I guess, for, maybe 20-30 minutes. A respectable score - 8/10 points down at that point and we might have even scored first. Then the Aussies would regroup. 30 minutes later they'd declare and look to enforce a 200 plus lead!! Too many new players in a team goes against Wayne Bennett's comment and who am I to argue against him?
I'd change my tune on Ivan if we didn't win at least five games before the end of the year but I'd put the house I don't own on us turning things around. Whether around enough for Top 8 I don't know and frankly don't much care at this point in time.
BTW if Tonie's back, is he a Kiwi again or an Aussie - if he's thinking rep footy??
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Ivan Cleary can take comfort that hes not the worse out there. There is no point in sacking Ivan Cleary as head coach, other than making a statement. Because there is no coach out there available whos capable, suited or qualified enough to take over the head coaching position at the Warriors at present. I can think of many assistant coaches, but not head coaches. Ivan hasnt done a good job at coaching the Warriors this year with the resources, talent available he should have done better. Crucial decisons hes made over the last 12 to 18months has cost him big time.
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bull**** so ivan is dropping the ball. iven is missing the tackles. the coach can do so much its up 2 the boys on game day 2 put it all stop talking ****.one week its ropo then it was mannering then its jones & now its the coach. get over it.

kidding, psycho


What's all this talk about sacking him anyway? Noone's saying he should be sacked and correct me if i'm wrong, the members of this forum don't actually have the authority to fire him.


What's all this talk about sacking him anyway? Noone's saying he should be sacked and correct me if i'm wrong, the members of this forum don't actually have the authority to fire him.

We were granted discretionary powers when the forum was down.


Ivan is responsible for recruitment.

Lillyman, and Jones have been a mistake.

Losing Fai and Tate has been a bigger blow then expected.

I think next year is also a write off if Jones is the halfback.

I think signing Ivan long term is a good thing, he just need's to wake up and smell the coffee on our 7 and a few other players.
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Listening to Gus Gould on the Roast yesterday, he made the point that the most important factor needed by a successful league team was speed. Commentators tend to agree that the two ref system has speeded up the game with greater emphasis on speeding up the play the ball (whilst keeping the defence back 10m).He then said that the Warriors lacked speed and I,for one, would agree with that assessment. Mention has been made on this forum that steps were taken to bulk up players pre-season and that is why our speed has been lost.

The question then becomes - how do the Warriors overcome their lack of speed? Another member of the Roast panel (Paul Langmack) argued that the Warriors attack was too deep, allowing defences too easily read their plays. That would make sense if these plays were further made obvious by a lack of speed in carrying them out. The solution may be quicker play the balls, more direct attack up the middle with offloads to supports. That did seem to work for the first 20 minutes against the Broncos. If we haven't the speed to play an expansive style of football, then I suggest we should resort to a more conservative approach.


westie stylz_old

A coach essentially has 3 jobs.

1) Recruit the best team possible and get your positional selections correct.

2) Play an effective style that suits your team.

3) Get the boys doing their jobs to their peak more weeks than not.

whatever way you look at it Cleary has failed significantly with all 3.

We have 5 wins all year, with 2 coming in the first two weeks when all was bright and rosy and the media was talking us up as title favourites and 2 other wins coming later in the year in pouring rain and wind at home where we were always going to muscle wins because those are the only conditions that suit out style.

It's clear as day that Jones was on the way down years ago when he left the club. He didn't go play in the Super League because he was in the form of his life, he went their to feather his nest and now years later he comes back and what do they expect? For that alone I would say that Cleary has lost the plot. Jones can't penetrate the line (a problem in our halves for a long, long time), has never been a great kicker and has also lost the speed that can get him out wide to link effectively with out outsides. He is offering nothing.

Remember folks, we have now gone 9 games where the most points we've scored is 14. We are averaging 1-2 tries a half and now even the Eels have overtaken us with points per game. We have the lowest average in the cmop amd that starts with your halves. Our 2 tries against a Broncos team that was conceding 40 points a game on average from it's last 4 games were a barge over prop try and a speculating bomb that one person bothered to take. When we are relying on Price to score our points it season over, playing for pride time.


Listening to Gus Gould on the Roast yesterday, he made the point that the most important factor needed by a successful league team was speed.

Michael Jennings proved this yesterday! Inglis, Bowen, Slater, Brett Stewart are all gamebreakers and all posess speed. Kevin Locke would be the fastest at the Warriors and look at the plays he's coming up with. So I would have to agree.

Glad to see the 'no' has taken over from the 'yes' in the poll as well! :)


"We're not far off"

This to me sums up why Ivan is a tard.

We are far off - mainly because of his clueless coaching, team selection and game plans.

Do you think other teams take 16 rounds to gel? No - they've usually built up good combinations after half a dozen. If we have pretensions of being a "good team" then we have failed epically this year, particularly considering we were 3rd favourites. Our roster pre-season looked uber on paper, but Ivan has cocked it up through poor man-management. He favours crappy Aussie journeymen over rising NZ talent (as he has always done) - but i have supported some of his moves in the past because what we needed was a hard committed edge. But he's let the pendulum swing way too far the other way. I mean look no further than the backrow - i have spoken to Toiletduck at length on this and yes - it sucks. Continuing to select Lilyman, Luck and Mannering together, when you have guys like Ta'ai, O'Regan and (formerly) Steve Rapira waiting in the wings? And clearly messing with Big Ben's head as witnessed by the big man going back into his shell and being forced to do the donkey work up the middle, simply because noone else shows the slightest hint of penetration. Realistically you only need one of the aforementioned three - and quite frankly I'm sick of the Luck masturbation that goes on in the media and the forums - you are the weakest link, please fall on your sword. Yep, you've done a job, but now all you do is stifle the attack. So I favour Mannering because he never misses tackles, he's the best 1-on-1 tackler in the NRL, he's younger, and he doesnt suck so much with ball in hand. Lilyman speaks for himself, complete waste of money (even though i stuck up for him for ages) he's basically just a slightly better Luck but without the seniority.

Saying that the loss of Brent Tate has ****ed up our season is an absolute joke. There is little wrong with our defence and onfield leadership. And let's not forget that Tate is the kind of player who'd rather feed a sardine to a great white by hand than feed his winger. Also let's not beat about the bush - we are about to endure 2/3 more seasons of a crappy Tate, wasting a centre slot that could be used to blood a good junior (dont even mention the 400K he's on). He's now done both knees, badly, not to mention his other injuries. See how ordinary McKinnon is after doing 1 knee a lot less severely than Tate? Multiply your disappointment with McKinnon this year by 10 and see how you enjoy the turtle. Strap yourselves in because YEEHAW it's going to be one hell of a ride...

It's harsh but he must go on the "put out to pasture" pile if he doesnt show good signs come the start of 09. In that pile i include Jones, Luck, and McKinnon.

Ahhh Jones, dont even get me started on this issue. Worst signing in Warriors history? Quite possibly. Although we have to think about whether it's just him, or whether the way Ivan used him had caused problems. I tend to lean towards the latter, because let's be honest, Stacey has done some good things this season. But he's not an 80 minute control-a-game halfback at his current age and form. If Cleary had stuck with his early season strat of rotating him with Fien, things may have looked better. Then we also wouldnt have had to suffer the diabolical Henderson at hooker, and Heremaia could have been rightfully injected. Lance at 5/8th i am not that unhappy with, simply due to lack of other options (i dont think Moon is the answer at 5/8th).

The team looked better though with a Ravs/Witt combination, because it was - at least in attack.

We played a style that had guys busting up the middle and offloading to good support players. You can say a lot about Ravs, but at least he was a good support player (as was Witt).

Now we're not offloading effectively, and not supporting either.

So if you're going to play a traditional conservative style, youd best be damn sure that you have an excellent attacking and defensive structure and rely on relentless pressure, good execution, and minimal errors in attack or defence to win games. But we cant do that as we dont have the cattle in the halves.

Nor do we have the cattle in the halves, or the coaches play a style of game that relies on creativity all over the park and individual brilliance to create opportunities.

So we end up with this half-arsed style of football that is neither one thing or the other. We'd like to think we can break backs with our forwards, and unlock the likes of McKinnon and Hohaia up the middle. But we cant do that because Ivan keeps selecting generic crappy toilers and dampening the natural game of our flair men. We'd like to unlock the power of Manu and the finesse of Kevin out wide, but we cant feed them decent ball in space because our inside men are too ponderous and our attacking structure too stilted.

Ivan is not the worst coach the Warriors have had, not by a long stretch. He seems to be able to structure a good defensive line and instil a good attitude to his players. A lot of this must be due to the onfield leadership of Price but you can give Ivan some credit here. But he fails in other areas - hard. I've said it before and i'll say it again - we're a worse attacking team than the Sharks of the last few years - and we've got way better cattle on paper. The Sharks would have killed for the likes of Locke, Vatuvei, Hohaia, and Waz in his prime.

Give him a dozen rounds in 2010, if things havent improved - he must go.
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can't believe people are turning on him so badly every team had bad years wayne bennett never had the perfect record but look how loyal they stayed too him. this season will only make him work harder to improve next year this could be the kick in the guts they need . i just think ditching him now will set us back years.

If we changed our coach we would have to rebuild and that would take a couple of years at least. Ivan needs to drop players who dont peform.


Our attack is poor, we've had enough ball to win games. The structure in attack is poor, yes we dont have decent halves but the rest of the guys arent even running decent lines or doing something different other than catching, passing down the line and running straight at the defence, there is no decoy running, or running at angles or smart set plays. Its down to the coach to come up something new and creative. Its too predictable for the defence who just stands and watches what the Warriors are doing.

The next Warriors coach should be a New Zealander, unless we can get in a coach from australia whos of the calibre of a Wayne Bennett, Phil Gould, which is highly unlikely.


Glad to see the 'no' has taken over from the 'yes' in the poll as well! :)

I think the poll was poor in design because both options were absolute measures. You cannot solely attribute our poor season to Cleary but in saying that it's foolish to think he hasn't done anything wrong either.

westie stylz_old

The next Warriors coach should be a New Zealander, unless we can get in a coach from australia whos of the calibre of a Wayne Bennett, Phil Gould, which is highly unlikely.

If Phil Gould ever coached the Warriors I would personally go out to Mt Smart on a quiet, dark winters night and burn the stadium to the ground. And since it would probably be pissing down with rain I would take extra kerosene :)

On a serious note though the Warriors have probably been hampered by a lack of proven coaching over their history. We were hyped as a side that would tear it up when we were allowed into the NRL back in the day but we have had Monie, a past it journeyman by the time he took over us who was sacked mid season in 97. Endacott who was coaching Canterbury in NZ before taking the Warriors reserves and then our premier team, he didn't do anything and was ditched, then mark Graham took over. He had done nothing in NRl coaching and lasted 2 years.

Interestingly he went on to the glorious rugby league coachign heights of.... being a defensive coach for a Japanese domestic rugby team. Ring any alarm bells yet?

Daniel Anderson was then plucked from reserve grade footie for the Eels and proved to be a fantastic pick. But he fell away when things starting falling apart and he resigned in 2004. But yet again he was another coach with no track record in the NRL taking us over.

This was fllowed by Kemp. Once again, no coaching credentials in first grade NRL footie. 13 wins and 24 losses later and he was let go.

Then we get Cleary who is plucked out of reserve grade for the Roosters and assistant to Kemp.

I've been real negative on Cleary for months now so I'll say something positive about him. He is cool under pressure. He doesn't waver much and in that respect he's quite like Bennett. He may even have modelled himself on him in some respect which is a good thing to do. Successful coaches like Alex Ferguson also behave in a similar way and it's good to imitate those who have been successful if your personality is adaptable to their style.

Where Cleary has fallen down is his pigheadedness. He simply must acknowledge that NZ are the rugby league world champions and therefore we must have A MASSIVE amount of junior talent. There are around 90 NZ players in the NRL and possibly as many as 300 NZ players in the NRL, Toyota Cup and NSWRL premiership combined. The Warriors tend to get first pick of our good young players. I was out at Mt Smart for my teams (that I manage) secondary school grand final last wednesday and I saw some of the open weight final on after our game and you get to see athletes there that Aussie NRL scouts would crap their pants over.

We get first pick of these guys and yet they get ignored for the likes of Jacob Lilyman? WTF?

Yeah, guys who tackle their arse off are useful but I thought that was why we had Michael Luck who is solid gold. He makes up for blokes who play fast and loose and maybe don't put in the 'd' that they are supposed to. Lets get some footballers and some football back in the team.

I've been watching rugby league at a good standard for 20+ years and this Warriors side is just depressing to watch. One of the least enjoyable teams I've had the misfortune to watch. A league team that scores 2 tries a game in any grade at any level is a joke.

In our seasons these are our average points scored
1995: 24.7
1996: 19.6
1997: 18.4
1998: 17.4
1999: 22.4
2000: 16.4
2001: 24.5
2002: 28.7
2003: 22.7
2004: 17.8
2005: 21.5
we were so bad that Cleary took over at this point...
2006: 23
2007: 24.7
2008: 20.9
2009: 15.3

So we are in the midst of the worst attacking season in Warriors history.

And in fact, this should be in bold type......

This is THE WORST ATTACKING TEAM IN THE ENTIRE NRL SINCE SOUTHS IN 1999 WHO AVERAGED 14.5 points per match. It's not even close. In the last decade we are horrifically bad compared to even the worst attacking teams in that time. And look no further than a halfback who needs a walking frame and a coach who needs a brain transplant.

Sadly, I almost hope they get smacked out of the comp in the next couple of weeks so Cleary will WTFU and blood some younger blokes and admit he's ballsed the season up or else he tells the boys to cut loose because we actually do have a good side (apart from the halves) and deserve to be going better.

Viva la revolucion!!!!
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