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

Piling on the misery: NRL's biggest losers

The Warriors are on the verge of their worst-ever losing streak, having not won since July. Michael Burgess looks at three of the club's other losing streaks and three of the worst in modern first-grade history.
Againts the Knights in 2012, Konrad Hurrell and the Warriors lost after blowing an 18-point lead with mistakes like this. Photo / Photosport
Againts the Knights in 2012, Konrad Hurrell and the Warriors lost after blowing an 18-point lead with mistakes like this. Photo / Photosport

Three of the Warriors' worst

11 games (Round 19, 2012- Round 3, 2013)

After a narrow defeat to the Broncos in Brisbane, the rot set in.

In matches against the Sea Eagles and Newcastle Knights, the Warriors held 18-point leads, and the Manly loss in Perth was a particular heartbreaker.

With injuries to key players and a general torpor around Mt Smart, Brian McClennan's team didn't win again that season.

New coach Matt Elliott promised a fresh start the following year, but they were beaten 40-10 by a Jarryd Hayne inspired Eels in round one.

Losses to the Roosters (with Sonny Bill Williams making a winning return to Eden Park) and Cronulla followed, before a nervy 20-18 win over the Cowboys in round four at Mt Smart snapped the run.

7 games (Round 20, 2004- Round 1 2005)

Daniel Anderson had left midway through the 2004 season, after the Warriors suffered a 58-6 hiding at the hands of the Roosters.

Assistant coach Tony Kemp was promoted and started well, with a 20-14 win over the Raiders, but things soon unravelled as chief executive Mick Watson took a hands-on role with the squad, which only seemed to make things worse.

The team won only two of their remaining 12 games that season, dropping the last six on the bounce.

During that run, the squad, which included Stacey Jones, Awen Guttenbeil, Jerry Seuseu and Clinton Toopi, endured some close shaves (losing 30-29 to the Raiders and 30-24 to the Roosters, eventual grand finalists) and some thumpings (48-18 to the Eels and 54-10 to the Bulldogs) to finish 14th.

After a loss to the Sea Eagles to start the 2005 season, the streak was stopped with a 24-12 win over the Broncos in Brisbane.

7 games (Round 17-23 2000)

The 2000 campaign was one of the most turbulent in the club's history.

Coach Mark Graham lost lynchpin Stacey Jones, who broke his arm playing against Tonga at the end of the 1999 season, before the campaign had even started.

By round four, boardroom disputes saw co-owners Graham Lowe and Malcolm Boyle ousted by fellow directors Tainui, and Lowe, who had hired Graham in 1999, was no longer on speaking terms with his former Kiwis captain.

There was plenty of talent on the roster, including Joe and Nigel Vagana, Logan Swann, Ivan Cleary and John Simon, but their finals hopes nose-dived when a loss to Newcastle in round 17 sparked a run of seven consecutive defeats.

At the end of the season, the club was put up for sale, with players and staff reportedly owed more than half a million dollars.

Three of the worst in first grade

22 games - Western Suburbs (Round 8, 1984-Round 5, 1985)

Ken Gentle's team are often seen as the worst of the modern era. Their only win in 1984 was a round-six victory over Illawarra, before 18 consecutive losses to end the season.

They lost their first four games the following year, before another win over the Steelers.

20 games - Newtown Jets (Round 2-22, 1977)

The Jets won their opening game of 1977 but didn't taste victory again until the final match of the season.

It was a colourful team - they imported NFL running back Manfred Moore (he lasted five games) and also had Paul Hayward in their ranks, the tragic halfback who later spent 11 years in a Bangkok jail for smuggling heroin and died of an overdose in 1992.

16 games - Gold Coast (Round 7-22, 1993)

The Wally Lewis-coached, Brent Todd-captained side won just once all season - 22-6 over Newcastle in a match notable for the debut of Andrew Johns for the Knights.

The Seagulls had decent players, including Dale Shearer, Wayne Bartrim, Kevin Campion, Steve Jackson and Todd, but never got out of first gear. It was their third consecutive wooden spoon.

- Herald on Sunday

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