No easy solution to Warriors problemsSave
By Michael Burgess
Looking for solutions to the current Warriors mini-crisis is a bit like trying to unearth Americans who think this whole Donald Trump thing was a good idea.
They are out there, but getting harder and harder to find.
Just as all those Make America Great Again banners are hurriedly being tucked out of sight in Kentucky and Kansas households - and even his supporters start to feel sheepish about the reality television star in the oval office - the fizz is starting to go out of this Warriors' season.
It's not yet time to draw the curtains and look away, but the manner of Friday's 30-14 defeat against the Dragons was alarming.
The team had everything to play for, especially to rebound from last week's Penrith humiliation and to mark Ben Matulino's 200th game, but were outclassed and out passioned by their opponents in Hamilton.
Answers are not readily forthcoming, because this season was meant to be the year.
The presence of Kieran Foran created the best spine in the Warriors history, and his combination with Shaun Johnson was supposed to take the team to a new level.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was back from injury and all of the promising young players had another year under their belts.
The club also gathered the biggest coaching staff in its history, with three assistants to Stephen Kearney, and also created the grandly named Football Advisory Board, including Sir Graham Henry and, bizarrely, a former NFL coach.
And for once the NRL draw was kind, with only one match across the Tasman in the first six games.
But here we are again, with a familiar sinking feeling. The season is not gone, but the salvage job needs to start very soon.
"Apart from the first 20 minutes we were physically beaten, whether at the tackle or carrying the footy," reflected Kearney after Friday's match. "We need to have a good look at ourselves [because] that is where it all started. Their tries came a bit too easily because they were physically getting the better of us."
Kearney also admitted, like we have heard from other Warriors coaches in recent years, that the attitude is not quite there, whether it is the raw desire to make a second effort or the courage to put yourself where it is going to hurt.
Too many times the Warriors feeble attempts at a tackle were fended away, or would-be defenders failed to show the conviction required.
"A lot of it is attitude - there was some efforts out there but collectively not enough," said Kearney. "We need everyone putting in the same effort and we need to make sure we are doing it together."
However the ever-optimistic Kearney has not lost hope, and believed a short term repair of the current situation is possible.
"Well we 'un-fixed' it if you like in a week or two," said Kearney. "A couple of weeks we were ticking along okay and even last week in the first half it was okay. However we un-fixed it, we need to fix it."
Kearney also hinted there will be personnel changes for the next match against the Broncos, with Simon Mannering a certainty to return if fit.
"I need to have a look at the tape," said Kearney. "I know it won't be good viewing [but] I need to make sure we get the right team on the park next Saturday."