Andrew Mulligan: Keep Cappy and carry on

Consistency at the top is the only way forward.
Warriors coach Andrew McFadden is on a steep learning curve. Picture / Brett Phibbs
Warriors coach Andrew McFadden is on a steep learning curve. Picture / Brett Phibbs

To borrow a line, Craig Bellamy is not walking through that door. Neither is Wayne Bennett, Des Hasler, Mal Meninga or anyone else seemingly desired by sections of the exasperated Warriors fan base.

Keep coach Andrew McFadden until the end of his contract at the Warriors at the very least and then extend it two years.

There's no need to change again. They've done that. Didn't work.

We can't get star coaches, let alone star Aussie players to come over here, so investment in player and coaching development is a process that the Warriors have been embracing.

The Blues aren't the most desirable of the five Super Rugby franchises to play for in New Zealand for their record alone, but recent announcements of players may change that perception.

Players talk to each other and they know the lay of the land within franchises. Perhaps there is a realisation Blues coach Tana Umaga's attempts to create a culture that replicates what he did at Counties Manukau could work at Eden Park.

The blueprint for McFadden is there but the learning curve is steep. It happened against the Broncos last week but traditionally the Origin stretch has been kind to the Warriors and their next games are against the NRL's two bottom teams.

But the Knights and Roosters are dangerous because their supporters are as frustrated as Warriors fans.

The confidence of a team goes a long way to dictating how they play, so when captain Ryan Hoffman rang McFadden and said they're having a "players-only meeting", I can imagine the "he's lost the changing room" whispers would have been louder, but he clearly hasn't.

The performance against the Broncos might be a one-off, a chance of catching a sliding team with Origin players either having to play or left out, but the same expectations for it to happen again tomorrow might be off.

The siege mentality can last only so long and the responsibility of performance is a weekly challenge that some players need to be held accountable for.

What did help was that the aggressive running of Manu Vatuvei was back and the trio of Tui Lolohea, Solomone Kata and David Fusitu'a feasted on good ball and the good fortune of calls going the Warriors' way.

Dumb luck is a thing that helps to win games in the NRL. Patience and man management is an art and the unofficial relationship between McFadden and Sir Graham Henry goes back at least 12 months before the former All Blacks coach started turning up at Penrose training sessions and in the coaches' box.

Ivan Cleary benefited from John Hart's guidance, so it's nothing foreign to the Warriors.

Cappy has the game plan and what happened to Brisbane was a meeting point between that game plan and its execution by the players.

It showed commitment to not only represent the club but also to turn the tide of negativity that threatened to engulf the club - again. But changing the coach once more is not the answer. In fact, the way forward is clear - stability at the top can lead to continued success.

- NZ Herald

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