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Robert Anderson is a Brisbane-based Warriors fan and long-time member of the club. Throughout 2020, he will share his memories and thoughts on his beloved team for This Warriors Life. Here’s the 16th edition of Robert’s ‘Warrior-Roo’ blog (find previous entries HERE):

I have to admit I don’t mind a conspiracy theory: The Illuminati, The Rockerfellers and Rothschilds, Kubrick filmed the moon landing, Michelle Obama is a man…I could go on and on. For years many of the Warriors faithful have felt that the NRL has a secret agenda against the Warriors.

I’ll start off by saying that as amazing as it would be for the Warriors to finally hold that trophy aloft in the first weekend in October, it wouldn’t be ideal for the NRL. As happy as they are to have us in the competition they would prefer for the silverware not to leave Australian shores. It was bad enough for the Sydney-centric competition when Canberra, then Brisbane, then Melbourne took the trophy interstate.


So fast forward to 2020 in the midst of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. The Warriors were branded as heroes before they had even won a game for sacrificing so much to base themselves in Australia. Praise and appreciation came from far and wide, and from the most unlikely of sources *cough* Buzz Rothfield! But something started to hit home for me among all this – we were expected to be seen but not heard. Everyone was so indebted to us for our sacrifice, but also to the boost for their for-and-against. I can’t help but feel that if we were the Roosters or Storm then there wouldn’t be so much gratitude. In fact, the Storm’s relocation to the Sunshine Coast barely even rates a mention.

But back to the conspiracy theories. It’s been widely believed that we often get the rough end of the officiating stick on the field. Who could forget the debacle that was our game against Parramatta last year with no less than four crucial decisions incorrectly going against us? But it hasn’t stopped there, especially with compatriot Henry Perenara using reverse psychology against us to prove he has no Kiwi bias. He certainly did his best to keep Manly in the game in round 13, that’s for sure. But there have been tough calls almost every week that make you think, ‘geez, do these guys not want us to win or something?!’ It’s almost as clear as a whack across the back of the head by Latrell Mitchell.

Fans were left fuming, but not surprised, after line-ball after 50-50 decision went against the Warriors in last Friday’s gallant loss to the Panthers.

And the even bigger bombshell came via the revelation that the NRL were going to break up the longest-serving sponsorship deal in the NRL, with Telstra deciding to impose an exclusivity clause that would mean Vodafone, a 22-year supporter of the Warriors, will have to tell their story walking. Thankfully – and no doubt with the public uproar across the game playing a part – Telstra backflipped on their stance…for the next year at least.

Through our recent on-field performances we’ve won back a lot of respect. But it would be nice to get some back from those at the top or some rub of the green from the whistleblowers and Bunker officials. Or is that conspiracy theory more than just a salty yarn that we spin after a loss?

C’mon boys, let’s finish the year strongly and with our heads held high. They can take away our home games, our wingers, and threaten to remove our major sponsor, but they’ll never take away our mana.

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