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Some articles from NZ

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Kiwi Eagle, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. Kiwi Eagle

    Kiwi Eagle Moderator Staff Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +3,893 /65

    Don't write Warriors off - Price
    By GARY BIRKETT - Fairfax Media | Friday, 20 June 2008

    Steve Price knows his heroics for Queensland in Origin rugby league need to be transferred to the New Zealand Warriors when they take on the Manly Sea Eagles on Sunday in an NRL match that could make or break their season.

    The talismanic Warriors skipper has put the heat on his troops this week as the slumping Warriors try to gain redemption at Mount Smart Stadium after being smashed 52-6 away in round three by table-topping Manly.

    Price hit back at critics who have written off the 14th-placed Warriors as they have crashed to four losses in their last five games, leaving their top-eight hopes in serious danger with 12 rounds remaining.

    "We're not Robinson Crusoe there's plenty of teams that have had it up and down, but we've had it more than others and that's why we are where we are," Price said yesterday.

    "But we don't want to lose many more games; the more you lose the more pressure it puts on you.

    "Every game's very important, but it would be a great confidence booster to perform very well against a team that's in good form like Manly."

    The return of five-eighths Michael Witt and blockbusting winger Manu Vatuvei from injuries could spark the Warriors, who were short of ideas on attack in their tepid 24-8 loss to the Cronulla Sharks last Saturday.

    "Hopefully those guys will make a difference and we can get back on track," said Price.

    "It won't take too much to turn it around. You only need a win and all of a sudden things look a lot better. "Teams that have won two or three in a row have gone from so-called no-hopers to being right in contention. The comp is still jam-packed."

    Price called for patience from the critics.

    "I can't stop the critics saying what they're going to say. All we can do is continually try to improve and work really hard. We're staying really positive and getting a few blokes back from injury, which is helping us. We haven't had a great situation with injuries this year, but every team goes through it."

    Manly is fresh off the bye and has no injuries, with NSW Origin fullback Brett Stewart returning.

    Vatuvei, out since round seven with a fracture in his left leg, has scored seven tries in seven games and is desperate to put one over the Sea Eagles. "They made it tough over there, so we've got to do the same for them over here."

    Witt, injured when slipping over and missing a goal kick against the Canberra Raiders on May 4, says he is fully recovered from his hip flexor problem, and came through 80 minutes in reserve grade last weekend without discomfort.
  2. Kiwi Eagle

    Kiwi Eagle Moderator Staff Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +3,893 /65

    Manly mauling still fresh in Warriors' minds
    By ROBERT LOWE | Thursday, 19 June 2008

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    AdvertisementThe New Zealand Warriors have not forgotten the punishment they suffered at the hands of Manly the last time the two sides met in the NRL.

    The Sea Eagles, at the time winless and struggling, handed the Warriors a 52-6 belting in late March.

    The Sydneysiders head into the latest round, and a return match against the Warriors in Auckland on Sunday, at the top of the table and coming off a bye.

    Included in the home side are two players returning from lengthy spells on the sidelines, five-eighth Michael Witt and winger Manu Vatuvei.

    Witt, 23, has as much motivation as anyone for a big game against his former club, having had an off night at Brookvale Oval in March when Manly grabbed two tries off his errors.

    "That was not a fun night," he said today.

    "We got a bit of a touch-up and personally I was pretty ordinary. They are not fond memories and they are ones we'll be looking to turn around come Sunday."

    The ace goalkicker has been out of the NRL since slipping in the wet during a penalty attempt late in the Warriors' last home win, against Canberra six matches ago.

    There was a bit of laughter in the dressing room afterwards at how the ball made it nowhere near the goalposts.

    It was only after Witt went for scans that the seriousness of his hip flexor injury came to light.

    The setback came just as Witt was hitting some impressive form, marked by a greater confidence in taking on the defensive line, and in the previous round he had scored two brilliant tries against Gold Coast.

    Witt returned to action last week with the Auckland Vulcans in the New South Wales Cup, playing the full 80 minutes against Wentworthville and kicking two goals from three attempts.

    "I came through unscathed and the leg felt really good, so I'm confident with that," he said.

    "I managed to blow out a few cobwebs."

    While Manly have won six of their past seven matches, including a last-up 42-0 whitewash over previous leaders the Sydney Roosters, the Warriors need to get their campaign back on track.

    They are languishing third from bottom, having lost four of their past five matches, including their last two at home.

    "Heads haven't dropped," Witt said.

    "We're disappointed at where we are on the table but, if we start to put things together now, we can turn things around pretty quickly."

    Vatuvei, 22, has been out of first grade for a match longer than Witt, his fracture of left calf bone coming in the defeat to the Gold Coast Titans.

    The giant Kiwis winger was named to make his return two weeks ago, but pulled out when his leg did not feel right in training.

    He said he was close to 100 percent, was gradually getting his speed back and was confident of lasting the distance against Manly.

    Vatuvei also has firm memories of the previous match against the Sea Eagles and Sunday represented a chance for some payback.

    He said the key would be sticking to the gameplan and for every player to do his job.
  3. Kiwi Eagle

    Kiwi Eagle Moderator Staff Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +3,893 /65

    NRL clubs pay teen stars more than first-graders
    AAP | Friday, 20 June 2008

    TEEN TRAP: Legendary NRL badboy John Hopoate's son, William, is reportedly earning $A300,000 on a three-year deal with Manly - more than a lot of NRL first-grade players.

    The battle to find the next superstar is so intense that National Rugby League (NRL) clubs are paying teenagers double what they're worth and sometimes more than regular first-graders.

    Leading recruitment manager Peter O'Sullivan, of the Sydney Roosters, said it was impossible to secure a star of the future nowadays without paying him as much as a first-grader.

    The best teenagers in Australia are being offered guaranteed salaries close to $A70,000 ($NZ88,300) a year, with incentives that can swell their earnings beyond $A100,000.

    And it's the inclusion of the national under-20s competition that is partly to blame for the inflated prices.

    NRL clubs do not want to build a premiership-winning 20s team - they'd prefer to find the next star from that group - but cannot afford the best potential players and remain under the $A250,000 salary cap.

    O'Sullivan said it was not uncommon for leading junior players to be in a club's top tier squad and for regular NRL players to be paid less on the second tier.

    "If someone is worth $40,000 for instance, you cannot afford to put them in your under-20s salary cap so you have to actually give them $60,000 or $70,000 to get them into your top tier 25," O'Sullivan said.

    "It is inflated and a lot of it is to do with the 20s salary cap to be honest because you really can't afford to put them into the 20s cap."

    The rise in teenage stars on inflated contracts continued this week with Manly securing 16-year-old schoolboy William Hopoate, son of infamous winger John, on a deal reportedly valued at $A300,000 for three years.

    The Sea Eagles deny the deal is worth that much, but O'Sullivan insists Hopoate will be like one of many kids earning more than someone playing in the NRL week in week out - even if the reported figures are inflated.

    "It is possible earnings, not guaranteed, and that is where it can be misleading," O'Sullivan said.

    "(But) the average run of the mill player will be on second tier and he might be on $54,000 playing full time and someone like William Hopoate will be going to school and earning $60,000 or $70,000 without any chance of being in top grade for, you would think, at least another year."

    Sea Eagles chief executive Grant Mayer insists Hopoate is being paid what an elite player his age is worth, and Manly are willing to invest time and money to help realise his full potential.

    "He will earn what is right for a 16-year-old boy, but he has an opportunity if he plays first grade to do pretty well for himself," Mayer said.

    But Mayer knows highly-touted teenagers are a minefield, the path to NRL stardom littered by many `next Sonny Bill Williams' types who just don't make it.

    "I just don't think we do ourselves any favours by trotting out figures, in most cases fictional figures, to the general public," he said.

    "They're not accurate and it sets a false expectation amongst the player group.

    "There have been kids in the last two or three years tossed up as superstars and where are they now? How many have actually come through?

    "We are placing a lot of pressure on these kids to perform."
  4. DVS Matt

    DVS Matt Well-Known Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +29 /0
    talk is cheap - this warriors team is seriously average

    if we lose to them, then we can hang our heads in shame
  5. Kiwi Eagle

    Kiwi Eagle Moderator Staff Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +3,893 /65

    Ropati ready to wipe slate clean
    Jun 20, 2008
    By league reporter John Whiting

    Warriors centre Jerome Ropati is confident his side can avoid reliving a nightmare this weekend when the Sea Eagles come to Mt Smart Stadium.

    The two sides last met in round three at Brookvale Oval, an occasion which saw the Warriors annihilated 52-6.

    It was a performance that had New Zealand players and fans dying of embarrassment but Ropati told tvnz.co.nz this time will be different.

    "We can still remember the hiding we got in round three and if we lack concentration for a little bit they can pounce on us," he said.

    "We'll be using it as motivation but we're a much different team to what we were back then. Everyone's excited and focussed and that's key to winning this week."

    Currently with five wins and eight losses on the season, it's time for the Warriors to start stringing some wins together.

    In last week's loss to the Sharks the Warriors were well ahead on the statistics sheet but couldn't put points on the board.

    One positive sign was an improved defence, one that will be bolstered next season with the signing of Queensland second-rower Jacob Lillyman on a two year deal.

    And Ropati is confident that his side can rebound on attack.

    "I think we can tick that off and start building. You just can't win games without defending your scoreline.

    "We can score a lot of points but our defence has let us down so heading into this week we need it against Manly."

    With their season floundering many have already written off the Warriors, but history could well prove a point.

    It was at this point in 2007 that the New Zealand side was looking out of contention before going on a six-game winning streak and ending up in the finals.

    "We've been in this situation last year so we're not surprised by it. We do have a higher expectation of ourselves but we've just got to go back to the basics."

    Alongside Michael Witt and Manu Vatuvei who are back in the side for Sunday's clash at Mt Smart Stadium, Ropati will be looking to keep building on his form after an injury hit start to the season.

    "I am slowly building momentum, especially on defence. I've been a bit of a shocker the last couple of weeks but on the weekend my defensive work and technique have given me a bit of confidence.

    "I've always prided myself on defence and if I can get that right everything else will follow."
  6. Kiwi Eagle

    Kiwi Eagle Moderator Staff Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +3,893 /65


    New Zealand Warriors v Manly Sea Eagles at Mt Smart Stadium, 4pm

    Head to head: Warriors 6, Sea Eagles 8
    Last Match: Sea Eagles 52 bt Warriors 0 at Brookvale Oval (Rnd 3, 2008)
    TAB: Warriors $2.35, Sea Eagles $1.55

    Manly carved up the Warriors earlier this year and although they had the bye last week they enter this game buoyed by their 42-0 thumping of the Roosters.

    The Sea Eagles have won six of their past seven and lead the competition thanks to their runaway victories.

    But they'll face a tougher Warriors side this time, mainly because they're playing in Auckland.

    The Kiwis perform much better at home, but kick defence is a concern as they conceded all four tries from kicks in losing to Cronulla last week and erratic winger Manu Vatuvei returns from a broken leg.

    The Warriors have lost four of their past five and must win to get back on finals pace.

    Key: Manly halfback Matt Orford is in career-best touch and will relish the chance to taunt the Warriors' back three with his dangerous kicking game.

    Tip: Sea Eagles
  7. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

    +516 /14
    They have people that can write over there?  Must be exile Zimbabweans.
  8. Cameron

    Cameron Cambo

    +669 /35
    you going KE?

    Was just thinking mate its been awhile since we have had a slanging match

    we must have mellowed :p
  9. Kiwi Eagle

    Kiwi Eagle Moderator Staff Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +3,893 /65
    na not going, thought about it a couple of weeks back but never looked into flights etc.

    We had a few good stouches back in the day on the old forum. God i miss that place :D
  10. Kiwi Eagle

    Kiwi Eagle Moderator Staff Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +3,893 /65

    Warriors eye up Eagle meat
    By AARON LAWTON - Sunday News | Sunday, 22 June 2008

    IT might have been yet another loss for the Warriors on the road but hard-working second-rower Micheal Luck saw enough in last week's effort against the Sharks to feel confident about an upset against the Sea Eagles today.

    Against the in-form Sharks in Sydney last Saturday night, the Warriors appeared in control of the contest until a late fight back from the hosts crushed any hopes of a win.

    Defence has been the side's biggest worry this season but against the Sharks at least in patches they appeared to match their rivals when it came to muscling up.

    Instead, the Warriors' attack was what suffered but Luck says the complete performance is just around the corner.

    "The game against Souths was not good; we were pretty poor that night," he told Sunday News.

    "Last week against the Sharks, the scoreboard didn't reflect how well we defended.

    "They scored four tries off kicks and they only made one line break the entire game.

    "I thought we defended really well but maybe our attack went missing at times.

    "There are things in our attack that we definitely have to work on but if we defend like we did, which we have in our last two away games, we are going to win more than we lose."

    With Manu Vatuvei and Michael Witt back in the side after recovering from injuries, Luck said there could be no excuses about injuries crippling the club.

    "We've got Manu and Witty back this week so we are fielding one of our strongest sides we can put out," he said.

    "We have shown we can attack well and defend well and now we have to start doing them in the same match."

    The Warriors know they have their work cut out for them this afternoon against the table-topping Sea Eagles.

    And Luck is the first to admit they will have to play out of their skin for the competition points.

    "This will be as tough as any match we've had this year," said Luck.

    "You saw what the Sea Eagles did to us in round three and the last game they played against the Roosters they were red-hot.

    "It's a big challenge for us to match them and get over the top of them.

    "They are good across the park."

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