Warriors CEO Cameron George has defended the conduct of Adam Blair, after NRL immortal Andrew Johns labelled the Broncos prop "a coward" in the wake of Friday's preliminary final.
Blair, who is expected to be confirmed as a Warrior this week, was heavily criticised by Johns on the Channel Nine telecast for late shots on Cooper Cronk during the Storm's 30-0 win.
Johns called one of Blair's tackles "the cheapest shot there is", adding it was dirty play that needed to be removed from the sport.
Johns also referenced Johnathan Thurston's comments earlier this year, when the Cowboys half called for more protection from the officials for play makers.
But George has backed the Warriors-bound Blair, saying his aggressive attitude will set the benchmark at Mt Smart next year.
"Everyone is going to have a view on those type of tackles but if it falls within the rules that is fine and at least we have got a player that is actually chasing and committed to doing the right thing for his team," George told the Herald on Sunday.
"He may have been a second or two late, but it is up to the referees to determine if that was in or outside the rules. But Adam Blair will add a lot of steel to our game and that demonstrates to me how important it is to him to do the little things right. Naturally you have to get the timing right - and if you are outside the rules they will penalise you. But in terms of "Joey" Johns' comments, I'd rather have Adam Blair in my team that someone else's team."
George also pointed out that a lack of aggression had been a perceived weakness of the Warriors in recent years, a far cry from the intimidating pack of the 2001-2003 era, that featured men such as Kevin Campion, Jerry Seu Seu, Monty Betham and Sione Faumuina.
"Everyone in the NRL treads a fine line and pushes things to the limit," said George. "And in a lot of ways, we have been criticised for not doing that. Next year I want teams looking over their shoulders, and every single player in every position going, 's***, the Warriors, they are coming at us'. And if I have got players doing that, we are all going to be happy with the results
"At the end of the day we want players trying in every play of the game. The referees are there to determine if they are in or outside the rules and the coach will deal with the repercussions of that," said George.
"I'm not here to determine if it was late or not, that is up to the officials. But if you ask me if that kind of attitude will be an attribute to our organisation next year. My response to that is we want every player pushing, and putting pressure on every opposition player to win the game."