The 2018 #NRL Pre-season is now complete with a range of results across this evening - some predicte...
7 hours ago
Another year of dashed hopes across the Tasman...
After falling a win and a half shy of a finals berth in 2016, the Warriors would've have expected to reach the finals this year, with arguably one of the best spines in the NRL and a more than capable forward pack supporting them.
What transpired though was a season that was the epitomy of disappointment.
They scored 3 of their 7 victories during the Origin period and went winless in their last 9 games of the year, seeing them tied for second last on competition points with the Wests Tigers and Gold Coast Titans.
Round 16 v Canterbury: the Warriors beat a woeful Dogs side 21-14 and gave themselves a legitimate chance at making the finals, hoping to make a charge from 10th place, just one win outside the top 8.
That's where it ended though - the pressure of expectation overwhelmed them as they lost every game afterwards in yet another Warriors meltdown to end the year.
Warriors custodian Roger Tuivasa-Sheck played just 7 games in his first season with the Warriors last year. He came into this season fully fit and raring to go. He played all bar one game and scored 10 tries in a good return season from injury, ultimately picking up the clubs' Player of the Year gong.
Coaching. Stephen Kearney is the 6th coach in the last seven years at the Warriors, and they look over structured, ill-directed and more disinterested than ever before.
After just one season, it's clear Kearney isn't the right man for this outfit, and will be lucky to see out 2018 if he can't get his side winning games regularly.
David Fusitu'a had a solid year on the wing, bagging 12 tries in his 24 games for the year. Ken Maumalo and Blake Ayshford were also decent performers, without setting the world on fire.
Shaun Johnson did all he could but to no avail and is in dire need of some support, particularly with Kieran Foran headed for the exit. Simon Mannering and the outgoing Ryan Hoffman were also reliable all year.
The Warriors' Intrust Super Premiership NSW finished the year in second place, beating Penrith in the Qualifying Final 36-20 and Newcastle 30-6 in the semi-final, before losing out to minor premiers Wyong in the Preliminary Final.
Though they were the most prolific side in the Holden Cup over its ten seasons, the 2017 Warriors Under 20's side won just three games and finished the year with the wooden spoon, ending their NYC dominance with merely a whimper.
Across the ditch, there have already been some significant changes to their roster for 2018. They will lose Foran, Hoffman, Ben Matulino, Jacob Lillyman and Charlie Gubb, on top of the late 2017 departure of Manu Vatuvei. However they will be welcoming to the club in 2018 some new and returning faces Tohu Harris, Gerard Beale, Peta Hiku and Leivaha Pulu.
While these changes aren't expected to make significant enough improvements to the side, they will provide some much needed consistency.