General Warriors 2013 Preview!

Where will the Warriors finish in 2013?


  • Total voters
    74
  • Poll closed .
ToiletDuck

ToiletDuck

Administrator
Slide


Come on boys, can’t we do better than this?


The Warriors

The Warriors in 2012? What an embarrassment, what a disgrace. And this team faces sizeable hurdles if 2013 is to shape up any better. This is new head coach Matt Elliot’s last chance to prove himself in the NRL. So what went wrong last year? A mixture of coaching ineptitude and player revolt combined to see the Warriors lose eight games in a row as an embarrassing finale to the 2012 season. Closely following the end of the season, we all got on-board the coaching rumour merry-go-round until early October when Elliot was announced as the new coach. Bellamy supporters were distraught, and one or two players rather tactlessly voiced their support of Iro. None of it mattered though, Wayne Scurrah had ‘his man’ and the coaching cleanout continued.

Is Elliot the right man for the Warriors? Not if you ask Panther fans and at this stage I tend to agree. Elliot certainly talks a great game, and on the plus side he comes with a wealth of experience in the NRL. He claims he’s learnt from past mistakes, we will see. On a brighter note the appointment of fan and player favourite Ruben Wiki to a full-time role appears to be a good thing – if for no other reason than to pull some of the poorer attitudes into line.

Little time was then wasted by the club in showing us just how much life had changed in only a matter of weeks. I don’t think I’ve ever seen as many pre-season fitness shots being churned out by the media as I have in the past few months. Then the awful membership campaign reared its ugly head. To quote a member of this site – “it’s as though the marketing team was let loose with a box of crayons and a few cans of red bull.” Aptly put. With that in mind, let’s move on.


Gains:

The acquisition of Thomas Leuluai was a smart one. He’s experienced, a good defender and at 27 still has years left in him. He’s not a flashy player, therefore in theory should prove a good foil to Johnson’s creative flair. The main question surrounding TL is how he’ll go back in the NRL after such a long time out. I back him to succeed, even if he eventually ends up at 9.

Supporters fell in love with Kevin Campion, then Micheal Luck and I back Todd Lowrie to fall into the same category. Complete with the Meg Ryan hair-do, he’s solid up the middle, he’ll tackle all day and is a superb replacement for Luck. Lowrie won’t set the world on fire with his attacking play but that’s not what this team needs. He’ll be mistake free, reliable and consistent.

Likewise Dane Nielsen won’t be heading up any highlight packages come the end of the season, but he comes as an established NRL player with Origin experience. I do have question marks over his impact in a side with a particularly weak backline and a complete lack of structure when compared with the military-like Melbourne Storm – and I know a few pundits on here are expecting him to be exposed as the truly average centre he really is. However he’s accepted the challenge and I hope he’s able to silence a few critics.

Dominique Peyroux adds a bit of depth to our troublesome outside back stocks. I haven’t seen a massive amount of this guy but he comes with a reputation for being solid if not spectacular. Should get plenty of time in the trials to see where he fits into our setup.

The addition of Harry Siejka is interesting. Obviously a link with new coach Matt Elliot, he left the Pamfers in the hope of getting more first grade time. I expect TL to start the season alongside Shaun Johnson in the halves, but don’t be surprised to see him have a couple of stints at hooker with Siejka getting a go at 6 or 7. Depth is never a bad thing, until of course your good depth players leave for greener pastures.


Rest of the squad:

Surely Jerome Ropati is a rolled ankle away from retirement? I have had big doubts about him as an NRL quality centre when fully fit, and sitting out the past two years really cannot have helped. If he gets anywhere near his 2008 form then I’ll gladly eat my words, but at the moment that’s a long way off and I just can’t see it happening. Sorry Jerome.

Glen Fisiiahi needs to make the side this year or move on. Another year of languishing in the Vulcans will do him no favours. Clearly not a fullback for his glaring lack of any sort of defensive nous, positional play or general attitude, he needs to declare himself a winger and throw everything at displacing Bill Tupou (how hard can it be?!).

If we’re to go anywhere this season it will be on the back of our forward pack, in particular our props. Sam Rapira, Russell Packer, Ben Matulino and Jacob Lillyman are all quality. When all are fit, they work as an outstanding quartet. Go-forward should never be an issue with these guys on the park. Simon Mannering has retained the captaincy, which was the right decision. He was his consistent self last year, but I’d like to see him offer more on attack this season. Feleti Mateo cannot be the only backrower to worry opposition defensive lines.

I’m sure I’m not the only one that doesn’t see a place for both Ben Henry and Elijah Taylor in the side? Not a slight on either player, they’re just too predictable and lack the attacking ability needed in a backrow that is already dominated by defensive-minded players. I’ve always been a fan of a utility or extra play-maker on the bench, and I think this team would benefit greatly in having Carlos Tuimavave or Siejka cutting their teeth in the 14 jersey.

What to do with Carlos Tuimavave? He’s capable of playing almost anywhere in the backline, but where does he fit into this side? A couple of horrible defensive misses aside, he impressed during his limited time in the top flight at the end of 2012 and if I had my way he’d be slotting in on the bench as an extra play-making option while providing cover for the outside backs.

I’d love to see Konrad Hurrell get the nod at centre for round one but he was so defensively hopeless last year I’m terrified at the thought of him again defending inside one of our frail wingers. Devastating on attack, he can be equally as devastating to our own defensive line. He would have learnt a lot in 2012 and with any luck he’s begun to iron out some of his deficiencies. If not, he needs to be Vulcanised until he’s somewhere near what’s required at NRL level.


Conclusion:

This probably won’t go down well but I can’t see the Warriors producing anything remarkable in 2013. There will be teething issues with an entirely new coaching staff and a few new players in key positions. I think our biggest issue will again be our outside backs, both on defense and attack. The changes being made appear to be taking the club in the right direction, though I think we’re probably still a fair way off. This job is likely Elliot’s last chance as a head coach in the NRL and I think he’ll start the season cautiously, with particular attention to damage limitation in the form of unspectacular football and an emphasis on defence. We’ll stick with the pack for most of the season and drop a vital game or two later to seal our fate. Prediction: 11th
 
  • Like
Reactions: 9 users
Defence

Defence

Good yarn that and I'd agree with 95% of it. However I'm backing us to make the 8- I think the squad we have will be hard to stop if we get on a roll and can see them stringing togeather a couple of little runs of 4 or 5 wins in a row during the season- doin just enough to sneak into the finals and we have the potential to cause a bit of havoc once we get there- well that's my guess
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
ajofbrisbane

ajofbrisbane

Everyone is entitled to their views and opinions but I will reserve judgement until the season begins......
 
wallacenz

wallacenz

Nice preview.
Im totally with you, Im hoping top 8 but this is last years team and they werent great then. They should have been, they had the experience of the high intensity required with most players being involved in the 2011 season and finals run.
TL is the key to this season imo, if he goes well we could be a chance, if he is just an average player we will be back at the bottom.
 
mt.wellington

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Nice preview.
Im totally with you, Im hoping top 8 but this is last years team and they werent great then. They should have been, they had the experience of the high intensity required with most players being involved in the 2011 season and finals run.
TL is the key to this season imo, if he goes well we could be a chance, if he is just an average player we will be back at the bottom.
TL/Shaun Johnson combo will be of concern in terms of our general attack. Our biggest problem though is our defence. In particular our outside backs. We have Dane shoring up one side but as TD said Im worried if Hurrell is on the other with either winger. Pretty obvious the opposing teams will take the ball down Dane's far side then swing the ball right across the park to isolate K-Rell and Tupou/Manu. In saying that though, the middle defence was getting split open just about every play during the end of the season. Points will always be important but its defence that wins games or loses them. Thats the main thing I want to see improved...

*great post TD but...
Prediction: 11th
...BLASPHEMY!!!;)
 

Hitro Okesene

I agree with a good deal of what you've written but I think you're a little off on a couple of points. Anyone who's played under Matt Elliot only speaks highly of him. The Panthers record over the past few years have been terrible. But they're not doing much better now. Players are leaving in droves, even with Gus and Cleary at the helm. Personally, I think the support Elliot has in NZ is probably at a level he's never had. And you're right - this is possibly his last shot so he needs to make it happen. And records aren't everything. Tim Sheens' tigers have been pretty disappointing of late, and remember when Ricky Stewart was at the Sharks? The whole club nearly sank. So don't focus too much on his results. The big test will be whether he can organise and motivate this team.

For me, fitness was a major reason our outside backs dropped off in defence last year. Maloney too, for that matter. It was like we had nothing left in the tank after 60 minutes, and poor old Ben Matulino was left to bash it out. I think the flurry of fitness shots we're seeing is a direct result of this. We simply weren't fit enough.
Nielsen flew below the radar at the Storm because of the other stars they've got. But defensively, he's one of the best outside backs you're likely to see. I was at the grand final last year and the Doggies had nothing on his side of the field - and just think about the attacking power they had. He's a great reader of the game and has great hands. If Hurrell plays anywhere, it'll be on the wing I think. Jerome will get the nod based on experience - but then again, he had a few shocking reads last year before his injury too.
I also disagree about Elijah Taylor. He's a great defender and very quick around the ruck. But yes, more of a utility player like Brown I think.

I think the senior players (Friend, Mateo, Mannering, Ropati, Manu and co) need to take on more responsibility on the field. TL will help this a lot, hopefully. A lot of people have criticised his appointment but I disagree. With Johnson's flair, we need someone smart and dependable next to him. Someone who can tackle (sorry Jimmy). And Manu Vatuvei needs to sort himself out. I've seen aircraft carriers turn and chase quicker than him.

Don't expect much from Peyroux, either. I've seen him a few times and he didn't really impress me. I think he's purely there as cover for 'glass man' Ropati.

If I was picking a team tomorrow, it'd look like this:

FB: Locke
Centres: Ropati, Nielsen
Wings: Vatuvei, Hurrell
Halves: Johnson, Leuluai
Second Row: Mateo, Mannering, Lowrie
Front row: Matulino, Rapira
Hooker: Friend
Bench: Lillyman, Packer, Taylor, Henry

In terms of where we will finish in the season, I honestly think anything is possible. We could come dead last if we play like last year. But I honestly think we could make the GF as well. We aren't all that Origin affected, so we should be targeting those rounds to make up any ground we lose and bring that momentum into the 8. My prediction: 5th.

Keep the articles coming!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users
ToiletDuck

ToiletDuck

Administrator
Nice response Hitro Okesene, and welcome to the forum ;)

I too have heard good things from players who have played under Elliot, though I think this was one of the main gripes from Panthers fans. He'd never drop anyone, and would sign average players to long back-ended contracts. So the players love him, because he doesn't hold them responsible for results and has his 'favourites' (though every coach does). So the player exodus at Penrith atm is something that Gould is actually driving, undoing the mess that Elliot left them in. That's just stuff that's been thrown around from Panther fans though, and obviously there's more to it. I just hope he can produce a game as good as the one he talks..
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
mt.wellington

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
I agree with a good deal of what you've written but I think you're a little off on a couple of points. Anyone who's played under Matt Elliot only speaks highly of him. The Panthers record over the past few years have been terrible. But they're not doing much better now. Players are leaving in droves, even with Gus and Cleary at the helm. Personally, I think the support Elliot has in NZ is probably at a level he's never had. And you're right - this is possibly his last shot so he needs to make it happen. And records aren't everything. Tim Sheens' tigers have been pretty disappointing of late, and remember when Ricky Stewart was at the Sharks? The whole club nearly sank. So don't focus too much on his results.

When researching for this post https://www.nzwarriorsfans.com/thre...nounced-as-head-coach.8129/page-17#post-38885 I only heard one negative comment about him that was attributed to a player and that was his halftime speeches left most players bewildered as he'd do things like quote Sun Tzu's Art of War then a sonnet from a work of Shakespeare? Other then that, all players loved him. He was a great believer in 'player power' or more accurately player empowerment. His penchant for overpaid marquee players and keeping dinosaurs on board are well known. THe fact that players are being released in droves is a testament to this. Every team he has left has taken years to recover. The Raiders with all their star players never have. His gift of the gab also endeared him to the boards he was accountable to making him bullet proof at times.

As TD says though it was the fans that were his biggest critics. Some of the rants I read were just insane and bordering illegal! We have Panthers fan League Freak who likes to post negative comments about him as often as he can such is his dislike of the man. His comments are alot nicer than most Pamfers fans.

This is definately the last chance saloon for Elliot. Unless he can turn things around, realise the potential of the players and make the team a consistent success he wont get another gig.

Cant disagree with you more on your last comment. Sadly, the only focus this season will be his results...
 
InsideBall

InsideBall

His penchant for overpaid marquee players and keeping dinosaurs on board are well known.

Having said that, Elliott has explicitly stated that, at least with the Panthers, the contracting decisions - bad as they were - were made by those well above him.
 
tajhay

tajhay

🏉
His penchant for overpaid marquee players and keeping dinosaurs on board are well known
Interesting that this gets banded around a lot about him. When Roosters signed Jennings, there was an article about Matty Elliot and he said something along the lines that he gets blamed for the big spending spree Penrith went on, when the decision was made at a higher level to him. I will try to find the article.

Former Penrith coach Matt Elliott, now at the Warriors, was in charge when the lucrative contracts were being handed out to players but denied any wrongdoing on his behalf.
"The decisions that we're talking about were all above me," Elliott said at Wednesday's coaches meeting with new NRL referees' boss Daniel Anderson.
https://www.foxsports.com.au/league...cal/story-fn2mcuj6-1226555256901#.UQDgmx3kv_A
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Matulino's Left Shoulder

Matulino's Left Shoulder

Motherfuck Roopati. If Hurrell plays 1 game in the Vulcans because of that bastard, THERE WILL BE BLOOD.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
Tyrael

Tyrael

My predictions:
2013: Make 9th. Gushing praise for Elliot for his first year and for the boys too. Big expectations for 2014 because the squad will be mostly the same except Martel leaves and we convert Tuimavave who played centre all year to the pack.
2014: 14th. What happened? Defense leaked like a 3 year old running to the bathroom. Blame goes on Elliot and not the players. Everyone goes nuts why we didn't didn't wait and sign Bellyache. Elliot remains because there is no one else.
2015: Top 4. With no pressure on the team. Shaun Johnson finally becomes the player we all wanted him to be. Elliot looks like a genius moving Tuimavave into the pack.
 
Defence

Defence

Hmmm don't know about all elliots players loving him- I know a couple of guys who played under him and that's not what I'm told.
Good luck to him tho- didn't seem to be any better options round
 
fizurg

fizurg

I think the fact he's part of the senior leadership group makes it pretty clear he will be a starter.
 

Danpatmac

Guest
I think the fact he's part of the senior leadership group makes it pretty clear he will be a starter.

and he was one of the most prominent names Elliott discussed on his arrival. I would be amazed if he wasn't in the top 17 if fit.
 

Similar threads

Miket12
Replies
186
Views
19K
Matulino's Left Shoulder
Matulino's Left Shoulder
mt.wellington
Replies
274
Views
20K
mt.wellington
mt.wellington
mt.wellington
Replies
31
Views
3K
Buck777
Sup42
Replies
300
Views
21K
jsmooove
jsmooove
Beefcake
Replies
57
Views
5K
Gizzyfan
Gizzyfan

Last Game

08 May

10 - 29
3.9 Total Avg Rating
2.2 Your Avg Rating

Highest Rated Player

Lowest Rated Player

Compiled from 13 ratings