Michael Burgess is a sports writer for the Herald on Sunday.

NRL Set of Six: Warriors go-anti social

Tuimoala Lolohea. Photo / Getty Images
Tuimoala Lolohea. Photo / Getty Images

As the Warriors continue to feel the heat after their abject start to the season, several players have sworn off social media. Twitter accounts have been closed or not used and Instagram posts have been noticeably lacking. Other members of the squad are avoiding the press, as coach Andrew McFadden urges them to block out the "outside noise".

Ricky's weird rant

For a coach in charge of an unbeaten team so far in 2016, Ricky Stuart continues to surprise with his sometimes surly antics. His outburst at a Newcastle reporter last week ("why should I talk to you") was reminiscent of former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson's often terse relationship with the press. But the difference is Ferguson felt he had "earned" that right with his constant success, whereas Stuart has not coached a team to the NRL playoffs since 2008.

Fan forum

Plenty more Warriors feedback into the Herald mailbox this week. Andrew, a loyal but "frustrated fan", wondered why "other teams get good go forward and quick plays with solid decision making while with the Warriors there's indecision and when unexpected ball is received they hardly know what to do with it".

Meanwhile, Max lamented the team's tendency to use players out of position, which was "where they went wrong last year".

Game of the week

It has to be tomorrow night's blockbuster at Suncorp Stadium, with the Cowboys and Broncos engaging in a rematch of the 2015 grand final. The Broncos hold the historical edge, with almost three times as many wins (29-12) in the head-to-head contests. But the Cowboys hit top form against the Roosters last week and will field the same 17 for the eighth successive NRL game tomorrow.

Tui pleased to 'graduate'

Tui Lolohea has recently been moved out of the rookie group at the Warriors, who have to arrive earlier each morning to perform various duties. It's a little similar to the old apprentice scheme that ran in British football until the early 1990s. "It's been two years so it's good to move on," laughed Lolohea. "You have to do your time."

Another NRL 'super coach' off the market

Wayne Bennett has signed a lucrative new contract with the Brisbane Broncos, which will keep him at Red Hill until the end of the 2019 season. This follows on from Craig Bellamy agreeing to an extended deal at the Melbourne Storm before the start of the season, while Des Hasler and Trent Robinson are also locked into multi-year deals.

- NZ Herald

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