Hugh McGahan is a former Kiwis player and current columnist for the New Zealand Herald

League: No defending club's position

Ryan Hoffman of the Warriors leads his team off the field. Photo / Getty Images
Ryan Hoffman of the Warriors leads his team off the field. Photo / Getty Images

There are so many things the Warriors need to fix right now but I would pick one thing and spend most of the time on it - defence.

Everything stems from defence and the fact the Warriors are conceding more than 26 points a game, the second-worst in the NRL, tells you everything. In contrast, the Broncos and Storm are averaging about 12 points a game against them and it's no coincidence they are among the frontrunners. The Warriors are never going to be successful if they let opposition teams score that heavily.

Really, the benchmark should be less than 20 points a game and it's what Ivan Cleary built his tenure on in his time at the Warriors. Look where that got them.

Defence is built around desire. If a player doesn't have that, then they are going to fall off tackles and question both themselves and the system. If players don't want to put their body on the line, then they should go and play hockey.

Every opposition coach knows the Warriors don't have an effective defence at the moment and that they just need to be patient. That's what the Panthers did last night and they also fed off errors as the Warriors pushed passes.

The buck ultimately stops with coach Andrew McFadden but assistant Justin Morgan also needs to take responsibility for defence given that's his area.

If they can tighten up, the Warriors will win more games. Everyone knows they can score plenty and that they are one of the better teams on attack when their defence works well.

The Warriors showed some effort yesterday but rarely showed desperation, other than pushing panic passes towards the end, and they never really looked like winning.They looked like they were going through the motions and didn't take advantage of the strong wind in the first half.# I'm not surprised to hear the Warriors are looking to offload Konrad Hurrell and it would probably be a good thing for everyone involved.

There's too much baggage around him at the club and he needs a fresh start, a new lease of life.

I imagine a few clubs would be interested in him. He can be a devastating ball-runner; one of the hardest men in the NRL to stop. His defence can be ordinary and his work ethic questionable but those are things that can be worked on.

I don't think he's a bad egg. He's made plenty of mistakes but they're not serious ones - not like a Todd Carney - and a club could build certain stipulations around behaviour and standards into his contract to make sure keeps in line.

Some clubs are renowned for doing that. The Storm often take players other clubs don't want and their success is well known. The Bulldogs have also backed themselves to get the best out of stray players.

If Hurrell could be a success somewhere else, I think the Warriors would be happy for him.

But at the moment he's worried about his image after the prescription pills debacle. What more do the club need to do? At some stage, he needs to take responsibility for his own actions.Right now he's saying all the right things but doing the wrong things.

- Herald on Sunday

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 26 Feb 2017 00:42:21 Processing Time: 617ms