Dylan Cleaver on sport

Sport analysis and comment from APN's Head of Sport Dylan Cleaver

Dylan Cleaver: Should Elliott be the only one to go?

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Warriors players look on during their 37-6 defeat to the Sharks. Photo / Getty Images
Warriors players look on during their 37-6 defeat to the Sharks. Photo / Getty Images

The Warriors should at least be congratulated for acting decisively.

How they got themselves into this mess in the first place requires further examination, but they got this one right: Elliott had to go.

Whenever you sit down to watch the Warriors, you expect the mercury to fluctuate between hot and cold. It's almost a given. What you don't expect is what happened in the Sutherland Shire on Saturday - a professional team laying down and having their tummies tickled by the worst side in the NRL.

The 37-6 loss was appalling. It was incompetent. It spoke of a team that was either not getting the message from their coach or had stopped listening. Either way, it was terminal for Elliott.

The Warriors decision would also have been made easier by the vagaries of the 2014 season.

No team has won five games. Only Gold Coast have won four. There is still everything to play for. If the Warriors weren't going to do that for Elliott - and the evidence against Cronulla, and the Dragons and Eels before that was compelling - then they needed to be given a chance to do it for somebody else before they fell off the pace.

The Warriors probably have enough talent to make the playoffs... probably. But even if they do, Elliott's appointment process - they aggressively chased Craig Bellamy - and 'resignation' speak volumes of a club with inherent fragility. They are long way short of their stated aim of being the pre-eminent sporting organisation in Australasia.

Assistant Andrew McFadden now embarks on a six-month job interview. If he's not the answer, the Warriors next appointment must be their last for some time or the club risks turning into a laughing stock, which will mean no chance of luring quality Australian players.

How the owners must now hanker for the stability and relative consistency of the Cleary Years.

Should Elliott be the only one to go or will there be further fallout in Penrose? Simon Mannering, for one, has a decision to make. He is a brave and loyal foot soldier, but he has also worn the armband for some of the Warriors' lamest losses.

Some Warriors might have tired of the sound of Steve Price's gravelly voice during his last year at the club but it's difficult to imagine he would have stood for what happened at Remondis Stadium.

Mannering walks the walk; the Warriors also need a leader who talks the talk.

Debate on this article is now closed.

- NZ Herald

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