NRL: Elliott slams Warriors 'myths'

Former Warriors coach Matthew Elliott has slammed suggestions that the club's Polynesian players do not respond well to Australian coaches. Photo / Getty Images.
Former Warriors coach Matthew Elliott has slammed suggestions that the club's Polynesian players do not respond well to Australian coaches. Photo / Getty Images.

Former Warriors' coach Matthew Elliott has slammed suggestions that the club's Polynesian players don't respond well to Australian coaches.

In his first interview since leaving the Warriors, Elliott also told the Daily Telegraph that he wouldn't rule out coaching again and `still has a lot to offer.'

Elliott encountered his second termination in three years on Monday, following an abysmal Warriors performance against the Sharks and a sub-standard start to his second year in charge.

Elliott focused on the multitude of `myths' that surround the Warriors, including the suggestion that the club is best left to a born-and-bred Kiwi coach who understands the cultural nuances of their large contingent of Polynesian players.

"That is overstated really, I never felt having an Australian coach is an inhibiting factor. They are a great group of guys,'' Elliott told the Daily Telegraph.

"There's so many myths around the Warriors. One is the one (about Australian coaches), the other one is the talk around the massive Warriors pack.

"It's not a massive pack, it's nowhere near the biggest in the comp. It's a stereotype.

"I don't know where it comes from but South Pacific Islanders and Polynesian players are all through the comp.

"The Warriors have a good representation (of Polynesians) but I think that is simply false. It is based on the thoughts of people who don't understand what really goes on at the club.

"There is always some adaptations you make from club to club, but if someone blindfolded you at the Warriors or another NRL club, you wouldn't know any different.

"That cultural stuff is not an issue.''

Elliott coached the Warriors for 29 games, winning 13 with 16 defeats. The side finished two points outside the playoffs in 11th place last season and have had a mixed start to 2014 with two wins from their opening five games, however the three defeats have all been big loses to unfancied opponents.

The former Canberra coach will now return to Australia as soon as possible and believes he still has a future in the NRL.

"I wouldn't rule out coaching again,'' he said.

"I got involved in some strategic stuff here at the Warriors and I feel I've got a fair bit to offer there. I'm not limited in what I can do.

"I really feel I have a bit to offer this competition. In what guise that is, I have some time to think about that.

"I'm handling it OK. In the grown-up world, you have to take this stuff on the chin.

"The decision has been made. It doesn't matter what I think. I'm getting on with the game.''

The official line from the Warriors is that Elliott resigned, but the 49-year old couldn't be drawn on the semantics of the situation. He has been replaced by assistant coach Andrew McFadden until the end of the 2014 season.

"It's not about wording around decisions and it's not about whether you agree or disagree. It's like on the field, the referee makes a call. You can moan about it all you like, but it won't change what happens.

"I really believe from when I started to now, we made significant improvement across the club. I hope Cappy (caretaker Andrew McFadden) gets an opportunity to build on that. He is ready to be a first-grade coach.

"Every coach has a different approach. I will stick my hand up and say I could have done some things better. I won't be selfish or petulant. I have to pick myself up and get ready for the next chapter.''

-nzherald.co.nz

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