According to some with a more jaundiced view, the New Zealand Warriors’ recent NRL win over the Gold Coast Titans does not signify that Kiwi rugby has arisen from the dead, nor that Kieran Foran is the saviour pre-season prognosticators prognosticated.
True, the Warriors may be some distance away from the elite of the league, such as the Melbourne Storm, who dismantled the Penrith Panthers in the last round with surgical precision.
The Warriors’ fans were treated to some last-minute heroics from Foran, but the Titans they beat were a depleted lot.
Then, there is Warriors’ Coach Steve Kearney’s statement recently made that the reason, or one at least, for bringing Foran to Auckland was not so much the pursuit of NRL glory, but was a mission to get Foran back to peak physical and mental health.
No one can deny the therapeutic benefits of a sojourn in New Zealand, no matter how short, but if the Warriors intend to be truly legitimate NRL premiership contenders, digging out of holes, such as the one they dug to begin the 2017 NRL season with two wins against three losses, is not a form of therapy we would recommend.
The 28 – 22 win by the Warriors was hardly the stuff of legend, but perhaps it is the inauspicious start of a run that could mark a reversal of form for the Auckland side.