David Skipwith is the Herald's rugby league reporter

Warriors hit back at 'bro culture' claim

New Warriors fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. Photo/Getty.
New Warriors fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. Photo/Getty.

The Warriors have hit back at accusations of a pervasive "bro culture" at Mt Smart and at Australian media suggestions besieged coach Andrew McFadden has been given an early season deadline to right the club's on-field fortunes or be sacked.

Straight-shooting club boss Jim Doyle dismissed both claims last night and fired back at former Warriors part-owner and ex-elite coach Graham Lowe who leveled the accusations of a poor culture at the club in wake of a particularly disappointing opening round loss to the Wests Tigers.

"Graham's entitled to his opinion," said Doyle of Lowe's withering criticism including the claim "there's a 'bro' culture that is obvious and unacceptable" at the club.

Doyle said it wasn't the first time Lowe had levelled such charges at the club.

"It's very old (criticism) actually. And he's been talking about it for many years," Doyle responded.

"He also talks about how no-one from the club involves him. Well I know that he's had a few conversations with 'Cappy' (McFadden) and I've had a few conversations as well.

"So maybe he feels that we're not listening to him and that's why he's making those comments.


"He can use whichever word he wants to use but from our perspective we feel that we've got the right roster, we think we've got the right balance across the football department.

"We need to focus on getting results. Our first game of the season was a loss so he can say nothing's changed. We need to prove that things have changed by performing."

Doyle also took exception to Aussie media speculation on McFadden's immediate future.

"No, we have not even discussed or considered x number of games or anything whatsoever," the club managing director said of ongoing media claims across the Tasman that McFadden is on borrowed time.

"As far as we're concerned Cappy's our coach and we believe in him and we think the team are very capable. And it's actually only round one.

"We think we have a team, a roster and a football staff that are capable of getting success and that doesn't change after one game."

Lowe told Sydney's Daily Telegraph that the "Warriors are going backwards" and said it was a "cop out" to claim the side came back into Saturday's match.

"There wasn't the slightest sign of any improvement...the score totally flattered the Warriors," he said. "There's a hard edge that has been missing for, basically, forever. A ruthless edge. And not just on the field.

"There's a 'bro' culture that is obvious and unacceptable. That culture is in place of that hard edge. It's just soul destroying, there's no change."

The Telegraph listed statistics since the last Warriors victory over Melbourne on July 12, including a "whopping" 86 errors during the nine games since, and that the team was missing an average 32 tackles per game.

Doyle admitted a heavy trial defeat to St George and the loss to Wests Tigers loss hurt early season perceptions of the club.

"The first half was very, very disappointing," he said of the Tigers clash. "You can take a lot of positives out of the second-half and whatever Cappy said at halftime obviously struck home because they were a completely different team.

"The players responded to the coaching staff at halftime so if we can put together an 80 minute performance you'll see a different result.

"The club needs stability and we've got a new roster and we knew that was going to take a little bit of time for combinations to build. We've got to keep building on what we've got."

- NZ Herald

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