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Warriors coach Andrew McFadden sure is making some unique decisions around the use of his interchange this NRL season. In the 30-8 win over the Canberra Raiders at Mt Smart Stadium yesterday coach McFadden opted to give second-rower Raymond Faitala-Mariner just a handful of minutes on the field and held replacement hooker Siliva Havili back for the entire game. While not necessarily unique in holding a player back the fact McFadden could find only a handful of minutes to share between two...
No-one has quite figured out what it is about State of Origin that makes it work – it just does. Not only do footy fans from NSW and Queensland act parochial to a sickening level during the middle of each year but the fever has caught on around the remaining Australian states, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands and further afield. The Origin concept works for whatever reason but much of it has to do with the battle lines – there is a natural rivalry before a ball is kicked in anger. Much...
The NRL brass are currently negotiating with broadcasters about the next television deal that will take the game forward from 2017. They better be listening to the growing chorus of voices screaming about not just taking the biggest offer on the table. When the last deal was signed back in 2012, the NRL trumpeted as a huge win for the sport as they reaped a payday of over $1 billion. Sure, that was a significant figure and it has helped put the game in sound financial position. The downside...
This year represents the 20-year anniversary of the Warriors and the 21st season of them playing in the Australian rugby league competition. I’ve had the fortune to cover the club since arguably its finest season – 2002 – in which the Daniel Anderson-inspired side claimed a maiden wooden spoon and would go on to play the Sydney Roosters in the NRL Grand Final. I moved into the best seat in the house as a side-line commentator for Radio Sport in 2004 and held that role until the end of the...
The Warriors, for a while now, have considered themselves a development club. Throughout the Wayne Scurrah regime the club would back its ability to find young kids and turn them into stars rather than trying their luck on the open market. They decided to adopt this approach because it is more cost effective than paying slightly over the odds for established players across the Tasman and they have a huge catchment area to cast their net to find talented kids. The results have been mixed...
For the past two weeks the Warriors have started Siliva Havili at hooker for the first 13-15 minutes before replacing him with Nathan Friend for the majority of the match. I don’t really understand the thinking behind it. It seems pointless having a guy on the field for impact for such a short period – especially when the opposition is not really fatigued at that stage. I could see the rationale of starting Friend and bringing Havili on just before halftime to try and expose a tired...
The rule that sees mandatory sin-binning of any player that throws a punch is actually bad for the game. It was introduced into the sport two years ago after Paul Gallen laid into Nate Myles in the Origin arena. While I obviously understand and support the NRL’s reasoning for introducing the rule it is actually having a detrimental effect on the sport. The NRL wanted to remove fighting from the game and I’m not going to criticise them for that. That should be the goal. However, introducing...
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