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22 Mar 2018 22:54
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Warriors coach Kearney under the gun

    Warriors coach Stephen Kearney is under pressure to turn around his side's fortunes this NRL season.

    - article from

    Stephen Kearney
    Stephen Kearney

    Warriors coach Stephen Kearney begins the new NRL season under the gun with statistics showing he is one of the worst performing coaches in the history of the game.

    According to Fox Sports Stats, Kearney has the fourth-worst winning percentage of any coach to have been in charge of 50 games of more.

    Over stints at Parramatta and the Warriors, he has won just 17 of 66 games for a 25.8 per cent strike rate.

    Only Bob McCarthy (21.6 per cent, 16 from 74), Len Stacker (22.8 per cent, 21 from 92) and Ken Shine (25.9 per cent, 22 of 85) have worse records.

    And while the Warriors board will not take into account his back-to-back wooden spoon seasons at the Eels in 2011-12, he is under pressure to deliver after his side last year won seven of 24 and missed the finals despite boasting an all-international spine.

    They start 2018 on a nine-game losing streak - two shy of the club's all-time worst run of defeats - and desperate to erase a six-season finals absence.

    "I'm not too fussed what people say outside," Kearney said.

    "But internally we know that if we play close to our potential every week, consistently, then we give ourselves a great opportunity to play at the back end of the year.

    "That's certainly not beyond us."

    The Warriors have undergone a massive overhaul with Blake Green, Adam Blair, Tohu Harris and Gerard Beale headlining their recruitment drive.

    They head into Saturday's season-opener in Perth full of confidence like their opposition South Sydney, who are facing their first test under new coach Anthony Seibold.

    The sight of Greg Inglis striding onto Perth's Optus Stadium, after a year on the sidelines due to a torn ACL, will fill his teammates with confidence.

    They appear to have more strike power this year with 2017 Queensland player of the year Dane Gagai joining Inglis in the centres.

    Under Michael Maguire, they were criticised for being too robotic and halfback Adam Reynolds said the shackles had been loosened under Seibold.

    "We do have the licence but we have to respect the ball and make the most of opportunities when we do get them," Reynolds said.

    "Respect for the ball is the No.1 priority."


    * The Rabbitohs have won their past six matches against the Warriors, outscoring them 201-97.

    * Outside of New Zealand, the Warriors have won just one of nine opening round matches, losing their past seven dating back to 1999.

    * Adam Reynolds requires three points to become the third player to register 1000 points for the Rabbitohs behind Eric Simms and Bernie Purcell.


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