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First Grader
Unfocused Warriors throw it away

by Peter Jessup

Manly 26
Warriors 20

It was deja vu at Ericsson Stadium yesterday as the Warriors crumbled to a Manly side that was nothing more than functional, the Warriors throwing away the ball and their chances.

I had to keep checking the calendar to see it was 2005. There was all the dropped ball, the standing around waiting for the "name" players to do something, the usual brain explosions.

They played down to a Manly side that didn't have nearly the talent, allowed themselves to get sucked into the stupid niggle from Terry Hill and John Hopoate and lost focus.

The crowd lost interest and, as in previous years, left early.

There was little to enthuse over bar the performance of new forwards Ruben Wiki, a game-high 184 metres and 23 tackles, Steve Price with 151m, 27 tackles and a charge-down and hooker Nathan Fien, who bled profusely from a head wound throughout but improved the dummy-half delivery.

The best of the rest were Brent Webb and Wairangi Koopu, last season's best players, with good impact from Louis Anderson and enthusiasm from Lance Hohaia.

Stacey Jones looked nervous and hesitant. When the Warriors got to the opposition red-zone they looked short on ideas, the attack was too deep and at times not too enthused.

The kicking game was too short or too long, when they did manage to get to a fifth-tackle kick - 27 times out of 45 opportunities - too often the ball went dead or to the Manly fullback. Worryingly, coach Tony Kemp said afterwards that he believed the field kicking was good.

Manly's was. They delivered two 40/20s and scored off the second one.

They took first points with a chip from halfback Michael Monaghan, when he regathered and passed inside to captain Steve Menzies, then Anthony Watmough took advantage of the territorial gain from five-eighth Michael Witt's 40/20 to make it 12-2 at the break.

Four times the Warriors had knocked on within the last 10m.

Jones chipped to the Manly line and fullback Brett Stewart was caught, lost the ball and Koopu pounced to score.

But almost immediately the Warriors conceded 60m through poor marker play, then Monaghan delivered a nice cross-kick for wing Scott Donald to get the first of a double. Warriors new wing Todd Byrne was not at home and the one-of-four buys who didn't prove his worth.

The home team forced another goal-line drop out but knocked-on 2m out. As the game ran down Jones twice kicked too deep for the chasers - but he was kicking from too far off the try-line. Then Fien kicked too high and short, Manly snaffled it and Donald went 60m untouched.

Kemp was pleased that everyone put their body on the line and that no one threw the towel in, which was true.

Price said the only thing they did wrong was drop the ball, that that was easily fixed and they had the talent and ability to pick up.

Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler thanked the Herald for Saturday's preview in which I said that a Warriors defeat was unthinkable and that man-for-man the visitors were out-skilled: That had provided serious motivation, Hasler stated.

I told him I'd try a run-down on the Warriors next weekend to see if a newspaper article could inspire them to win in Brisbane.

But seriously, if a newspaper article can inspire an ordinary side to beat the Warriors at home, then it's going to be another long season.


Journey Man
Under the heading of "Baaaaaaaaaaaa sic errors"

Hi there Peter

I just thought I'd let you know that your match report following the Warrior's recent demise has caused much mirth on the educated side of the ditch.

A couple of observations to make:

1. It must be humiliating to get a match report so wrong and then have the opposition coach sneeringly credit your blooper for part of the motivation that led to a win. Most journalists worth their salt would know that Manly (like another famous team that plays in maroon and white) thrives on a siege mentality and underdog status. So thanks for that - on behalf of all Manly fans.

2. To then drag the whole incident up and demean the efforts of Manly just compounds the error by making it look like sour grapes. No we know NZ specialises in that sort of thing every four years when they crash out of the Rugby World Cup, and every year with those weedy little Sauvignon Blancs that you produce, but why make it a weekly event? I predicted the Warriors to win by twenty, but at least I had the humility to come out after the event and admit my fault and describe what was good about the Manly victory.

3. Finally, perhaps you should recognise that Manly has trumped the Warriors in the quality of their forward signings. Frankly I'm tired of the collective bleating that we hear about the signing of two over 30s has-beens with a marginal representative record. As a 30-something player, Kennedy has far less miles under the bonnet in terms of first grade games but has far more pedigree in terms of what he brings to the side on the field and also with what he has acheived in the representative arena. Kite is a good young forward with the ability to be one of the best in the game in coming years. I think that point was emphatically proven on Sunday.

So keep them coming champ. Don't let that excess of wool floating around in your office blind you too much to the obvious.



Journey Man
Feel free to share it with the wonderful citizens of ME. I heard his article stirred them up quite a bit.


thats genuinely funny, the sheep will be getting nervous!!! Cant forget to mention it was a great day for the Kiwis NOT on the cricket field as well after they lost the unloseable test!

Great day all round! :clap: :clap: :clap:


Typical bias from the Kiwi's. They love to gloat when they win but are the sorest of losers when they are beaten by the better team!
I remember being over in Scotland and being asked whether I was a Kiwi. They said they ask Aussies that, becuase NZ'ers absolutely chuck a wobbly if they are mistaken for us......... :lol:


Journey Man
funny i had the same experience when overseas a few times, never an aussie.

not when i was in scotland though, they just kept calling me a bloody great galah, eventually one of them asked what a galah was.

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