Sam Boyer

Sam Boyer is a police reporter for the NZ Herald.

NRL: Loyal fans shrug off Warriors' woes

Wayne Scurrah said the Warriors were close to breaking the Eden Park voodoo.
Wayne Scurrah said the Warriors were close to breaking the Eden Park voodoo.

Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah says the club is in "great shape" and needs to get past the owners' public war of words.

Speaking after the side's single-point loss at Eden Park yesterday, Mr Scurrah said it was disappointing that the row between Eric Watson and Sir Owen Glenn had become public.

'That's for them to sort out ... the general public don't want to hear about that.

"From the club's point of view, it's better that that goes back to where it came from and they sort it out."

The Warriors latest loss was to a last-minute field goal by the Canterbury Bulldogs.

They had led for long periods and looked close to winning their first game at Auckland's spiritual home of rugby.

"We were so close to breaking the Eden Park voodoo," said Scurrah. "Personally, I'm super proud of them."

The owners' spat has formed a circus moment in another up-and-down season.

"It's just a sideshow," said David Bentham, a season ticketholder since 1997.

"But the Warriors are putting it behind them. The sooner it's over the better, I think. It's back to business as usual after this week."

Lincoln Taukolo, 33, from Mt Roskill, said following the Warriors was hard work, but it was disappointing the usual on-field uncertainty was this season being replicated in the management.

"It's hot and cold, every year. It's pretty hard to watch ... But it's embarrassing with the two bosses arguing."

Clubhouse unity was needed in the whole organisation, he said.

"It needs to start from the top. You need the management to be strong."

Jed Skelton, 32, was at the game with his two young sons. Like many in the crowd, the family were sporting Warriors shirts.

"It's a bit frustrating," Mr Skelton said.

"It's hard to see what's going on with the club. It's an embarrassment."

However, it was the players that got the fans to the park, he said. The airing of owners' dirty laundry didn't come into it.

"But I think Warriors fans are like British football fans - they're loyal. It doesn't matter what's going on at the club, people will still show up."

The mood among the 80-100 people in the Warriors suite with management was also bullish, a source said.

"The Warriors people were talking it up and saying, 'We've put it behind us and let's get on with the game'."

Warriors playmaker Shaun Johnson said it was important the fans showed up despite the controversy.

"How they showed up was pretty humbling. To run out to that reception and hear how vocal they were meant a lot to us.

"We really appreciate it."

- NZ Herald

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