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TWL revives its ‘What They Said’ column for the first time in 2019 following the overwhelming reaction from the Warriors’ 13-12 loss to Melbourne on Anzac Day.

Across the board, there were four standout themes: one of the Warriors’ all-time gutsiest performances; the Storm hoodwinked the refs yet again; Patrick Herbert rules; and Adam Blair’s unwillingness to run the ball is reaching farcical proportions.


What the Warriors said

Cleary proud of the way his patched-up team dug in after a difficult lead-in, coach Stephen Kearney was nevertheless typically understated in the post-match presser.

That is, until the subject of the refereeing came up. “Don’t get me started,” Kearney started, before getting started on a carefully-put critique of the officials’ skewed performance in favour of the home side.

He also attempted to put the RTS injury kerfuffle to bed:

And as if we couldn’t be any more in love with brilliant debutant Patrick Herbert, he gave cracking post-match interviews to Nine’s Ruan Sims and the club’s media.


What the Storm said

Melbourne match-winner Brodie Croft said the Warriors deserved to win the match in a rare but admirable post-match admission.

Craig Bellamy was effusive in his praise of the Warriors as well:


What the fans said

After a tumultuous build-up that had sparked widespread despondency among the fanbase, the response to the Warriors’ performance was heartening to say the least.

Big love for Patty Herbert, too…Kata would be in deep trouble if it was purely up to the fans.

Inevitably, the refs copped an almighty bake from Warriors (and neutral) supporters.


What the Kiwi media said

The NZ Herald’s Michael Burgess led off with the heartbreaking and controversial nature of the defeat, but praised the Warriors’ defensive attitude and backline improvement.

Stuff’s Marvin France’s also hailed the visitors defence and backs-to-the-wall effort with several key players out.

Jason Oliver bullet-pointed his hot takes, all of them sound:

NZ-based Aussie Craig Norenbergs tweeted what everyone was thinking:

Long-time Herald rugby league scribe Dale Budge took a few minutes off his newfound role as President of the Adam Blair Fan Club to pay tribute to the Warriors’ stoic display and bemoan the refs’ efforts.

From an Ashburton Guardian reporter – love this:

A bit of credit, too, for a stirring build-up to the Anzac Day clash, which was somewhat lost amid the drama and controversy the 80 minutes contained.

Don’t wanna brag, Jamie Wall, but we’ve been pushing The Herb’s barrow since his standout trial performance against the Storm in February.


What the Aussie media said

Big League’s Martin Gabor – who we’ve heard is a Storm supporter – was lavish in his praise of the Warriors, while also admitted the better team lost.

Big League editor Maria Tsialis and NRL.com’s Katie Brown had half an eye on spunky rookie CHT’s style in the heat of battle.

Another Big League staffer, Darcie McDonald was smitten with the whole extravaganza.

Moley knows what’s up.

Retired legend Billy Slater used his commentary debut to show embarrassing bias towards his old Storm cronies – luckily we get the Fox coverage only in NZ.

But the rest of the Channel Nine crew were emphatic about the referees’ pivotal last penalty.

Paul Vautin: “I really feel for the Warriors, they should have won it but it’s an 80 minute game. It was very dicey. There are about 10 of those a game.”

Johnathan Thurston: “No way. We’ve seen those go all year and the last couple of years. The referees are allowing that in the game, the boys holding on and slowing the play the ball down. He’s got to play it correctly.”

More derision for the officials among the Aussie media fraternity:

A couple of Fox Sports digital dudes have climbed into the Warriors’ selection decisions and Adam Blair.

Sporting News put Blair under the microscope too, but with a cool graphic:

Andrew Ferguson followed suit a bit of 2018 grand final-related wit:


What we said

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Categories: Previews + Reviews, WARRIORS NEWS

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