Stephen Kearney will join a select bunch of Warriors coaches if the Auckland club emerge triumphant today.

Across the 23-year history of the club only two coaches have won their first game in charge.

In 1999, Mark Graham's young team enjoyed a surprising 26-16 win over the Roosters in Sydney, while Tony Kemp marked his coaching debut with a 20-14 victory over Ruben Wiki's Canberra Raiders in 2004.

However, circumstances have often been a factor. Frank Endacott, Kemp and Andrew McFadden were appointed mid-season - with only days to prepare for their first game - while Ivan Cleary took over a club in chaos, after the salary cap breaches meant the club started the 2006 season on minus four competition points.


It's also dependant on the opposition at the time. John Monie had to take on the Broncos powerhouse of the mid-1990s, Cleary faced the Storm and Brian McClennan's first outing was against the defending premiers.

In that light, Kearney's assignment isn't that daunting. He's had a full pre-season to shape his team, and no Warriors coach has faced weaker opposition in their first match - on paper anyway - than the Knights, who won only one game last year and are on an 18-game NRL losing streak.

Warriors coaching debuts

1995: John Monie v Broncos Lost 22-25 (h)

The Warriors led 22-10 early in the second half but were ultimately denied by Allan Langer, who crossed for two late tries. Monie's first official win in charge came in round six - 38-12 against Illawarra - though a victory three weeks earlier over Western Suburbs was scrubbed out for an interchange breach.

1997: Frank Endacott v Broncos Lost 34-18 (h)

'Happy Frank' was given the reins after Monie was sacked with the club last equal after eight rounds. Endacott lost his first four Super League matches, though his team was successful in the World Club Challenge, winning seven games to reach the semifinals.

1999: Mark Graham v Roosters Won 26-16 (a)

Matthew Ridge inspired the Warriors to their first win under Graham, but the good times didn't last. The club lost 10 of their next 12 games, with Graham struggling to get the best out of a thin roster.

2001: Daniel Anderson v Raiders Lost 24-8 (h)

Anderson lost his first game but this was the start of the Warriors' first great era. The team beat the North Sydney Bears the following week, and a five match unbeaten run secured their first playoff berth.

2004: Tony Kemp v Raiders Won 20-14 (h)

After Anderson's dramatic departure Kemp was handed the clipboard. The team produced a bounce back victory over the Raiders, but it was a false dawn. They were smashed 50-4 by the Tigers a week later and only won two of their last 11 matches, avoiding the wooden spoon on points differential.

2006: Ivan Cleary v Storm Lost 22-16 (h)

Cleary's reign started inauspiciously, with losses to the Storm and Eels. But the club ended the season with a 50 per cent win record and missed the playoffs due to the four point penalty imposed for salary cap breaches.

2012: Brian McClennan v Sea Eagles Lost 26-20 (h)

The Warriors fell short in front of a huge crowd at Eden Park. Both teams scored some spectacular tries but displicine and mistakes cost the home side, which was to be a recurring theme in 2012.

2013: Matt Elliott v Eels Lost 40-10 (a)

Probably the most disappointing coaching debut of them all. Elliott had talked a big game to get the job, and had made all kinds of dramatic changes off the field. But the Warriors were lacklustre against the 2012 wooden spooners, shipping seven tries in an awful defensive effort.

2014: Andrew McFadden v Bulldogs Lost 21-20 (h)

McFadden looked a bit stunned as he faced the media after Elliott's resignation, as his elevation had come much quicker than expected. But he came close to a debut win, as the Warriors led until the 75th minute before a Trent Hodkinson penalty and field goal grabbed the two points.