There was some decidedly good news emanating from Perth for the New Zealand Warriors in the first game of the Telstra 2018 NRL Premiership competition when they pulled a surprise upset over the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
After suffering through a nine-match losing streak last season, it would appear obvious that the mood for the Kiwi team is vastly improved.
This is the first time in 10 tries that the Warriors have managed to win in Perth, so they would obviously express the opinion that the brand new palace of Optus Stadium was well worth the $1.5 billion it cost to build.
The final score was 32 – 20 and this is a new-look Warriors side if ever a new-look there was.
Coach Stephen Kearney debuted five new players and it was the spine of the Warriors that were the stars.
Many kudos were tossed in the direction of Blake Green, who has played, seemingly, for almost every side in the league. He was most recently with the Manly Sea Eagles, where he was underpaid, in the opinion of some. He lasted only one season with the Eagles after putting in 50 appearances with the Melbourne Storm.
“It looks like Blake Green is the glue that’s brought them together,” Braith Anasta declared on the FOX Leaguecommentary.
The key positions on the Warriors produced five of their six tries.
Issac Luke was a consistent presence and proved that, despite being out of favour with the club, he wants nothing other than a chance to win that faith back.
“He (Luke) embodies the Warriors spirit,”FOX Leaguecommentator Mick Ennis said.“He looks fit. He’s making great decisions out of dummy half.”
For the Rabbitohs, the unexpected result in a game that was widely considered a walkover for South Sydney was a rude wake up call for Coach Anthony Seibold and the entire side.