A question and answer session, delving into the whacky world of troubled Kieran Foran who is quitting the Warriors, almost before he started.
Have the Warriors done enough for Kieran Foran?
Clearly not. He's buggering off, after one season? Ungrateful sod.
What about his decision?
He's a fool going back to Sydney so soon. The pressures and temptations there are enormous, and he's a headline magnet. Foran has been disloyal to the Warriors who have gone to quite extraordinary lengths to rehabilitate him, when his career and life were in absolute tatters last year. Warriors boss Jim Doyle and coach Stephen Kearney are being soooooo understanding, but then again, they would be with their favourite project
He is going back to be with his kids - does this make sense?
Not if he has another emotional collapse, gets suicidal again, starts hanging around with controversial gamblers like Eddie Hayson and risks suspension. This was the moment to play the long game, to keep his life on track. His kids would be the winners in the end, and he would have had reasonably significant access in the meantime.
What's the most intriguing join-the-dots exercise about the Foran Saga?
Famed, veteran Sydney sports journo Phil "Buzz" Rothfield was bang on last month predicting that Foran would sign with the Bulldogs (despite protests from Warriors boss Doyle). Rothfield is so close to the above mentioned Hayson - Foran's infamous associate - that he was forced to quit his Telegraph column for a month last year over their gambling association. Rothfield was cleared of impropriety but will "no longer be punting with Eddie Hayson". So how did Rothfield know what Foran was doing? We can only guess, and by reputation Foran will tell anybody almost anything. Foran-Hayson-Rothfield is a fairly direct link, although Foran is not supposed to be hanging with the likes of Hayson in these times of constant fears about match fixing.
Have the Warriors got egg on their face?
Some will applaud their madcap humanitarianism, but they have been used as a willing doormat. In my opinion, Foran used the oldest bidding war trick in the book to get his price up by meeting with Newcastle coach Nathan Brown. And he only wanted the Warriors to think they had a chance. Nobody I know in the media, or their contacts, thought he would stay in Auckland past this season.
Does anything about the Foran saga make you angry?
It sure does. According to Doyle, Foran met with his ex-partner Rebecca Pope, the mother of his kids, and their respective lawyers in Sydney during the build up to the test between New Zealand and Australia last week. So he had time for this sort of emotionally draining business, one with an uncertain outcome, when the Kiwis were on very limited preparation time? Okay, so the privately owned Warriors bent over backwards, to name one position, for Foran. But the Kiwis camp is a totally different matter.
Any wins for the Warriors?
There's a validity to Doyle's repeated claim that his squad has things to learn from Foran. His presence offers a one-season, top-eight lifeline, and many of the success-starved Warriors fans would probably settle for that. While I don't think the Warriors have emphasised this point enough, getting Foran right for the Kiwis is a genuine plus for New Zealand league with trickle-down benefits for the club especially with the World Cup looming. And any publicity - which they've had heaps of - is good publicity, right? At least the Foran saga and publicity show that the under-achieving Warriors still matter.
Here's a big concern. Foran's presence has had no remedying effect on Shaun Johnson's erratic game. Apart from Issac Luke, who is hardly a rookie in need of direction, none of the Warriors are showing dramatic Foran-related improvements. The proof of his influence is not in the pudding, yet. And the pivot merry-go-round is a disaster.
My man of the week...
Bulldogs prop James Graham is on the mark, with his stand against the holier-than-thou critics of Kiwis Jesse Bromwich and Kevin Proctor, cruelly banned from the World Cup over a cocaine incident after the Canberra test. The outstanding English forward said performance enhancing drugs are the enemy.
"People are very quick to condemn and judge these people and sort of kangaroo court it ... these people have a right to be rehabilitated," Graham told Fox Sports' NRL 360 program.
"As an opposition player...I don't really care what they're up to on the weekend, if they're out and about till five o'clock in the morning. I do care if they're choosing to enhance their performance illegally."