The Warriors have a long-held reputation for getting tangled up in a good hoodoo or two, with certain teams and venues proving impossible for the club to overcome regardless of the respective combatants’ positions on the ladder.
While the Warriors have started to turn the tide in their lopsided rivalry against St George Illawarra in recent seasons, this week they aim to end an 18-year drought at Netstrata Jubilee Oval – or Kogarah Oval for the traditionalists.
The Kiwi outfit’s record against the Dragons joint venture is their worst against any current NRL club: nine wins and 21 losses from 30 encounters – a win percentage of just 30 percent.
But it used to be much worse. The Warriors won just five of their first 26 clashes with the Saints and endured an 11-match losing streak in the rivalry from 2008-15. They have a 2-12 all-time record against the Dragons as the away team.
Round 6 of the #NRL is just around the corner and I'm liking the look of a number of underdogs.
— The Shark (@TABShark) April 14, 2021
The Warriors have won the clubs’ last four clashes, however. Mason Lino and Anthony Gelling starred in a depleted side’s stirring 20-12 win at Mt Smart early in 2018, before the Warriors pulled off an equally impressive 18-12 victory at WIN Stadium later that season – their first win in Wollongong since beating the Illawarra Steelers there in 1996.
Kodi Nikorima, Ken Maumalo and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck spearheaded a 26-18 comeback win during the 2019 Magic Round, while the Warriors carved out a memorable 18-0 shutout in Gosford in the first weekend back after the COVID-19 shutdown.
The Warriors’ last visit to Jubilee to face the Dragons, back in 2017, resulted in an insipid, error-ridden 26-12 loss. They were also pumped 50-6 there by the Storm last year and had their 2020 finals hopes dashed at the venue in Round 18, going down to a Shaun Johnson-inspired Cronulla 22-14.
But form rather than setting shapes as the 2-3 Warriors’ biggest obstacle this Sunday’s Round 6 clash, where they head in as $2.75 underdogs. Nathan Brown’s charges suffered a soul-sapping last-second loss to struggling Manly on Friday, characterised by horrific offence, a lack of direction from Nikorima and Wayde Egan, and the cavernous front-row hole left by Addin Fonua-Blake’s long-term injury layoff.
The Red V is on the opposite trajectory. Wooden spoon favourites in the pre-season, the Dragons have won four on the trot – including a high-quality victory over Parramatta last week – and have come in from $41 to $23 in 2021 NRL Premiership betting. The Warriors have eased out to $36 for the title.
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— TAB Sport (@TAB_Sport) April 15, 2021
The Warriors move from one hoodoo another on Anzac Day in Round 7. The enigmatic club crafted a hard-earned reputation as a bogey side for the all-conquering Storm, winning eight and drawing one of 16 matches between the teams from 2008-15 – including two unforgettable finals boilovers in Melbourne.
But the Storm have won the last nine clashes – the Warriors longest active losing streak against any team.
Other Warriors hoodoos to watch for in 2021 include:
-Seven losses from their last eight games against Cronulla, including just one win over the Sharks in Australia since 2010.
-One win from their last 10 games against Penrith away from Auckland.
-One win from their last 11 games against Souths at all venues.
-One win from their last five against Canberra as the home team.