All the reaction from the media, fans and the Warriors themselves after a stirring Round 1 performance in Perth.
What the Warriors said
Shaun Johnson and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck were pumped up during their post-game interviews at Optus Stadium after the historic 32-20 victory over South Sydney.
Never one to express too much emotion post-match, win or lose, Warriors coach Stephen Kearney admitted he was pleased with the performance but spent much of the press conference tempering the hysteria over the impressive showing.
“I just don’t want you to get too carried away, in the sense that it’s Round 1, we had a fair bit of possession,” Kearney said.
“I’m not saying that they’re not fit, obviously they did a pretty good job to come home strong there. But my point is we’ve got a lot of improvement in us.
“In the back-end of the second half I think we can really tidy up. In fairness, looking at South Sydney, they had a couple of guys that were just coming back to footy (Greg Inglis and Adam Reynolds).
“The challenge of this competition is there’s another game next week, there’s another challenge next week. We’ll enjoy what happened here but our focus will pretty much shift immediately to next week.”
What the fans said
The comments section of the Warriors’ Facebook posts have played host to some of the most bizarre, vitriolic and demented rhetoric on record – after a loss.
It’s always a lot more tame after a win, and the overwhelming mood was “get f#&ked, haters” as the club’s faithful revelled in a satisfying result.
What the NZ media said
The New Zealand Herald sent David Skipwith over to Perth for the season opener, and he lauded the Warriors’ turnaround from “ramshackle mob” that struggled so badly in 2017. READ MORE
‘Skippy’ also got a close-up view of Stephen Kearney from the bizarrely-placed press box at the brand-new Optus Stadium.
Meanwhile, from the comfort of Auckland veteran Herald league scribe Michael Burgess said it all in the first line of his summary of the momentous win: “The Warriors look like a team.” READ MORE
Marvin France covered the match over at Stuff, focusing on the brilliant performances from recently re-signed skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and the enigmatic Shaun Johnson. READ MORE
Perennial Warriors doomsayers Hamish Bidwell (Stuff) and Chris Rattue (Herald) were conspicuous by their silence after the Warriors’ victory, perhaps hit by a crippling case of writer’s block at the prospect of having to actually pen something positive about the club.
Relief appeared to be Tony Veitch’s overriding emotion after years of early-season pain.
Our mates over at Kiwi League Central seemed to enjoy compiling the Round 1 player ratings as much as we did.
And a nice take from the team at NZ Oz Sports.
What the Aussie media said
Were there lashings of humble pie dished up across the Tasman after just about every journo with a platform tipped the Warriors for the spoon?
Not exactly, but there has been a little contrition.
After commenting only on the costly forward-pass call that went about Souths on his prolific Twitter feed, the insufferable Phil Rothfield included Blake Green, Stephen Kearney and Shaun Johnson is his list of Round 1 ‘Winners’ in his Monday Daily Telegraph column.
Matt Cleary also praised Blake Green’s first-up contribution for The Guardian.
Meanwhile, Michael Carayannis – who bemoaned the supposed decline of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck on Twitter last season (and you know TWL’s thoughts on that drivel) – covered the game for the Tele and wrote about the captain’s starring role in the upset.
High-profile 7 News reporter Josh Massoud’s sole social media contribution was to complain about a trivial matter.
But there were bits and pieces of love for the Warriors from the print and digital media fraternity – if you looked hard enough.
On the TV side of things, Michael Ennis was glowing in his acclaim for the Warriors’ start to 2018 in the Fox Sports’ Super Saturday wrap-up.
They didn’t get much airtime on Sunday Night With Matty Johns, but the Warriors’ novel on-field meditation/breathing exercise was singled out. Matthew Johns marvelled at the team’s fitness levels, Bryan Fletcher raved about Tohu Harris, and Mitchell Pearce compared Shaun Johnson to Daly Cherry-Evans in style, further emphasising ex-Manly pivot Green’s suitability to the Warriors’ No.6 role.