Martin Devlin: Moving the Warriors to Australia could save the club

Martin Devlin,
Publish Date
Fri, 6 Sep 2019, 10:33AM

Martin Devlin: Moving the Warriors to Australia could save the club

Martin Devlin,
Publish Date
Fri, 6 Sep 2019, 10:33AM

The best thing that could happen to the Warriors is to get rid of them. Not for good. Heck no. And not out of the comp either. Rid of them from here (NZ) to over there (Aust).

Now before you think I'm being as idiotic as most of the refereeing calls against the club this year, hear me out at least.

I'm only suggesting this because I believe it might just actually work. And in desperate times desperate solutions need to be debated. AND it is desperate. The club is in a dreadful hole right now, one that could take years to emerge from.

We all know there's only one thing that makes the Warriors good news and that's winning. Consistent winning. Regularly making the finals. Regularly producing performances that shake the comp, scare the best teams, send a statement that the club isn't just part of the furniture.

Isn't there to to simply add another huge chunk of audience numbers and revenue streams. Because at the moment, that's all the club offers.

Because, we aren't competitive - and haven't been forever.

Let's not beat about the bush, the Warriors are the Wallabies of the NRL.

Mostly average, quite often complete crap, very very rarely make you get up and think heck they might just be on the way back here, they could be quite a good side.

And every year this up and down and all around mostly disappointing theme park ride continues it becomes harder and harder to imagine how it'll ever be that big shiny brand new roller coaster it once was.

The Warriors biggest problem isn't the travel, the isolation or being a one-town team, it's the cattle. The squad isn't good enough, the players aren't good enough and they never have been. Because if they have they would've done so much better these last 25 years.

The numbers, the stats, the results, the points table don't lie.

I'm not saying the club doesn't have or hasn't had good players, of course it has.

Some brilliant players, some legendary players in fact. But, as the Blues will find out next year, one world class Barrett doesn't mean an instant change in fortunes.

Just ask RTS. The Warriors can't recruit. That in a single sentence is why they can't compete.

And why can't they successfully recruit? Because we are in NZ and Ozzies being Ozzies would rather live and work in Ozzie. Coming here is more often than not a last resort or because there wasn't a better or half decent offer back home.

It's all about location, location, location. Keep the franchise alive, cement the brand, retain the same number of home games here in NZ, just base the club in Ozzie.

Whereabouts? Don't ask me that yet. First we gotta get this idea over the line. Kiwis in Oz live mostly in Queensland, NSW or on the GC. The club's always been well supported there by expats anyway, this way it could almost be like having two clubs, or a club in each country maybe.

Still play 10 at Mt Smart, 1 in Christchurch, 1 in Wellington or however you want the split. But go to where the game is.

If the mountain won't move for Mohammed, Mohammed goes to the mountain.

So. Dumb idea or worth a try? Must at least be worthy of serious discussion because guess what? 25 years hasn't worked. Nothing's working. It's not getting better.

Keep keeping the faith and all you've got is nothing but more of the same. Give up and coming young players over there the chance to live AND work from where they so clearly want to do both.

Would it work? Well put it this way, what is it about being based in Auckland has?

Apart from mostly, annually SFA.

Would it work? Who knows? But surely it couldn't be any worse.

And what we've currently got, both you and me know, is not going to get any better staying as it is.