General Warriors' Bottom Line

Jesbass_old

Guest
From www.nzherald.co.nz:

The statistic that shouldn't escape anybody's attention in assessing the Warriors 2006 season is the one on the bottom line. An average crowd around the 9000 mark, the worst in the NRL, told the story: the masses were not amused and they were not at Mt Smart Stadium.

The four lost competition points cost the club plenty in 2006, and despite encouraging results they largely slipped out of the sporting limelight. Yet while the halcyon days of old are way off the radar screen for now, the Warriors' crowd usually returns quickly when there is a sniff of success in the air.

The four-game winning streak near the end of the year, including a victory over Melbourne, suggests the floating voters could well be back on their feet next year.

Here are our squad highs, mid-ranges and lows of 2006, with an eye on the 2007 season.

* Player of the year

Steve Price Captain fantastic. This Price came at a cost - his arrival contributed to the loss of four NRL points. But what a footballer. Wind him up and off he goes, week after week, churning out the metres, making outside breaks and getting offloads away now and then. Threw a pass for a try in Melbourne that Brad Fittler would have been proud of.

* Hookers

The Warriors have a healthy double act in George Gatis and Nathan Fien, who has found his rightful spot at No 9. Gatis is the bargain buy of the season - he's even heading back to Townsville to work in his family's fish and chip shop over summer.

* Rest of the pack

More great work from Ruben Wiki, although he remains a suspension risk. Age - he is 34 next year - has not wearied him yet. Still fit for a decent 40 minutes each week, and a bit more in emergencies. The Warriors should squeeze one more crunching season out of the Kiwi legend.

On reflection, Awen Guttenbeil may be missed more than the muted reaction to his departure suggests. Micheal Luck proved a whole-hearted worker, is regarded as a great influence around the club, and was another bargain buy, though he doesn't have the Guttenbeil power or offloads.

Louis Anderson was prone to the odd grasping tackle and dropped ball. The 100kg Anderson has a big motor though, did some great one-on-one marking jobs, and started imposing himself on games towards the end of the season.

Evarn Tuimavave, Sam Rapira and Epalahame Lauaki are booming prospects, with Rapira shaping as a quality starting prop.

* Candidate for 2007 heaven

The wildman Lauaki on the charge with a packed Mt Smart cheering him on. Lauaki has superstar crowd favourite written all over him.

* A forward question looking forward

What will Mr Reliable Wairangi Koopu's role be in Ivan Cleary's plans. Koopu has been a fixture, but is overlooked by the Kiwis because he lacks the x-factor impact. With the powerful Lauaki and Anderson starting to click through the gears, the pressure will be on Koopu.

* Grant Rovelli

In many ways the rookie halfback was the star considering the importance of his position and concerns about replacing Stacey Jones. Kept his game within sensible boundaries and won growing applause.

* One to stick in the cap

Will Rovelli become the next Aussie-turned-Kiwi test international, joining Tonie Carroll, Brent Webb, Fien?

* Jerome Ropati

Some, including Matthew Ridge, believe Ropati is a better centre than standoff. A fair call maybe, for now. But in this squad, Ropati is the outstanding five-eighths prospect and has the makings of a class act No 6. New Zealand struggles to produce five-eighths, and Ropati shapes as the answer to many prayers. Still suffers the odd blooper moment - a few against Brisbane will have re-kindled doubts. Should become the heart of the operation alongside Rovelli. Manly recruit Michael Witt will provide the cover in the halves next year.

* Centres

Simon Mannering is akin to a run-away tower block and the youngster relishes the NRL battleground. Fantastic prospect.

When Tony Martin is also on board, the Warriors are handily placed here although they lack top-drawer creativity and evasive ability.

Lance Hohaia's surprise contribution late in the year may have eased concerns about depth. Until then, it was time to panic if Mr Mannering wasn't around.

* Manu Vatuvei

Storm warning - sometimes cloud, sometimes silver lining. Charges like a train but turns like an ocean liner. A work in progress, but should be one well worth waiting for.

* The other wings

Greenhorn Patrick Ah Van is a top find. New recruit Michael Crockett from the Tigers has been added for speed - will he be fast-tracked past the local lads?

There is a lineup of players for the wing spots. As yet, none are dead-set superstars, but there is promise aplenty.

* Brent Webb

Webb got better and better. His departure, no thanks, you could say, to a combination of unfortunate circumstances, is unfortunate although could be offset by the arrival of Parramatta's Wade McKinnon. Webb dabbled too much in playmaking at times in his Warriors career, with confused results. But he found his fullback rhythm in 2006 and impending departure seemed to spur him on.

The stocky Webb is a fantastic attacker on his day, and adequate enough in defence to earn his keep. McKinnon is a more predictable runner but might improve the defence. For now, Webb's departure is a massive blow.

* The coach

Ivan Cleary was a quiet achiever in his playing days, which sums up his opening year as an NRL first grade coach. The Cleary-John Ackland team has produced minor miracles in turning around a club which had trouble written all over it, and, vitally, have re-signed the young talent.

The 2006 season was a gap year of sorts, thanks to the four-point deduction. The Warriors made the most of the breathing space, building a platform. But expectations have been raised.

* The offloads

Clinton Toopi - what a waste. Great at providing the icing on the cake, but melted when the going got tough. Couldn't provide the leadership to match his experience and failed to rise above the club's old chaos.

Sione Faumuina - sunk by alcohol problems. Major loss - with Webb he was the club's most flamboyant attacker.

Misi Taulapapa - really stood out through his decisive work when given a first grade shot. Succumbed to Faumuina-type problems.

* Big question for 2007

Do the Warriors' rising stars have enough miles on the clock to capitalise on what might be the last act in the Price-Wiki show? Next installment March.
 

Skinny_Ravs82

Guest
All round that's a good piece. Yeah he forgot about Villa but I guess most people have already. The part about Toopi made me laugh a bit (don't know about anyone else); but obviously the main concern is the crowd factor thing. Ask any team and they'd say there is nothing better than playing infront of a big home crowd. I really do hope fans in Auckland particularly recognize this. Some are a bit fickle (not all!) but this team deserves to be recognized, not because its an NZ based club but because it is a team on the rise and is more than just 'something down the road from the big boys at Eden Park'
 

*~*Fa'AhVaN*~*_old

Guest
Skinny_Ravs82 said:
All round that's a good piece. Yeah he forgot about Villa but I guess most people have already. The part about Toopi made me laugh a bit (don't know about anyone else); but obviously the main concern is the crowd factor thing. Ask any team and they'd say there is nothing better than playing infront of a big home crowd. I really do hope fans in Auckland particularly recognize this. Some are a bit fickle (not all!) but this team deserves to be recognized, not because its an NZ based club but because it is a team on the rise and is more than just 'something down the road from the big boys at Eden Park'
i agree we should b more recognised and we should hav average 15,000 come to the games each week! i would go to every auckland game if i lived there.
anyway, i didnt read it coz its too long but from wat i can gather its good stuff, i think we'll make the finals next yr and win the gf and with a coah like cleary we'll make the finals every yr :p
 

warriorfaithful*_old

Guest
*~*Fa'AhVaN*~* said:
Skinny_Ravs82 said:
All round that's a good piece. Yeah he forgot about Villa but I guess most people have already. The part about Toopi made me laugh a bit (don't know about anyone else); but obviously the main concern is the crowd factor thing. Ask any team and they'd say there is nothing better than playing infront of a big home crowd. I really do hope fans in Auckland particularly recognize this. Some are a bit fickle (not all!) but this team deserves to be recognized, not because its an NZ based club but because it is a team on the rise and is more than just 'something down the road from the big boys at Eden Park'
i agree we should b more recognised and we should hav average 15,000 come to the games each week! i would go to every auckland game if i lived there.
anyway, i didnt read it coz its too long but from wat i can gather its good stuff, i think we'll make the finals next yr and win the gf and with a coah like cleary we'll make the finals every yr :p

I think next year will be awesome. Big crowds,big wins and the big one(the premiership) at the end of the year. :)
 

Skinny_Ravs82

Guest
commonsense said:
nice article..

does anybody know how toopi is going in leeds??

Last I heard of Toopi over in the UK was...the same old, same old. Getting caught out on defense..etc. But hopefully he's on the improve
 

*~*Fa'AhVaN*~*_old

Guest
warriorfaithful* said:
*~*Fa'AhVaN*~* said:
Skinny_Ravs82 said:
All round that's a good piece. Yeah he forgot about Villa but I guess most people have already. The part about Toopi made me laugh a bit (don't know about anyone else); but obviously the main concern is the crowd factor thing. Ask any team and they'd say there is nothing better than playing infront of a big home crowd. I really do hope fans in Auckland particularly recognize this. Some are a bit fickle (not all!) but this team deserves to be recognized, not because its an NZ based club but because it is a team on the rise and is more than just 'something down the road from the big boys at Eden Park'
i agree we should b more recognised and we should hav average 15,000 come to the games each week! i would go to every auckland game if i lived there.
anyway, i didnt read it coz its too long but from wat i can gather its good stuff, i think we'll make the finals next yr and win the gf and with a coah like cleary we'll make the finals every yr :p

I think next year will be awesome. Big crowds,big wins and the big one(the premiership) at the end of the year. :)


yeh thats for sure :p cant wait bro, we'll party all the way to the big one....where we shall then party some more!! :p
 

warriorfaithful*_old

Guest
*~*Fa'AhVaN*~* said:
yeh thats for sure :p cant wait bro, we'll party all the way to the big one....where we shall then party some more!! :p

And more, and more.... Hell we will party all day and everyday of season 2007. :lol:
 

Skinny_Ravs82

Guest
To warriorfaithful* and *~*Fa'AhVaN*~*
I have sent both of you PM's inregards to a few issues. I hope you have read the PM's thank you.

Now let us get back on topic to what this thread is about.
 

warriorfaithful*_old

Guest
Skinny_Ravs82 said:
To warriorfaithful* and *~*Fa'AhVaN*~*
I have sent both of you PM's inregards to a few issues. I hope you have read the PM's thank you.

Yeah what you said was fair enough, and i would like to apologise to anyone on this site who has been irritated by my off-topic posts, im not the only one on this site and i should be doing my best to keep it good for everyone else and not fill the topics with off-topic posts. Once again...Sorry. :l
 

*~*Fa'AhVaN*~*_old

Guest
warriorfaithful* said:
Skinny_Ravs82 said:
To warriorfaithful* and *~*Fa'AhVaN*~*
I have sent both of you PM's inregards to a few issues. I hope you have read the PM's thank you.

Yeah what you said was fair enough, and i would like to apologise to anyone on this site who has been irritated by my off-topic posts, im not the only one on this site and i should be doing my best to keep it good for everyone else and not fill the topics with off-topic posts. Once again...Sorry. :l

yeh same, i apologise too everyone, it seems like i change the topic everywhere i go :) my apologis, it wont happen again
thanks for letting us no though vic.....and again sorry : )
 

Batz_old

Guest
skinny ravs get a life. its a forum, no one really cares except yourself who spends all days on this site..fun
 

westie stylz_old

Guest
Yeah but it'd be nice to talk about things instead of saying the warriors are going to be great next year and win the comp and yada yada in what seems like every single thread.
 

*~*Fa'AhVaN*~*_old

Guest
westie stylz said:
Yeah but it'd be nice to talk about things instead of saying the warriors are going to be great next year and win the comp and yada yada in what seems like every single thread.
yeh true bro, really sorry. lets get bak on the subject shall we :)
 

Jesbass_old

Guest
Batz said:
skinny ravs get a life. its a forum, no one really cares except yourself who spends all days on this site..fun

This issue was raised by a few members, hence why Skinny has responded.

warriorfaithful* and *~*Fa'AhVaN*~* are passionate and mature supporters of the Warriors, and I'm sure they'll do all they can to support the team without upsetting other posters. They have already made amends by apologising.

Anyway, on topic, I've also heard that Toopi is struggling overseas, and Villasanti doesn't seem tohave done much at the Sharks. Taulapapa and Faumuina are still unemployed, I believe, but I doubt Faumuina will be for long.
 

KeepingTheFaith_old

Guest
Toopi is definately struggling. He's been shifted over the the right hand side so he's not even combining with Ali. Not that Ali is the same player he was a few years back though.

Taulapapa may have been picked up by the Sharks. Can anyone confirm for sure? I think he was signed the same time the Sharks got Leon Bott and Fraser Anderson.
 

Jesbass_old

Guest
KeepingTheFaith said:
Toopi is definately struggling. He's been shifted over the the right hand side so he's not even combining with Ali. Not that Ali is the same player he was a few years back though.

Taulapapa may have been picked up by the Sharks. Can anyone confirm for sure? I think he was signed the same time the Sharks got Leon Bott and Fraser Anderson.

That's the first I've heard of that, KTF, but I hope it's true, for Misi's sake. But just like Sione, I hope he gets his alcohol problem under control.
 

*~*Fa'AhVaN*~*_old

Guest
Jesbass said:
Anyway, on topic, I've also heard that Toopi is struggling overseas, and Villasanti doesn't seem tohave done much at the Sharks. Taulapapa and Faumuina are still unemployed, I believe, but I doubt Faumuina will be for long.


tbh i hope we get toopi back, mayb to take martins place coz toopi has games where he is on fire and has the ability to score tries where every he is on the field. And he always made me laugh the way hed celebrate his tries, but fa'afili has to take the cake for celebrating tries :) anyway i think with centres like mannering and toopi both sides would b great defencivly and in attack, but hiho is a great defender aswell and most of the time great in attack so mayb he'll take martins place in the future, i just dont think that martin has really been....impressive lately. nothing against him its just that mannering and hiho hav done a better job at centre than he has this yr.
 

Jesbass_old

Guest
*~*Fa'AhVaN*~* said:
Jesbass said:
Anyway, on topic, I've also heard that Toopi is struggling overseas, and Villasanti doesn't seem tohave done much at the Sharks. Taulapapa and Faumuina are still unemployed, I believe, but I doubt Faumuina will be for long.


tbh i hope we get toopi back, mayb to take martins place coz toopi has games where he is on fire and has the ability to score tries where every he is on the field. And he always made me laugh the way hed celebrate his tries, but fa'afili has to take the cake for celebrating tries :) anyway i think with centres like mannering and toopi both sides would b great defencivly and in attack, but hiho is a great defender aswell and most of the time great in attack so mayb he'll take martins place in the future, i just dont think that martin has really been....impressive lately. nothing against him its just that mannering and hiho hav done a better job at centre than he has this yr.

Toopi isn't what he used to be, *~*Fa'AhVaN*~*. He brings a lot of uncertainty onto the playing field. Don't get me wrong: I love what he has done for the club and who he is as a person - just look at who my chosen favourite Warrior has been for the whole year - but it's not worth paying for a current international when other players, such as Tony Martin, can get the job done better for a cheaper price.
 

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