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The Year of the Warrior – Issue 11

If there’s anything to take away from this god-forsaken year it’s the fact the Warriors just steam rolled the Dragons. For the Warriors, the NRL season started out in late March, and like most people’s experiences of March 2020, it was a giant, steaming turd. The team scoring one try in two outings, suffering back to back losses. Round 1, a 0-20 hiding by the Knights and were routed in round two by the Raiders 6-20. The Warriors seemed to be on that all too familiar path to disappointing the country for another year.

Enter COVID-19. With the addition of a deadly virus to some team’s rosters came the shutdown of the league and a postponement of games for around 2 months. The league was back and the Warriors looked refreshed, revitalised and rearing to go in their match against the Dragons winning 18-0. They also managed to complete 46 out of their 48 sets, an NRL record, making their first mistake in the 75th minute. This prolonged off-season may have given them a chance to catch up on their fitness levels away from their free Wendy’s hamburgers, we shouldn’t hold our breath. No we shouldn’t. We should use all our breath to scream, “This is it. It’s their year, it’s different this time I promise”. But to settle an argument – or to start a new one in the office – we are wondering how this year’s crop compare to our all-time Warriors XIII. Here are our picks for the greatest Warriors team of all time.

Fullback: Perhaps the toughest one to call but RTS already surely beats out Cleary, Ridge, Webb and the “potential” Tomkins never really displayed. Probably wouldn’t be given the arm band but would be an unstoppable force.

Left Wing: Manu. Obviously.

Right Wing: Can we judge on a single season? Yes. That is why David Fusitua becomes the second current Warrior to make it into the Nexus 13.

Centre: I really don’t want to put Konrad Hurrell here but on his day…. if this is a one-game, best performance deal then he beats out Kata.

Centre: Again, Nigel Vagana but also this is assuming you don’t have to spend time in the locker room with people who left the club for the money.

Five Eighth: We thought about playing SJ here but we have to go with James Maloney.

Halfback: If anyone can think of any argument why this wouldn’t be Stacey Jones then hand in your passport and move as soon as the borders are open.

Hooker: PJ Marsh, narrowly takes it over Monty.

Lock: Simon Mannering. Was he talented? Who knows. Was he consistent? Mostly. Can you actually think of another Warriors Lock.

Second Rowers: Ali Lauiti’iti and Jacob Lillyman would be an unstoppable combination.

Prop: Price and Wiki give you the perfect mix of hard-man mongrel and flair.

Bench:

Shaun Johnson

Brent Webb

Kevin Campion

Joe Vagana

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