Warriors to wrestle with new Parra tactics
THE Warriors are preparing for some ‘‘ Melbourne-style wrestle’’ when they open their 2011 NRL season against a Parramatta side already showing the hallm a r k s o f c o a c h S t e p h e n Kearney’s handiwork.
Having already had a taste of the new-look Eels after the two sides met in a pre-season match in Rotorua last month, the Warriors claim Kearney has already put his stamp on the club.
Nowhere was that more evident than in the ruck, with Warriors skipper Simon Mannering noting a more concerted effort in slowing down the play the ball in a similar fashion to that of Melbourne – where Kearney spent five years as an assistant under Craig Bellamy.
‘‘ You saw it in the trial game,’’ Mannering said. ‘‘ They looked a pretty tidy outfit and I’m sure he would have finetuned things a bit since then. ( There was) always three in the tackle and a very good wrestle, and it’s a key part of the games these days.
‘‘ It looks like he’s brought a lot of that to Parramatta and I think it will make them a lot better team.’’
While the Warriors won the trial 24-4, Kiwi Test centre Jerome Ropati wasn’t reading too much into the result, with the Eels missing star duo Natha n Hindmarsh a nd J a r r y d Hayne. The Warriors too were down on troops that day, but they enter the match at Eden Park as favourites after adding some key pieces to last year’s side which bowed out in the second week of the finals.