Warriors out on their own without McClennan

The New Zealand Warriors’ players will attempt to fix what sacked coach Brian McClennan couldn’t when they go about ending a six-game losing streak tomorrow.
Nanjing Night Net

McClennan paid the ultimate penalty for a series of well-below-par performances when Warriors officials announced on Tuesday that the club would be immediately parting ways with the 50-year-old.

Facing a seventh consecutive loss against St George Illawarra tomorrow, halfback Shaun Johnson said it was vital that players took control of the situation.

‘‘I feel really sorry for him, and I think if you put all the results aside he was genuine about his job and loved his footy and did try his best,’’ Johnson said.

‘‘On behalf of the boys we don’t like to see the coach take a rap for the missed tackles we make or our poor decisions.

‘‘But it is footy and it’s all performance-based stuff so, if we’re not delivering, I guess someone has to go.’’

It’s been a long 11 months since the Warriors qualified for last year’s grand final under former coach Ivan Cleary.

Considered a strong top-four prospect in 2012, the New Zealand outfit has dropped back to 13th on the NRL ladder with a forgettable record of eight wins and 14 losses – one spot behind the Dragons (9-14).

They will soon start talks with a number of coaching options, including caretaker Tony Iro and departed Parramatta coach Steve Kearney.

Hooker Nathan Friend has been ruled out of tomorrow’s clash after dislocating his right shoulder.

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