Other than speculation that they might be recruiting players from the ranks of some American club rugby side, how else to explain how a country that can produce the All Blacks is also responsible for the woeful Warriors of the NRL?
The Telstra 2017 NRL Premiership competition came to a merciful end for the Kiwi NRL side. It was their ninth straight loss. That was a club record, although “record” is usually reserved for more positive outcomes.
Much worse was that the 28 – 16 loss came at the paws of West Tigers, the side that has given the city of Sydney a black eye that has proven that even NSW is not immune to ineptitude.
Post-season, when the Warriors look down, they will see only the Tigers, the Gold Coast Titans, who despite their lavish spending on a saviour from afar, could not muster much of anything other than backstabbing during 2017, and the Newcastle Knights below them.
The Tigers v Warriors game at Leichardt Oval was never really in doubt, as the Tigers went up 16 – 6 in the first half, as their former utility player Tui Lolohea, now the Tigers five-eighth, sent his old club a message in his first appearance against them. Lolohea scored a try, set up two others and kicked four goals.
Afterwards, the Warriors held a bon voyage party for Ryan Hoffman, Charlie Grubb and Ben Matulino.
The Warriors were without Shaun Johnson and Kieran Foran; both were missing due to injury, but even had they played, it seemed as though the Warriors were going through the motions and were only playing since to do otherwise would have meant refunding admission fees. At least the embarrassing conclusion did not come on their home ground, where fans pundits and just about anyone else has been highly critical of the change in playing style that has taken a proud New Zealand rugby squad to new lows.