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Warriors need 'huge overhaul' that includes cutting Johnson says former NRL great

(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Shaun Johnson’s place in the Warriors’ overhaul has been questioned by Mick Ennis, who fears emerging New Zealand talents no longer aspire to play for their NRL club.


The Warriors coughed up a 12-0 lead to lose 38-16 to Cronulla in Redcliffe on Sunday night in Stacey Jones’ first match at the helm after coach Nathan Brown’s abrupt exit.

At 4-10 and now three games outside the top eight, the currently Queensland-based club is treading water until games in Auckland later this season.


They’ll move back for good next year, at which time 274-game veteran Ennis says they must “put their club back on the map”.

“The Warriors need a huge overhaul,” he told Fox Sports.

“This (coaching change) is a chance for their club to reset.

“Finals in 2018, they’ve missed nine out of the last 10 finals. They’ve been consistent at being unsuccessful.

“They need someone like Craig Bellamy to completely change the fabric of their identity.

“The were once a feared side because of their power, unpredictability and their athleticism … they aren’t that any more.


“I’m not sure young kids in New Zealand aspire to play in this team.

“The ones that are passionate (about rugby league), ask their managers, ‘Can I go to the Storm, Parramatta, the Roosters?'”

Playmaker Johnson has returned on a two-year deal to finish his career where it began in 2011.

But, with his growing family across the Tasman, he’s battled poor form and is under increasing pressure.

“I don’t know if they’re a better footy side (with him),” Ennis said.

“He hasn’t been anywhere near the Johnson we grew to love at the Warriors a long time ago, and that’s part of the reset.”


Interim coach and club great Jones admitted the halfback was battling.

“Being away from his family has put a bit of pressure on him to bounce into training and perform,” he said.

“He’s the first one to put his hand up but he’s not The Lone Ranger.”

The stand-in coach said he was “very nervous and a little bit scattered upstairs” when he first took the reins.

“Then I got excited,” he said.

“It’s not nice what happened to Browny, but I love this club and I’ll do my best.

“I just want to win some footy games and if we do that we’ll have fun doing it.”



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Shaylen 9 hours ago
Brumbies the best team in Australia but still nothing to show for it

The Brumbies have been the strongest side in Australia for a long time and that was down to their forwards and set piece which has always been good and has always been able to dominate their Australian counterparts. This year the lack of maul tries and also the lack of a stable scrum has been a real problem which was also something Nick alluded to in his article this week about the creaking brumbies tight five. Home advantage is key as you say and the Brumbies must find a way to score more bonus points. If the Brumbies are really serious about winning a title they need to do what Kiwi sides at the top do. They need to smash every Aus side with a bonus point at home while claiming losing bonus points in every game they lose and denying their rivals bonus points. In their 3 losses in NZ this year they were smashed. They only scored 60 tries which is middle of the road, their scrum came in at 73% which was one of the worst in the comp, tackle success at just 83% which was right at the bottom and in terms of metres, clean breaks, carries, offloads and rucks built they were in the middle plus they had the most yellows. They basically were just not dominant enough wile they can improve their discipline. They excelled at kicking and won plenty of lineout ball plus their rucks were secure at 97%. Not sure about turnovers but they weren’t bad there. They just need to be more clinical and give away less and they will give themselves the best chance to win the title.

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