General Potential that Bluey, Iro and Acklnad working together

Tyrael_old

Guest
Nzherald.co.nz
Expect Brian McClennan to become the Warriors coach but within a structure that could incorporate fellow contenders Tony Iro and John Ackland.

While most pundits and analyses have centred on a choice between either Iro or McClennan, a picture is beginning to form of the trio working together - and McClennan may be the man to take the club to a new level. Iro is still a strong contender but some feel he may still be a bit raw as a head NRL coach.

Instead, some of the clever money is shifting to a McClennan-Iro-Ackland axis. Both Iro and Ackland get on well with McClennan.

The McClennan and Ackland families are friendly, sometimes spending time together over Christmas, while McClennan rated Iro enough to bring him into the Kiwis management structure in 2006 and 2007.

Ackland is likely to stay focused on the club's juniors but his recognised knowledge, talent identification and canniness could be the seal on a coaching deal that would give the Warriors continuity - as well as plugging in McClennan's renowned ability to lift a side, as he did with the Kiwis and Leeds in back-to-back Super League titles in 2008 and 2009.


The one negative perceived from various rugby league sources is over McClennan's ability to sustain the week-in, week-out, high pressure slog that is an NRL coaching position.

Some see him as a coach most adept at a specific project - like the World Cup or the Tri Nations with the Kiwis - where his clever blend of emotionalism and patriotism can work wonders.

Some see that as a weakness and say an NRL coach has to have more in the tricks bag than emotional appeal. That is a reason why Iro's hopes of the top job are not dead - but probably an even stronger pointer to them working together.

Presuming Iro wants the job - he is yet to go on the record saying so - his strength is that he could continue in a similar vein to Cleary if the Warriors believe they are on the cusp of reaping the benefits of a development policy which delivered the Toyota Cup last year (helped by Ackland's scouting skills and his installation of discipline in younger players since returning to coach at age group level).

Iro has the respect of the Warriors players, management and fans, as well as taking the under-20s to the finals in his two years in charge at Toyota Cup level.

Warriors management will also need to be mindful of their public image if McClennan is not selected; he is a figure who inspires public following; one source even went as far as to suggest there would be protest marches around Mt Smart Stadium if he is rejected. Many sources suggested McClennan's ability to fire up fans could be just what the club thinks it needs to get more public backing.

IT SEEMS likely the Warriors will not rush the new appointment. There have been reports Cleary is likely to leave the club in the next few weeks - but the Herald on Sunday understands that scenario is highly unlikely.

Part of the reason is that it is emerging Cleary may not have actively desired to go to Penrith - and he has the energetic support of the Warriors players. But when the club failed to table a counter-offer after Penrith and Phil Gould came calling, Cleary may have felt there was only one direction he could go.

Quite why the highest levels of the club felt a counter-offer was not required is not known. There have been persistent rumours some in the club moved against Cleary last season and, although that move was forestalled, he was under more pressure earlier this year.

That means that some of the ringing endorsements made of Cleary (when Warriors CEO Wayne Scurrah announced his departure at a press conference this week) may ring a little less credibly - although it is not known what part in all this was played by owner Eric Watson.

It appears three playoffs in five years - while the best consistent coaching record the club has had - may not have been enough for some in the hierarchy who want the cigar instead of the "close, but no ...".

What is clear is that the players have a high regard for the outgoing coach; few see a problem in Cleary remaining and the players continuing a professional assault on the NRL top eight.

Both have points to prove - Cleary to his new club and the players to whoever takes over; Iro or McClennan or both. Also, the Warriors feel they are in a good position as regards the playing roster, coaches, the developmental and overall culture of the club and financially - and there is no headlong rush to reinvent the wheel.

Keen league observers will have noted the change in performance after that shock comeback loss to the Tigers on June 12. Before they leaked 18 points in 20 minutes to lose, the Warriors had appeared, in that game, to be on the verge of something rather good.

That loss bit deep. It was compounded by another heavy-leakage defeat to the Cowboys before last week's error-sparked loss to a conservative, percentage-playing Storm outfit. The Warriors camp seem genuinely convinced they are close to getting it right - and see the bye and the opponents they then face as an ideal platform for their push into the playoffs, where they have been in 2007, 2008 and 2010.

Cleary seems likely to coach until the end of the season, unless the not-reinvented wheel comes off and the team suffers too many losses.

"Outsiders" like former coach Daniel Anderson are unlikely to get a look in. Anderson, who had the Warriors from 2001-04, took the club to two playoffs and their only grand final but has since been regarded as failing with the Eels - now coached by the Kiwis' Stephen Kearney.
 

Straycoot_old

Guest
New Coach

About time.

Cleary definately is out of his league at this level.

Last weeks game was another prime example.

Hohaia bought back as fullback?

We all know he dislikes the position.

His inability under the high ball is well known.

One man lost that game for us last week and his name is Cleary.

Cleary for his good points a nice bloke and well spoken at times leaves a lot to be disired as a head coach.

His ability to read the game and make improvements is one orf greatest faillings.

Good players have left tyhe club once he decides they do not fit in.

Has his coaching improved players> The short answer is No.

I for one will be happy to see him gone.

Also why persist with the man-Cut him loose now-The Aussies would.

Bring in the new boys now and lets get the team consistant again.
They have the players just not a great coach.

Mike G
 

blain91_old

Guest
I dont get that Mike. You go on about how Cleary hasnt developed players while at the club and good players leaving (I cant think of any I would want back, maybe Nafe), and then say we have the players.

Bit of denial about Cleary developing players? Look at our roster, many are home developed or picked up out of no where.

Manu developed into the worlds best winger under Cleary. Brown has become a test player from a reserve grade hooker. Maloney came from reserve grade. Packers is coming along nicely, Sam Rapira is Cleary developed and is a test grade prop. Matulino, Lillyman have been converted successfully into props. Thats just scratching the surface of who have developed with Cleary.
 

Iafeta_old

Guest
About time.

Cleary definately is out of his league at this level.

I don't think he is out of his league at all. His performance suggests otherwise. The player's comments over the years suggest differently. And possibly most importantly, the absolute verve that Phil Gould went after Cleary (slightly unethical in my view be as hardcore about it in the middle of the season for our club). Gould didn't hold back. He has openly stated he 'got his man'. That's a ringing endorsement to me that he's a fairly good coach.

Last weeks game was another prime example.

Hohaia bought back as fullback?

We all know he dislikes the position.

His inability under the high ball is well known.

I would point out that in 2010 Lance Hohaia got the forum player of the year award, playing fullback. Has Hohaia publically stated a dislike for the position?? I would have thought his preference has been to play halfback (which he simply isn't good enough to play at NRL level), but surely the fact that he's gained consistent starting football in a position of his own after struggling to get a regular gig in other positions would have to have a position view for him on the position. I didn't like the Locke/Fisiiahi decision, although I have since heard that Locke is actually injured and unlikely to be back next week and while I don't agree with the length of punishment they went to on Locke/Fisiiahi given there are other internal punishments that would have been options, perhaps the club code of conduct protocol that the players would have had a part in putting together suggested they had to do that. Potentially then maybe the coach may have lost the respect of the lockerroom had he shown favouritism to his two young bucks, two guys that he has gone on the record this year to support and two guys that he has replaced the incumbent Kiwis fullback with. Lets not forget Stephen Kearney picks Lance Hohaia for his country in that position. Is he a bad coach as well?

One man lost that game for us last week and his name is Cleary.

Again, I was far from thrilled with who he had at fullback. However, we don't know what the internal protocols were that forced the club (possibly not just the coach) to sanction Locke and Fisiiahi the way they were punished. We also can't be sure if both players were genuinely available. There's a suggestion on at least Locke that he wasn't. Lance Hohaia had a howler and IMO if Locke was available (IE not injured, following team protocol) I suggest we win.

Cleary for his good points a nice bloke and well spoken at times leaves a lot to be disired as a head coach.

No disrespect champ, but I would probably at this stage take his proven performance and the ringing endorsement's of John Hart over the years and Phil Gould to be an indication that he is actually a very good head coach.

His ability to read the game and make improvements is one orf greatest faillings.

I'm not quite sure of that. I certainly think the attacking shape has been terrible over the years. That said, in terms of making improvements there have been MASSIVE improvements under Cleary from where he took the club. Remember, the first couple of years he was expected to get the wooden spoon or finish well down the chain. Even the guy who's picked him up, Gus Gould, tipped the Warriors for the spoon once or twice with Cleary at the helm. In most of those seasons he got the club to the finals. He's got the team to the finals 3 out of 5 seasons, once he missed out based on starting the season with a -4 start due to the salary cap breach. The other season was the season where we sadly lost Sonny Fai. Look at how Penrith rebounded with Ben Alexander's tragic death. They responded terribly. Club icons like Geyer and Brandy moved to the furtherest away outposts that they possibly could to get away from it. So I don't really look too hard into 2009 to judge him.

I have heard a lot of comments this week, particularly from Shaun Berrigan a player Cleary has basically consigned to the scrapheap after this year, that Ivan is extremely analytical and looks as intently if not more intently than other coaches he's been with at his upcoming opposition. There's been a few times that he's pulled out a gem, such as the Melbourne Storm final game in Melbourne where they played a lot to the short side, and openly tried to get penalties based on the grapples. They then took the points from those opportunities and tried to grind them down. The framework is largely the same but there are minor adjustments from game to game.

Good players have left tyhe club once he decides they do not fit in.

Has his coaching improved players> The short answer is No.

Which good players has he openly let go? Some have got better offers elsewhere. Even so, all first grade coaches send players on their year. If you want to compare this to the Anderson/Kemp regimes, Ivan has been stubbornly loyal to players over the years.

For the record, here are the players Ivan Cleary has seen go in his tenure.

Leeson Ah Mau - Leeson wanted a spot for his brother, who is a genuine bog standard player.
Patrick Ah Van - just couldn't cement himself.
Louis Anderson - couldn't help giving away penalties.
Todd Byrne - good solid player, but nothing to worry about.
Michael Crockett - not that good a player frankly
Sione Faumuina - sacked
Nathan Fien - IMO Nathan has performed well for one coach. Wayne Bennett. He plays a well organised game for him. But the amount of times he would throw short hospital passes or slam the backboard off a grubber kick was truly frustrating. He's a decent player, no doubt.
George Gatis - George basically retired to run the family fish n chip shop.
Awen Guttenbeil - he was at the end of his career and he wanted a good pay day in the ESL.
Ian Henderson - Hendo got a great offer to make good cash back in the ESL, so the WArriors gave him a shot to do it.
Stacey Jones - didn't work out.
Denan Kemp - he came, he tried, he failed.
Aidan Kirk - Kirky was a solid player, but as you can see with noone else picking his serviecs (like Crockett), he's not that highly regarded.
Wairangi Koopu - his form was falling, he went to the Storm and IMO was only decent there
Epalahame Lauaki - had a number of opportunities, kept dropping the ball, throwing dumb offloads, and giving away panic penalties.
Corey Lawrie - Ivan gave him a shot, Corey really just wasn't up to it.
Suiatonga Likiliki - I'd have liked Suiatonga to have stayed. However, his defensive reads are tragic at best. He hasn't cracked first grade in Newcastle.
Wade MCKinnon - this was almost tragic. Great player for us, before THAT injury. He lost a ton of pace. Great pity, and Ivan was a big supporter of his.
Tony Martin - no big loss, decent player, but certainly a bit small for this level.
Daniel O'Regan - Yeah, I thought this would be a loss. However the bloke hasn't played first grade since.
Steve Price - played till retirement.
Grant Rovelli - Ivan gave him a shot which he initially took, but it became increasingly obvious he lacked the organisational skills to be a good halfback.
Jesse Royal - played till retirement.
Ryan Shortland - was dumped by the Storm due to his injuries, got a shot back here again and clearly the injury was not going to allow him to make it back to the levels he wanted to be at.
Malo Solomona - I liked Malo, but I don't think he's a massive loss, given he hasn't picked up a professional contract elsewhere.
Logan Swann - brought back, didn't do that great, played till retirement.
Brent Tate - the Warriors wanted to keep him, but he wanted a return to Queensland.
Misi Taulapapa - sacked
Clinton Toopi - form had significantly gone down the toilet by this stage.
Evarn Tuimavave - I think the club were a little unsure after Evarn had had a series of serious injuries, notably the neck injury.
Richard Villasanti - had lost significant form
Cooper Vuna - I would have liked him to have done more with Cooper admittedly.
Brent Webb - What a hard decision. I think he gained a lot of criticism over it, but the replacement, Wade McKinnon did a terrific job. It wasn't long for the criticism to drop once the fans saw what McKinnon had been bought to do.
Ruben Wiki - played till retirement
Michael Witt - decent player, probably didn't get a fair opportunity at the end.

Over 5 completed seasons is that that bad? Who are these great players you speak of that he basically screwed over?

Players' he has improved, how long a list do you want? You could look at some of the supposed nuffies he brought in like Gatis, you could even look at a Rovelli and say he easily achieved his greatest career performances under Ivan, you could look at the development of players like Packer, Rapira, you could even talk about the improvements Vatuvei made under him. That comment really is a joke of a comment because frankly a load of players made significant strides under him.

I for one will be happy to see him gone.

Also why persist with the man-Cut him loose now-The Aussies would.

Would they? I have no problems if they cut him loose, infact I'd like them to. But I don't think that every Australian club would get rid of their coach just yet. Usually when a coach says he's going midseason he's had a fairly ordinary year and the club has no realistic shot at the finals. Ivan has the team on the verge of the finals.

Bring in the new boys now and lets get the team consistant again.
They have the players just not a great coach.

Mike G

I think they have a coach who can get them to the finals. Not one with this club under the current guidance to win a grand final. I'm not sure they'll get anyone to come in at this stage of the season who can do any better.
 

fitzy_old

Guest
I don't think he is out of his league at all. His performance suggests otherwise. The player's comments over the years suggest differently. And possibly most importantly, the absolute verve that Phil Gould went after Cleary (slightly unethical in my view be as hardcore about it in the middle of the season for our club). Gould didn't hold back. He has openly stated he 'got his man'. That's a ringing endorsement to me that he's a fairly good coach.



I would point out that in 2010 Lance Hohaia got the forum player of the year award, playing fullback. Has Hohaia publically stated a dislike for the position?? I would have thought his preference has been to play halfback (which he simply isn't good enough to play at NRL level), but surely the fact that he's gained consistent starting football in a position of his own after struggling to get a regular gig in other positions would have to have a position view for him on the position. I didn't like the Locke/Fisiiahi decision, although I have since heard that Locke is actually injured and unlikely to be back next week and while I don't agree with the length of punishment they went to on Locke/Fisiiahi given there are other internal punishments that would have been options, perhaps the club code of conduct protocol that the players would have had a part in putting together suggested they had to do that. Potentially then maybe the coach may have lost the respect of the lockerroom had he shown favouritism to his two young bucks, two guys that he has gone on the record this year to support and two guys that he has replaced the incumbent Kiwis fullback with. Lets not forget Stephen Kearney picks Lance Hohaia for his country in that position. Is he a bad coach as well?



Again, I was far from thrilled with who he had at fullback. However, we don't know what the internal protocols were that forced the club (possibly not just the coach) to sanction Locke and Fisiiahi the way they were punished. We also can't be sure if both players were genuinely available. There's a suggestion on at least Locke that he wasn't. Lance Hohaia had a howler and IMO if Locke was available (IE not injured, following team protocol) I suggest we win.



No disrespect champ, but I would probably at this stage take his proven performance and the ringing endorsement's of John Hart over the years and Phil Gould to be an indication that he is actually a very good head coach.



I'm not quite sure of that. I certainly think the attacking shape has been terrible over the years. That said, in terms of making improvements there have been MASSIVE improvements under Cleary from where he took the club. Remember, the first couple of years he was expected to get the wooden spoon or finish well down the chain. Even the guy who's picked him up, Gus Gould, tipped the Warriors for the spoon once or twice with Cleary at the helm. In most of those seasons he got the club to the finals. He's got the team to the finals 3 out of 5 seasons, once he missed out based on starting the season with a -4 start due to the salary cap breach. The other season was the season where we sadly lost Sonny Fai. Look at how Penrith rebounded with Ben Alexander's tragic death. They responded terribly. Club icons like Geyer and Brandy moved to the furtherest away outposts that they possibly could to get away from it. So I don't really look too hard into 2009 to judge him.

I have heard a lot of comments this week, particularly from Shaun Berrigan a player Cleary has basically consigned to the scrapheap after this year, that Ivan is extremely analytical and looks as intently if not more intently than other coaches he's been with at his upcoming opposition. There's been a few times that he's pulled out a gem, such as the Melbourne Storm final game in Melbourne where they played a lot to the short side, and openly tried to get penalties based on the grapples. They then took the points from those opportunities and tried to grind them down. The framework is largely the same but there are minor adjustments from game to game.



Which good players has he openly let go? Some have got better offers elsewhere. Even so, all first grade coaches send players on their year. If you want to compare this to the Anderson/Kemp regimes, Ivan has been stubbornly loyal to players over the years.

For the record, here are the players Ivan Cleary has seen go in his tenure.

Leeson Ah Mau - Leeson wanted a spot for his brother, who is a genuine bog standard player.
Patrick Ah Van - just couldn't cement himself.
Louis Anderson - couldn't help giving away penalties.
Todd Byrne - good solid player, but nothing to worry about.
Michael Crockett - not that good a player frankly
Sione Faumuina - sacked
Nathan Fien - IMO Nathan has performed well for one coach. Wayne Bennett. He plays a well organised game for him. But the amount of times he would throw short hospital passes or slam the backboard off a grubber kick was truly frustrating. He's a decent player, no doubt.
George Gatis - George basically retired to run the family fish n chip shop.
Awen Guttenbeil - he was at the end of his career and he wanted a good pay day in the ESL.
Ian Henderson - Hendo got a great offer to make good cash back in the ESL, so the WArriors gave him a shot to do it.
Stacey Jones - didn't work out.
Denan Kemp - he came, he tried, he failed.
Aidan Kirk - Kirky was a solid player, but as you can see with noone else picking his serviecs (like Crockett), he's not that highly regarded.
Wairangi Koopu - his form was falling, he went to the Storm and IMO was only decent there
Epalahame Lauaki - had a number of opportunities, kept dropping the ball, throwing dumb offloads, and giving away panic penalties.
Corey Lawrie - Ivan gave him a shot, Corey really just wasn't up to it.
Suiatonga Likiliki - I'd have liked Suiatonga to have stayed. However, his defensive reads are tragic at best. He hasn't cracked first grade in Newcastle.
Wade MCKinnon - this was almost tragic. Great player for us, before THAT injury. He lost a ton of pace. Great pity, and Ivan was a big supporter of his.
Tony Martin - no big loss, decent player, but certainly a bit small for this level.
Daniel O'Regan - Yeah, I thought this would be a loss. However the bloke hasn't played first grade since.
Steve Price - played till retirement.
Grant Rovelli - Ivan gave him a shot which he initially took, but it became increasingly obvious he lacked the organisational skills to be a good halfback.
Jesse Royal - played till retirement.
Ryan Shortland - was dumped by the Storm due to his injuries, got a shot back here again and clearly the injury was not going to allow him to make it back to the levels he wanted to be at.
Malo Solomona - I liked Malo, but I don't think he's a massive loss, given he hasn't picked up a professional contract elsewhere.
Logan Swann - brought back, didn't do that great, played till retirement.
Brent Tate - the Warriors wanted to keep him, but he wanted a return to Queensland.
Misi Taulapapa - sacked
Clinton Toopi - form had significantly gone down the toilet by this stage.
Evarn Tuimavave - I think the club were a little unsure after Evarn had had a series of serious injuries, notably the neck injury.
Richard Villasanti - had lost significant form
Cooper Vuna - I would have liked him to have done more with Cooper admittedly.
Brent Webb - What a hard decision. I think he gained a lot of criticism over it, but the replacement, Wade McKinnon did a terrific job. It wasn't long for the criticism to drop once the fans saw what McKinnon had been bought to do.
Ruben Wiki - played till retirement
Michael Witt - decent player, probably didn't get a fair opportunity at the end.

Over 5 completed seasons is that that bad? Who are these great players you speak of that he basically screwed over?

Players' he has improved, how long a list do you want? You could look at some of the supposed nuffies he brought in like Gatis, you could even look at a Rovelli and say he easily achieved his greatest career performances under Ivan, you could look at the development of players like Packer, Rapira, you could even talk about the improvements Vatuvei made under him. That comment really is a joke of a comment because frankly a load of players made significant strides under him.



Would they? I have no problems if they cut him loose, infact I'd like them to. But I don't think that every Australian club would get rid of their coach just yet. Usually when a coach says he's going midseason he's had a fairly ordinary year and the club has no realistic shot at the finals. Ivan has the team on the verge of the finals.



I think they have a coach who can get them to the finals. Not one with this club under the current guidance to win a grand final. I'm not sure they'll get anyone to come in at this stage of the season who can do any better.

Excellent, well thought out reply. I woulld struggle to see any waeknesses in it. Great
 

Northern_Union

Guest
Excellent, well thought out reply. I woulld struggle to see any waeknesses in it. Great

Stop blowing smoke up his arse. He struggles to get his head through doorways as it is without bruising his temples without you blowing up his head further ;)
 

ToiletDuck_old

Guest
Haha well done Iafeta, have you secured a publishing deal for that essay yet?


In all seriousness, that list of players is important. Yes because it tells us Ivan hasn't let many 'great players' go - but in my view more importantly, highlights just how many mediocre/poor players he has been willing to let go. Young and old.

Back to the original article, interesting read. I like the idea of a triple tier axis - as I'm certainly keen to keep Iro and Ackland at the club, and I think McClennan would be a valuable addition. Agree that there shouldn't be a headlong rush to reinvent the wheel, the club is certainly heading in the right direction.
 

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