SEASON REVIEW | Warriors

After very nearly mounting the Intrust Super Premiership’s summit in 2017, the Warriors were asked to start their climb over this season.

Though this time, the Warriors fielded a team with much less experience than the one that went before.

At the end of 24 rounds, the Auckland-based team finished with 10 wins, 12 losses to their name.  

Youthful players were asked to fill key positions – fullback, five-eighth and hooker – and did so aptly.

But missing the experience and the ability to win the ‘big moments’, so with it went the Warriors hopes of being a genuine title threat.

THE KEY NUMBER

-6

The Warriors’ attack was a shadow of its 2017-self this season, scoring at an average of 6 points less per game (25p/g in 2017, 19.5 in 2018).

On three occasions this season the Warriors fell by six points or less, costing them 6 competition points.

If the Warriors were to have won those matches, in theory the side would have finished in the all-important top four.

From there – as we were reminded of in the 2018 finals series – it’s anyone’s game.

THE RISING STAR

19-year-old Warriors fullback Hayze Perham carried big raps with him throughout the club’s under-20 ranks (then-NYC) in 2017, this season his first against the ‘men’ in open-aged football.

Perham turned out in 21 matches for the Warriors this season, scoring six tries and assisting for eight others.

The Junior Kiwis’ No.1 was Jersey Flegg Cup-eligible in 2018, and will again be next season, but expect the 19-year-old star to feature heavily in the Warriors’ ISP team in 2019.

One to Watch: Hayze Perham on the attack in the Warriors 21-20 Elimination Final loss to Mounties
One to Watch: Hayze Perham on the attack in the Warriors 21-20 Elimination Final loss to Mounties ©NRLPhotos

HOW IT WILL BE REMEMBERED

The Warriors’ exit from the 2018 ISP competition, for the most part, sums up the side’s season – they were close, but not close enough.

Injuries at the NRL level tested the club’s depth, with noted No.7 Mason Lino making his presence felt in the top grade – but to the detriment of the Warriors’ ISP chances. 

Out-going Wentworthville Magpies coach Nathan Cayless links with the Warriors in 2019 and will oversee the side’s efforts to challenge next season.