General Peter Jessup: Warriors eyes on the future

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A year that started with high expectation of the Warriors has spluttered, and last weekend staggered, and for anyone watching, it is in the halves where the game plan is failing.So why did the club ditch the 2008 five-eighth Michael...



Automated Warrior

what's the point of all these posts if no one can link them?


I didn't realise that the links weren't working. The NRL ones seem to. EF to the rescue, I hope!


Why cant we just copy and paste the articles and state the source, this linking after one sentance is anoying and a pain in the.........

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You should make it* post the story as whole in a quote box and then leave the link at the bottom
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Here's the full article for anyone wondering:

A year that started with high expectation of the Warriors has spluttered, and last weekend staggered, and for anyone watching, it is in the halves where the game plan is failing.

So why did the club ditch the 2008 five-eighth Michael Witt and his 87 per cent goal-kicking rate and why has halfback Nathan Fien, who steered them to fourth place in the competition last year, also been punted?

The answer is the future.

Sure, Witt's goal-kicking would more than probably have won them the games against Melbourne, where it finished 14-all, and the Dragons, 12-11, new kicker Denan Kemp missing shots in both. But would the scoreline have been that close anyway?

The club has plumped for Joel Moon as five-eighth and may as well now stick with him. They won two games with the Stacey Jones-Moon combo to start the season, then inexplicably shifted Moon to centre because Brent Tate was injured and tried Nathan Fien at five-eighth.

This week coach Ivan Cleary has changed back. He described the shift as "a big change in the dynamics of the team".

Jones and Fien, who has little experience at six and prefers to play halfback, had been getting in each other's way, Cleary said.

The plan this week is for Jones to run the game and for Moon to run off him.

Jones may or may not play next season, though with Fien's departure and the off-loading of Witt and Epalahame Lauaki the club has room to move under the salary cap if it wishes to.

But good halves do not grow on trees and the top exponents - Johnathan Thurston at the Cowboys, Cooper Cronk at the Storm, Peter Wallace at Brisbane, Mitchell Pearce at the Roosters, Jarrod Mullen at the Knights, Terry Campese at Canberra and Scott Prince at the Titans - are all signed to long-term deals.

The Warriors have decided to bank on their home-grown talent. In the immediate background pushing for a start are Lewis Brown, 22, who has played two games this season but he does not have the dynamic acceleration and speed Jones has, or the game nous just yet, and looks more a lock, plus Aaron Heremaia, 25, with experience in England, playing well for the Auckland Vulcans and steering their game. Behind them are Isaac John, 20, who is a product of the Juniors and has just been signed long-term, as has Shaun Johnson, 18, who came from touch football - an electric attacker but still learning the game, especially defensive tactics, and so is probably two years away.

Auckland-raised former Storm half Liam Foran, on a contract just for 2009, has so far failed to impress sufficiently in the Vulcans to force inclusion.

"The good halves - it takes time," Cleary said yesterday. "We have plenty of faith in what's coming through. It's our job to help those boys develop."

Cleary said Moon's game will have benefited from the stint at centre. He shifted him back because they needed more direction around the field and clarity in the attack plan. Jones has been told to "play his natural game and lead the team around - his form is improving and he's ready for it".

Moon said he'd been told he was to let Jones run things and was happy with the five-eighth role expected of him, which is running the ball and taking the line on. "I prefer six because I played there in my junior years," he said at training yesterday.

Given time to combine and build some cohesion, this is the best option in the halves for 2009 and possibly for 2010 while the others in back-up come through. It is not since Greg Alexander held the six jersey in season one that the Warriors have had a consistently performing five-eighth who worried other teams.

Moon should get the chance to become that man.


He's a bit ill-informed, Jones and Moon weren't the halves combo in the first rwo games of the season we won.


Not to mention he thinks Lewis Brown was bought to the club as a Halfback. Jessup is always so inaccurate it makes me wonder how he still has a job.

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