Chris Rattue is a sports columnist for the New Zealand Herald.

Chris Rattue: Too early to predict a Warriors turnaround

David Fusitu'a of the Warriors scores a try during the round 13 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Brisbane Broncos. Photo / Getty Images.
David Fusitu'a of the Warriors scores a try during the round 13 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Brisbane Broncos. Photo / Getty Images.

It's too early for predictions of a Warriors turnaround, after they smashed the Broncos at Mt Smart. Don't be fooled again - that's the best advice.

We've been through this so many times before. The poor Warriors, under siege, burst into life to defy the critics. Yawn.

One of the critics in this case was Graham Lowe, and he was right. The Warriors' style has been self-suffocating. Against the Broncos, the Warriors found party mode although they got one heck of an invitation.

The Broncos were rubbish. They defended with the heart of a worm and the cohesion of a kindergarten orchestra. They attacked with the joy you find across Wayne Bennett's face.

They also got the game's worst break on a forward pass ruling which rubbed out a try just before half time.

A big thing in the Warriors' favour is playing Newcastle next. It is almost impossible to lose to the Knights although don't completely discount the Warriors' potential in that regard.

But by this time next week, the Warriors should officially be on a winning roll. Good omens have arrived just in time, given everything will be swamped by the All Blacks swamping Wales.

The Warriors threw off the shackles and decided to play football against Brisbane as in passing the pill to each other, and not the wrong sort of pill this time.

They got a little bit of luck early on, when a last tackle play heading down the same confused street as the season led to a penalty. Our gallant lads were off and away, with hardly a care in the world.

Was this attacking mantra the result of a vote? Whatever - all those in favour say aye. AYE. Will the mood and skill last when opponents do?

I certainly hope so, for the sake of the Warriors, New Zealand league, and the NRL.

One of the great thing about the NRL is the amount of close finishes it produces and the amazing try leaps into tight corners by wings in particular. The not-so-great thing is what often leads up to those nail biting conclusions and wondrous dives. Exhibit A for the true state of league is the latest State of Origin match.

Regimented, safety first football gets most teams out of their own half. Last tackle plays rely heavily on kicks, despite the 40/20 rule. There are a few sides like Penrith and their maverick forward Bryce Cartwright who work hard to offload the ball. But not many.

Maybe the best sight of all in the NRL is Shaun Johnson hopping around behind forwards who are having one of their good days. He was 'Magic' Johnson again on Saturday night, a wonderful treat for sore eyes as he led the shredding of Bennett's Boring Broncos.

And the NRL needs all the good news it can get, as it deals with awful but as-yet unsubstantiated match fixing allegations and confirmed sightings of players mixing with gangsters or undesirables.

The Warriors are safely quarantined away from the insidious Sydney mafia. They are perfectly capable of playing way below ability through their own devices. When it comes to hanging around with the wrong people, the Warriors greatest danger has been each other, on and off the field. It still might be.

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