doubting the Warriors

20 07 2008

So the New Zealand Warriors are now on the fringe of the top 8 and a definite chance to make the playoffs? I don’t believe it. I watched last night’s game and for the first 30 minutes the Warriors were awesome, shredding the Bulldogs defence at will and scoring some amazing tries. BUT (and it’s a big but) the Bulldogs were woeful. They lost Sonny Bill before the game and it seemed like that had sapped their will to compete. The Warriors had something like 80% of possession. Give me a team with 80% possession, a relatively healthy team (considering two of our best, Mackinnon and Vatuvei have been out all season, healthy is a relative term for these Warriors) and a disinterested opposition and you’d be upset if they weren’t up by 20.

But I’ve seen all the Warriors games this season and I knew they couldn’t keep it up. The second half was dominated by the Bulldogs as the Warriors lost focus and they almost gave the game away. The scoreline of 40 – 22 flattered the Warriors in the end, but two of those tries were scored in the last few minutes and masked what was a terrible second half.

Now I love the Warriors, I have since that first season when they almost made the playoffs but the 2008 Warriors don’t deserve to make it. Playoff teams handle their opposition when they get up 30 – 6. This team is too immature and their kicking game is awful. That’s what let them down last night. Too often they kicked directly to the Bulldogs and everything was woefully predictable. Of the halves I’d only keep Nathan Fien, the others can go. Michael Witt hasn’t played in weeks (even though our goal kicking has been dreadful) while Grant Rovelli just can’t seem to control a game. 

I’d love for them to prove me wrong, it sucked last year when they made the playoffs and I was on the other side of the world and couldn’t see a game, but I don’t see it happening.

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