NRL: Fans need a win from Warriors

By Michael Brown

Andrew McFadden. Photo / Greg Bowker
Andrew McFadden. Photo / Greg Bowker

There hasn't been a lot of positivity out of the Warriors this week but a win against the Bulldogs at Eden Park tomorrow will go some way to getting fans back on their side.

It's notable how often teams win after significant events such as the sacking of a coach and they will hope for the bounce-back effect.

On the surface, everything is against them. Not only are they playing at a ground they have never won at and against one of the form teams of the competition but they have also witnessed the messy departure of Matt Elliott and the ongoing feud between co-owners Eric Watson and Sir Owen Glenn.

"History tells that, after these things, players get up," interim coach Andrew McFadden said. "I feel that. I think [the players] are really determined. They are not happy about what happened last week [against the Sharks] and the last few days and we are really going to focus on this game for the members and fans."

It didn't work when Brian McClennan was sacked, when the Warriors were beaten 38-6 by the Dragons and lost the two games under Tony Iro's watch.

McFadden has made a number of changes for the match, most notably bringing in Sebastine Ikahihifo for Feleti Mateo at back-row and Thomas Leuluai for Chad Townsend at five-eighth. He's also promised a much tougher environment where players know what is expected of them and consequences will be enforced.

There won't, however, be much difference in the game plan. "Tactically, when we get it right, we are fine," McFadden said. "It's just a matter of doing it all the time."

The Bulldogs come into the match in good form. They toppled the Roosters 9-8 last weekend on the back of 40-12 demolition of the Storm and were second heading into the weekend's round of games. They also have the best defensive record in the NRL, conceding only 60 points in their five games, and second-best attack (119 points). In contrast, the Warriors have leaked the most points (138) and, discounting their 42-18 win over the Wests Tigers, have averaged only 13.5 points a game.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf02 at 19 Dec 2014 05:39:14 Processing Time: 539ms