https://www.smh.com.au/news/league/...ach-zero-points/2006/03/19/1142703218818.htmlSOMEONE should mail the New Zealand Warriors the wooden spoon and let us get on with the rest of the competition. They won't only run last - they will be flat out winning five games.
Not even Canberra, who conceded 70 points in losing to Newcastle yesterday, will save them. Don't forget, the Raiders are still six points ahead of the Warriors at this early stage and the Warriors don't have an Andrew Johns to cut the opposition up like the Knights have.
OK, Parramatta didn't exactly do a job on them at Waikato Stadium, but the Eels were also looking for their first win and what the dubious quality of the opposition offered was an opportunity to get those two points without taking too many chances.
Test second-rower Nathan Hindmarsh was tremendous, young halfback Tim Smith improved enough on his poor first-round performance to make a few things happen and there you had it - a 22-14 win.
The Warriors are stuck on minus-four points as a penalty for salary cap rorting and it could be a while yet before they are back in black. This was going to be a very tough year for them even if they had begun on level terms with the rest of the field, and against Parramatta we saw why.
Champion halfback Stacey Jones left the club at the end of last season and they miss him like oxygen. Last year's hooker, Nathan Fien, in place of Jones just isn't the answer, but they haven't got any others.
It remains to be seen whether Brett Seymour is the long-term answer at halfback for Brisbane, but he has had the excuse of missing a lot of football through injury in his early years. If he can stay fit he might prove himself.
Seymour was still feeling his way against Cronulla at Toyota Park and the 16-12 win to the Broncos was based on guts and determination rather than style.
The key was the awful ball control by the Sharks - 21 completed sets out of 40, compared to 35 out of 40 by the Broncos - and had the home side just managed to complete 30 sets they would have won, because they had more potential in attack.
Shane Webcke was an inspiration for Brisbane, but the sight of him running on to a pass in the centres to score a crucial try in the second half was indicative of where the Broncos are right now.
After being flogged by North Queensland the week before they were doing whatever they could do to turn things around and win and if that meant winning ugly, then so be it.
Manly wouldn't mind an ugly win at the moment, after losing 20-16 to the Cowboys at Dairy Farmers Stadium to follow their first-round loss to Canberra at home. The Sea Eagles missed 51 tackles, which is a disgrace.
After shelling out big money for halfback Matt Orford and centre Steve Bell, the Sea Eagles were expecting big things, but if the losing form keeps up it won't be long before Des Hasler becomes the first coach under pressure to survive in 2006.