General My Warriors Season Review


1st Grade Fringe
Sep 12, 2013
Being a former Season ticket holder, living in a country a long way from NZ and having no mates to bitch about the Warriors with, I thought I'd join and write my opinion of the Warriors season, rate the players and conclude with a view to next year. Maybe some one agrees with me or can help this frustration I fell settle towards my team.

What a terrible performance on the weekend. Actually the last 2 weeks summed up the Warriors season.
Potential to be a top 4 team but too inconsistent to even make the eight. If I'm honest, they didn't deserve to play finals footy.

The core of this team have been together for a few seasons now, and to be fair this season summed it up. As Phil Gould likes to call them Rocks and Diamonds. Unfortunately he is right.

All teams have their playmakers and key players, these are the guys that if click and play well together the team generally comes out on top. For the Warriors this is Locke, Johnson, Luelaui, Mateo and Friend. You maybe thinking "Who is this guy?" what about Manu or Mannering.. Sure these are key players, more leaders, They definitely can influence a game but if the players I mentioned don't perform as a group and individually, they tend to lose, no matter how good Manu and Simon play. Of course they need the forwards to win the wrestle, yes true.. But the warriors props are their most consistent players. They tend to lose games they get in "the grind" with, why? Kicking game and line speed on defense. Kicking game is about making right decisions quickly, line speed is about attitude. That is the Warriors biggest flaw.

You know I think Matt Elliott isn't bad, he's on a hiding to nothing with those guys, The culture in the club is the biggest problem and is why the Warriors are so inconsistent. Unless there is a restructure in management I can't see the warriors being nothing more that a inconsistent team for the next few years and beyond, but there is always hope Elliott could find the spark that will mature these boys into men. A prime example of a player who was part of the Warriors culture was Inu, so laid back it wasn't funny. The ultimate inconsistent genius.. Now he's a bulldog and under a different club culture he is a performer. Thats old news, I'll move on!

It really bugs me that I can tell after 5mins if the Warriors have a chance of winning a match, sure they can't win them all but you can tell by their line speed and the look on their faces if they are in it to win. Unfortunately I'm right about 80% of the time.

Some bad decisions have been made by Warriors management over the last few years, First was getting rid of Cleary, then selling Brown, Maloney and now Taylor. I can't believe they didn't throw the bank at Maloney, he is turning into an amazing player. He was freaken good before. He complemented Johnson.. Warrriors have invested money in Taylor, he is a leader and that word consistent. Then they let him go...
When these players come out and says "I'm going for a new challenge" or "I miss Oz".. Sure to a degree I believe them, but in the end these guys are professional and the biggest influence is $$$. To me the Warriors opted to saved their cash for Mateo and Manu. Keeping Mateo and Manu was poor management. Both so inconsistent, one had to go.. For me it was Mateo. In my opinion he has played 4 good games this year.. We won all 4, but its 4 games! Not worth it.... Funny enough it was after he signed a new contract he played 3 of those 4 good games...Now there is talk the Warriors have splashed a $750000 a season on a skinny brit to play fullback when we already have 2 that half the teams in the NRL would want.. Ludicrous.
Enough whining, here are my player ratings for the season, (1 = terrible, 10 = outstanding, best player ever!) No one gets a 10..

Locke - 5, you may think hash, but Locke does half a fullbacks job (maybe he should be a half:), amazing defensively, great counter attacker. But inconsistent, doesn't support ball runners enough for me. loses a point for getting run down in 10m by Billy Tupou (What the!!) I wonder about his attitude to be consistent

Fish - 8, Was one of the best when he was fit. Stats show it. Hoping the Fish will fly high next year

Manu - 7, Tried hard all year, gets an extra point for the hatrick against the raiders..

Laumape - 5, Tried hard. quite consistent, but needs to learn to read defence better, it'll come.

Neilson - 5, Ho hum, Injured a lot, Not a flashy player but solid

Hurrell - 7, He used to drive me crazy but to his credit he has worked on his flaws, has a good attitude to improving. Defence is getting better. Scored some beauties.

Ropati - 5, Feel sorry for Ropati, he showed in the last few games when he's playing, he adds something positive.

Lueluai - 6, He got better and better as he got used to the NRL. Has the right attitude to winning.

Johnson - 5, For the Warriors to improve he needs to become more consistent, that means get fitter, mix up his kicking game, Barking at his troops, taking the line on more with that step.. I don't know why he only plays on the right with Lueluai on the left. Look at Cronk, Thurston, Daly CH, they all control the whole park are constantly yelling orders at their team mates and looking to exploit tired defenders. He needs to do the same. (He does is occasionally but..) At the moment he plays more like a stand off than a half. A halfbacks job is to control his team and the territory, not score flashy 80m intercepts.. That's a plus. The hype with Johnson is justified cause when he does something good, it's really good, but lacks the smart plays of a good half.

Taylor - 7, Didn't start the year too well playing hooker, holding the ball in one hand like SBW, but became Mr Consistent, will be missed. Hope Ben Henry steps up.

Mannering - 6, Tried hard, sometimes a little too hard. Has a hard job being this teams Capt. Not an easy thing to do..

Mateo - 3, Not good enough from a marque player, His defence is terrible. Needs to run more and look for the offload, he's stats are way down on offloads for the year.. When he's in form he's nearly as good as SBW. But he doesn't do enough in games... Not worth the $$$

Rapira - 5, Just ave from Sam, not his best year, has stopped offloads also

Friend - 8, My player of the year. Can't believe they were considering letting him go.. (Another almost fail from the Doosh bag management).. Glad he is on for another year.

Matalino - 7, Not Bens best year, but played well. Solid performer, should demand more $

Matangi - 6, Good first season. Solid but doesn't offer more than Packer when fit

Packer - 5, Didn't play enough due to injury, loses a point for pissing his pants, gains a point for adding some mongrel.

Peyroux - 6, I like him, good solid player, you need these guys in a team. Had a shocker in his last game, his only start!

Lilyman - 6, Not his best year either, Has become a bit one-dimensional. But gets good metres

Lowrie - 2, Last and certainly least. What a flop. His stats are quite good, but gives away penalties, makes errors, Maybe he should be told just to go on, tackle and don't touch the ball! Let him go, free up some cash!

So that's my ratings, now I believe if Johnson, Luelaui, Locke and Mateo all go away to the beach for NYs together, work on
some touch footy combo's at the beach, play a bit of force back and sink a few brewskis on NYE, we may get a great team next year. Or can the skinny brit be our savoir

But in all honesty its plain to see for all (and has been happening for 2 years now), The players attitudes to winning, the desperation to grab 2 points for every win is not there at the Warriors. Why? Well if I knew maybe I'd be a NRL coach. My opinion is the attitude isn't right because the key players are too comfortable. Being comfortable can make one become lethargic. This is not the case for all but maybe that's it! The culture that has been installed at the Warriors is just that too comfortable. One big family. But not willing to fight for team selection and battle. Lets hope next year Elliott and his staff can install in this team that the NRL is a long battle, the teams that play as a team win, attitude to fight for your team mates is key. Have the right attitude week after week and the consistency will come. Every team has talent, (the warriors more than most) at the end only the fittest and hungriest survive to play finals footy.


1st Grade Fringe
Jan 14, 2013
Palmerston North
Nice read a few points I have noticed this year I watched every game except for the panther thrashing, and the close loss to the sharks at home I was on and I was trying to but was having a few to many beers with mates.

I believe Sam Rapira has had just as good as a season as Mutts so you have underscored one o over scored the other. Rapira gives good quick play the ball when he plays, arguably was better than Mutts over the back half of he season.
Watching Mateo when he does get tackled he does get a hand free but where is the support? For being a marquee player I do expect more but how can he offload when their is no support. 2011 in his first season in the first few games he turned it over to much forcing off loads to no one, I believe he has eliminated this mostly from his game. Maybe his game is as only as good as his support, Kind of like how S.J is only good as his forwards during the game.

Its a tad laughable how you say the warriors props are the most consistent players all year? How many games did you watch? I mean three of them over 100 one game and none o them making 70m the next? Whats you definition of consistent? To me the consistent players all year have been Mannering, Friend, and Leuluai.

Sure Maloney has been playing well this year but look at the team he has around him, guaranteed he doesn't play like he has this season if he stayed. Im still sour bout him giving up last season, and at the end of the season was glad he was leaving. I admit and those poor attempts at tackling he had. IMO the bigger loss was old Lancey the year before.

Also we cant sell players although transferring players like in football would be good in the current climate we have in the game.

Ill also add

Godinet 5. Started brilliantly just to fade back to NSW cup for the back half of the year as Friend played for 80 minutes a game. Hopefully has a stunner for Samoa at the cup to remind Elliot of what he is capable of.

Nice article just posting my opinion, and the fact I don't have the time to write one myself.


1st Grade Fringe
Sep 12, 2013
You make valid points, To answer you questions, I have sat through every tedious game this year.. But there were a few I didn't watch the last 10mins
You could say Rapira and Mutts deserve the same score, I just see or maybe it's me who feels when Mutts comes on the field he lifts the intensity. Rapira did play well but I've seen him have better seasons. So that's why I scored Mutts better.
Judging a Props performance is not just about how many metres they gained in a game, the tv commentators like to use that statistic because its just that a statistic they can measure.. Isn't it harder to gain metres when you have less possession or are constantly coming out of your own red zone? (mainly from giving away dumb penalties or bad defence)
As a collective group I believe our prop rotation has been consistent all year, it's been consistent for 3-4 Seasons. I don't believe the metres our props gain is the problem why the Warriors are so inconsistent... If they had the ball in better positions on the field and more of it, naturally the stats would be better. Most teams have decent forwards, that's why the competition is so tough, it's the teams with the smarter decision makers and effective kicking games that excel.

Mateo and Johnson. They are both just inconsistent players, when they pull it off its beautiful to watch, yes players don't support Mateo enough, but he has too many quiet games for a marque player.
I believe Johnson's decision making in tight matches is his weakness and he only plays on one side of the field. As a player with the ball in hand he is in a elite class, as a decision making general, he has a long way to go. Like I said I believe if those key players were more consistent, the Warriors would be higher on the table.

Godinet - The forgotten man, poor bugger, is he the poor mans Hohaia? I agree the impact Lance brought off the bench is something the warriors don't have.
I actually think Hurrell could be a good impact sub. But I agree if Godinet can perform well it'll adds pressure to the incumbents.

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