General Warriors can win it - Stacey Jones

Skinny_Ravs82

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https://www.stuff.co.nz/4700442a1823.html

The 2008 Warriors are nowhere near as flamboyant as the only incarnation of the club to make a grand final, but Stacey Jones says they defend much better and that's what wins premierships.

Jones, the halfback in the losing 2002 grand final side which included such entertaining talents as Ali Lauiti'iti and Clinton Toopi, would be willing to put money (if he was allowed) on this side winning the October 5 final.
He's not allowed to gamble because the now-retired halfback is the club's kicking coach.
"If it was a 50-50 bet, I would give them all the chance in the world," said Jones. "If they play like they have played in the last two weeks, they will give themselves a good chance."
The Warriors must unseat Manly on Saturday night to make the final, but Jones was confident.
"The difference between this team and our team [in 2002] is that, defensively, they are pretty sound: the last two months they have shown that, apart from the hiccup against St George [a 34-6 defeat in round 24]," he said. "We probably had a lot more offloading ability, but this team just defensively is so solid, and that's where championship teams win their games."
Jones attributed the Warriors' mid-year defensive improvement to "a lot of soul-searching", highlighting the huge improvement of centre Jerome Ropati. He was widely criticised for his defensive reads earlier in the year but made at least two crucial tackles on his own line on Friday night.
"Jerome has been their best defensive player in the last few weeks."
Among the capacity crowd were the prime minister, the governor-general, the consul-generals of China and Ireland, All Blacks Mils Muliaina and Ma'a Nonu and London-based club owner Eric Watson, who made a last-minute decision to fly in for the game. That's the other similarity Jones finds to 2002 the Warriors are again the hot ticket in town.
"The hype around it all was very similar," said Jones. "People have got a bit of a sense that this team can go somewhere."
 

Skinny_Ravs82

Guest
Sea Eagles may have too much grunt for Warriors

By AARON LAWTON - Sunday News | Sunday, 21 September 2008

https://www.stuff.co.nz/4700508a1823.html


The Warriors might have trounced the Roosters on Friday night but rival centre Iosia Soliola is unsure they'll have enough gas in the tank to do the same to the Sea Eagles this week.

The Roosters' season ended abruptly in Auckland against the fired up Warriors, who now cross the Tasman to meet the Sea Eagles for a place in the Grand Final.
Kiwis star Soliola wants to see the Warriors do well but was wary of predicting a win against Des Hasler's star-studded Manly side.
"This competition is so unpredictable. Anyone can beat anyone," he told Sunday News.
"The Sea Eagles looked outstanding last week, so they are going to be very tough for the Warriors to beat, especially in Sydney.
"In saying that, I wouldn't write off the Warriors."
Soliola was nursing a sore head yesterday morning after finding himself on the end of a rampaging run from Warriors veteran Ruben Wiki.
"Ruben definitely rocked me. He put that little sly one on me," he said.
"It was definitely a physical, tough game. They made the most of their opportunities. They didn't stop fighting at all.
After the game, Soliola revealed the Roosters may let him postpone surgery so he can play for the Kiwis at the World Cup.
Soliola has a recurring hernia injury and it was suggested the club wanted him under the knife as early as this week.
Surgery would rule him out of Stephen Kearney's World Cup plans and Soliola says he would have to do what head coach Brad "Freddy" Fittler wanted.
"It's a week to week thing."
He said the hernia trouble had flared up again this year.
"It is a very tough situation. World Cups don't really come around often and I definitely want to play.
"That said, I have to put the Roosters first."
Soliola's team-mate Setaimata Sa could also be ruled out of the World Cup due to shoulder surgery.
"I'm not giving up hope yet but we have some very good players so I might not even get picked," Soliola said.
 

Kid-Dynamite_old

Guest
Just on Rubes and Soliola. Nice to hear after the game he actually rang up to see if Soliola was allright! Shows why Ruben Wiki is a legend!
 

Skinny_Ravs82

Guest
..this one you could call a 'feel good story' hehehe


Wonder wing Kirk: I'd lose limb for Cleary


https://www.stuff.co.nz/4700449a10713.html



When Wariors wing Aidan Kirk sprinted 80 metres to score the intercept try that capped his remarkable performance on Friday night, he was paying back the coach for whom he would happily sacrifice a limb.

Kirk's constant motivation is justifying the faith Ivan Cleary has shown in the 22-year-old, whose twisted career path would have tried any other coach's patience.
"It is always in the back of my mind: it is a huge part of why I am here and I would love to do it for him," Kirk told the Sunday Star-Times.
"Ivan was the one who got me over here and this year, he showed me a bit of faith twice. Luckily, the second time, I came good for him."
Kirk's selection on the Warriors' left wing on Friday night epitomised what master-coach Phil Gould believes is Cleary's best quality.
"He perseveres with players that a lot of other coaches wouldn't have the time to spend on," says Gould, who coached Cleary at the Roosters and oversaw his development as reserve grade coach at the same club. "He knew, if he showed faith, they would do a great job."
Kirk, who didn't play first grade until he was 22, is a long-term Cleary project. This, just his 12th senior game, came against the club that spurned him. He was at the Roosters three years, long enough to get to know Cleary, and captained their feeder side Newtown in that grade's 2006 grand final, only to be carried off after five minutes with torn knee ligaments.
It ruined his first year at the Warriors, and Kirk still suffers from tendinitis which could foreshorten his career and means he takes three days to recover from a match.
"You go through periods in your career and think how the hell is this gonna get any better," he admitted. "But on nights like tonight and nights like last Sunday it was all worth it, all the pain and agony trying to get back out there."
For a season that made it all worth while, Kirk thanks two men. "There are a couple of blokes in our team I would pretty much do anything for," Kirk said. One is Cleary, the other, Ruben Wiki.
"I have only been here two years, but Ruben has had that much influence on me, he is one player I really would break my neck for."
Wiki smiled at that. "Did he [say that]? Bloody hell. That's a compliment, cos my neck's stuffed!"
That slight injury was the result of a late head clash with Roosters centre Iosia Soliola, which Wiki said was "like I ran into a train, a car crash" but which ended not with Wiki on the turf, but Soliola.
The chat in Sydney newspapers, late to catch up to Manu Vatuvei's extraordinary abilities, was that this game would be played almost entirely down the 112kg giant's right flank.
It wasn't. Instead, Kirk had a defensively draining night as the Roosters kicked to him repeatedly, but he never faltered. "They pretty much ran their whole attack down my side," he said, "So I got a fair share of the workload. I'm the one with only 12 games under my belt, I am the inexperienced one, I was expecting the ball to go 200 foot high."
Vatuvei, in comparison, had a limited role to play, although he did as much as he could and scored a vital try just before the hour. "Every game, my confidence gets higher and higher," he said.
He had ignored the speculations, and giggled when he heard one paper had suggested the Roosters might need a bazooka to halt him. "Sometimes I read it, sometimes I hear it, but I am not that good a reader," he said wryly.
Both men have received stout loyalty from Cleary. Kirk hasn't yet told Cleary how he feels. But he will.
"Mate, not yet," he said. "I'm not jumping the gun. Winning the next game is the main focus, and then we win the game after that, then I will tell him; tell him everything."
 

Kid-Dynamite_old

Guest
Yea, that above article is awesome. Just confirms the culture in the Mighty Warriors club! It's great, and I'm proud to be part of it and support the best club in the world!
 

Joe 90_old

Guest
Sea Eagles may have too much grunt for Warriors

By AARON LAWTON - Sunday News | Sunday, 21 September 2008

https://www.stuff.co.nz/4700508a1823.html


The Warriors might have trounced the Roosters on Friday night but rival centre Iosia Soliola is unsure they'll have enough gas in the tank to do the same to the Sea Eagles this week.

The Roosters' season ended abruptly in Auckland against the fired up Warriors, who now cross the Tasman to meet the Sea Eagles for a place in the Grand Final.
Kiwis star Soliola wants to see the Warriors do well but was wary of predicting a win against Des Hasler's star-studded Manly side.
"This competition is so unpredictable. Anyone can beat anyone," he told Sunday News.
"The Sea Eagles looked outstanding last week, so they are going to be very tough for the Warriors to beat, especially in Sydney.
"In saying that, I wouldn't write off the Warriors."
Soliola was nursing a sore head yesterday morning after finding himself on the end of a rampaging run from Warriors veteran Ruben Wiki.
"Ruben definitely rocked me. He put that little sly one on me," he said.
"It was definitely a physical, tough game. They made the most of their opportunities. They didn't stop fighting at all.
After the game, Soliola revealed the Roosters may let him postpone surgery so he can play for the Kiwis at the World Cup.
Soliola has a recurring hernia injury and it was suggested the club wanted him under the knife as early as this week.
Surgery would rule him out of Stephen Kearney's World Cup plans and Soliola says he would have to do what head coach Brad "Freddy" Fittler wanted.
"It's a week to week thing."
He said the hernia trouble had flared up again this year.
"It is a very tough situation. World Cups don't really come around often and I definitely want to play.
"That said, I have to put the Roosters first."
Soliola's team-mate Setaimata Sa could also be ruled out of the World Cup due to shoulder surgery.
"I'm not giving up hope yet but we have some very good players so I might not even get picked," Soliola said.


I didn't think the clubs could do this anymore.

Surely if these guys have been playing half a season needing surgery, another handful of games wont matter.

I dont care if it's not in their clubs interest, or if it means they start next season late. I'm sick of these clubs ruining any chance we have. If their willing and able, playing for your country should come first.
 

Skinny_Ravs82

Guest
I didn't think the clubs could do this anymore.

Surely if these guys have been playing half a season needing surgery, another handful of games wont matter.

I dont care if it's not in their clubs interest, or if it means they start next season late. I'm sick of these clubs ruining any chance we have. If their willing and able, playing for your country should come first.

The NRL and ESL clubs have always been that way, bar I think on one occassion when the Tigers and Bulldogs allowed a couple of their kiwi players play in I think it was the 2006/2007 ANZAC test match despite the recommendation to not, but both clubs let them anyway.
 

Skinny_Ravs82

Guest
Warriors face torrid Tasman trip

Sunday, 21 September 2008


https://www.stuff.co.nz/4700538a10713.html


The New Zealand Warriors fly to Sydney this week as clear underdogs for sudden death Saturday as support firms for Manly to win the National Rugby League (NRL) title.

Australia's TAB Sportsbet confirmed a $50,000 wager on Manly at $3.25 yesterday to win the premiership, before they shortened to $3.10 as the contenders were narrowed down to four last night.
Defending premiers Melbourne shortened to $1.90 favouritism after their last-gasp 16-14 win over Brisbane but have a nervous wait over whether their captain Cameron Smith will be cited tomorrow and potentially suspended for a grapple tackle on Brisbane's Sam Thaiday.
Key Melbourne forward Ryan Hoffman (ankle sprain) was also rated highly unlikely to face Cronulla in Friday's first grand final qualifier.
The Warriors' 30-13 win over the Sydney Roosters saw their price cut from $13 to $6.50 to win the premiership while Cronulla, who enjoyed the weekend off, were $7 outsiders.
Last year's beaten grand finalists Manly also put their feet up after a 38-6 dispatch of the Dragons in week one.
They got a further boost when injured prop Josh Perry (knee) and centre Steve Bell (calf) trained on Friday and were rated excellent chances of facing the Warriors at the Sydney Football Stadium.
A club spokesman said experienced utility Luke Williamson (hamstring) was the only Sea Eagle on the injured list.
Still, the injury-free Warriors' elimination of the Roosters stamped them as genuine finals contenders and had the Australian sides taking notice.
"The Warriors have got the emotion and confidence on their side. Ruben Wiki is on fire and leading the charge," veteran Sharks halfback Brett Kimmorley told Channel Nine today.
"Also they've got the confidence in beating the top sides. They beat Melbourne and they've now fronted up and handled the composure part really well. They've got some good control now."
But that wasn't enough for Kimmorley to label the Warriors to topple the Sea Eagles.
"With Manly, you can feel like you're going okay against them and then they just up the tempo a bit and score 18 points and the game's over.
"I don't know if the Warriors will handle their skill factor.
"We struggled against Manly because you have Glenn Stewart with his footwork, Anthony Watmough, Steve Menzies, they generate quick play-the-balls and the Warriors, if they start going backwards with their bigger blokes then they'll struggle."
Sharks coach Ricky Stuart said the Warriors' resurgence had surprised him, but after their dominant win over the Roosters no one would begrudge them a place in the final four.
"While their mobility and size all over the park is an obvious factor, I think it's their skill and focus on second-phase football that has created another dimension to their game," Stuart wrote in the Sunday Telegraph.
"Emotion also plays a role, and it's clear the Warriors are determined to play out a fairytale for my old Canberra Raiders team-mate, Ruben Wiki."
 

Skinny_Ravs82

Guest
Orford expects to confront different Warriors

Monday, 22 September 2008


https://www.stuff.co.nz/4701267a10713.html


Manly skipper Matt Orford claims the surging New Zealand Warriors are a world away from the side the Sea Eagles brushed aside twice earlier this year.

The Warriors booked a National Rugby League preliminary final berth with a 30-13 win over the Sydney Roosters on Friday night, the club's tenth victory from their last 12 matches.
Their last loss prior to the magic run was a 20-14 defeat at the hands of the Sea Eagles at Mt Smart Stadium in round 15.
Manly also handed the Auckland-based side their biggest loss of the season – a 52-6 hammering at Brookvale Oval in round three – but Orford sees little resemblance in that outfit to the one they'll face at the Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday night.
"They're playing the whole 80 minutes now," Orford said.
"I think just with the guys like Steve Price and the halves, they're playing really well.
"And Wade McKinnon will be back as well and he will make a difference.
"They've got a really good mix and balance and know when to throw the football and when to play consistent football."
Warriors coach Ivan Cleary claimed the biggest change in his side had been at the defensive end of the field.
During their last dozen games, the Warriors have held Melbourne to six points (round 20), Brisbane to 12 points, Cronulla to four points and the Roosters to 13.
"Definitely the second half of the year is a far cry from what the start of the year was," Cleary said.
"It is probably just our attitude changed a bit.
"Probably the biggest problem earlier on in the year was our defence.
"We have worked hard at that and the players really took responsibility there."
Cleary is yet to make a decision on what to do with McKinnon, who is available again after serving a three-game suspension, with Lance Hohaia in superb form while filling in at the back.
Hohaia's combination with fellow-little men Ian Henderson and Nathan Fien has been pivotal to the Warriors' recent success and Orford said cutting down their impact would be a key for the Sea Eagles.
"They have shown (in the finals) that they're a team that doesn't hold anything back," Orford said.
"They throw the ball around and when a team plays like that with their big skilful guys they're a dangerous footy team.
"The last two times we've been able to stop that and contain that and we have to do that again and we will be in a really good position."
The Warriors will head to Sydney on Thursday night with a clean bill of health, while Manly still have injury concerns over prop Josh Perry (cork) and centre Steve Bell (calf).
 

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