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Monday, June 26, 2006

Dare to Dream? 

Well, the Warriors were impressive in their 66-0 thrashing of South Sydney yesterday but their opposition were just plain crap.

Sounds like the Rabbits had a bit of a bawl about it the sheds afterwards too.
"We were pulverised," [coach] McRae said. "Pretty soft in all departments today. Absolutely decimated. We trained well all week, we were right to go, but we just folded. I'm at a loss to explain what happened.
"The fans deserve an apology and I'll do that now. I'll make an apology for the coaching staff and the players. These players got booed off the field and that's right. I don't offer any excuses. That was poor. That was dreadful and they have got a public apology from me and the captain."


And how good does this look?
The Warriors took until the 10th minute to score their first try, through five-eighth Jerome Ropati, but after that tries came at regular intervals. They scored in the 13th minute (winger Patrick Ah Van), 18th (centre Simon Mannering), 23rd (centre Tony Martin), 31st (prop Steve Price), 33rd (replacement Lance Hohaia), 45th (Hohaia again), 51st (fullback Brent Webb), 54th (Webb again), 58th (replacement Evarn Tuimavave), 72nd (Hohaia, with his third) and 79th (Ropati again).

It was the Warriors third straight win and the commentators, the fans, and maybe the players too are beginning to dream about qualifying in the top 8.

In other good news the Panthers, Tigers, and Cowboys, who each sit on 16 points, four clear of the Warriors on 12, are all having mid-season shockers which hopefully will continue.

The Cowboys, in 9th place, have lost six straight games, Tigers in 10th have lost playmaker Benji Marshall for the season with another shoulder injury.

Panthers, in 11th, have won only 1 of their last four (against Tigers last week) and their performance three weeks ago ago was described by one punter as:
The Panthers performance against an under strength Dragons prior to the bye was the worst by just about any side this year. Possibly a Parra effort or a couple of Bunny displays may have had its measure, but I’m not so sure. It was bad. Penrith have actually been very ordinary for a couple of months now, 2 wins and 7 losses, and while if you look up and down their side, it is easy to find reasons why they can make a dramatic reversal in form, I’m of the opinion that any improvements won’t get them close enough against one of the competition’s form outfits.

We play the Panthers next week at home, then face Bulldogs away, then the 14th placed Eels at home before a well-deserved bye.
Penrith captain Tony Puletua suffered rib cartilage damage in [last weekend's] match and has been ruled out of Saturday night's clash with New Zealand Warriors but the Panthers should have forwards Frank Pritchard (hand) and Shane Rodney (shoulder) back on deck.

Penrith's playmaker Craig Gower should also be out on Origin duty and maybe Warriors' fans should be looking for a punt.

If the Warriors can manage to win two or even three of our next three matches before our bye it would leave us within striking distance of the top 8 and our supurb points differential - 91 - , second to only competition leaders the Storm, should mean we only have to tie with any other team to beat them into the finals.

After the bye in round 20 there are six more rounds of the competition - but I feel the next three weeks are crucial in determining whether the Warriors will have half a chance to make the top 8.

And of our final six games - at least half look winnable if we hold our current form.

We play Panthers away, Sharks then the Cowboys at home, Storm away, Roosters at home and finally the Broncos away....

Hopefully, I won't be looking loyal at the bitter end.

I won't dare to dream just yet but you'd have to pick them to beat the panthers this weekend.

A real test will come v the Bulldogs who have a very good side and should have knocked the Storm off in Melbourne on Friday night.
Fullback Wesser's out too...

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