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Season 2023 thread

Messages
14,487
Possible (well top 10 would be a good season imo) consistency, effort and good game plans get teams a long way…. Some of our team have long histories of inconsistency though…
I'd like to see some mental toughness and guys wanting to give it a go.
 

SpaceMonkey

Immortal
Messages
31,010
It’s that time of year again. Journos call George and look for a story, he trots out the standard stuff.
 

Fufu Andronez

First Grade
Messages
8,353

One New Zealand Warriors release two NRL squad members​


NRL squad members Taniela Otukolo and Otukinekina Kepu have today been released by the One New Zealand Warriors.
Hooker Otukolo (20) was off contract at the end of this season while prop Kepu (20) was signed until the end of the 2024 season.
“We appreciate their contribution during their time with us and wish them all the best for the future,” said One New Zealand Warriors general manager recruitment, development and pathways Andrew McFadden.

Otahuhu Leopards junior Otukolo has made nine NRL appearances since his debut against Newcastle in 2021 while Kepu, a Manurewa Marlins and Otahuhu Leopards junior, hasn’t played at first-grade level.
While the club was based in Australia both players appeared for feeder club Redcliffe in the Queensland Cup and colts competitions.


da fuq?
 

One Warrior

Bench
Messages
2,581
Not totally surprised by Otukolo, but why release Kina Kepu, as we are short of props and I heard Cameron George say on SEN that Lingi Kepu is out injured at the moment, as well. Means we also now have only 26 players in our first grade squad, signings incoming.
 

BLN2

Juniors
Messages
376
The Kepu's are really hard to judge. Did we give them long contracts too early? They didn't make it far in QLD, but was that because of the Dolphins/Warriors quota system? Or because they didn't stand out. Stats wise they didn't in the colts stuff or QLD Cup where they had only a few games, you would expect dominance if they are a top 30 NRL player the following season.

Possibly they see more already in a Laban, Stower-Smith (looks like an absolute beast) already. Or POS has poached for the Dolphins, because they are the only club I can see offering a top 30 deal.

Sounds like Otukolo want's to move back to QLD to be with his partner, which sounds like something a 21 year old would do. Lussick seems further developed and more a natural hooker, and we have back ups in Walker and Tevaga. Taine Tuaupiki will probably get a top 30 spot in lieu of Otukolo, considering he's already dominated the QLD Cup and is in all the tphotos on social media.

Still, we need at least another prop, we must have some irons in the fire which have come good, which is why they were granted releases. I'm expecting a couple signings next week TBH.
 

Grizzman

Juniors
Messages
136
I'm really hoping so. I've actually found myself being a little anxious about the situation. lol. I feel that the right signing will actually round the team off. I'm comfortable about the rest of the pack. We've had some good signings in the backs (now they just need to gel) and we seem to have some decent depth. We just need at the very least a solid, hardworking prop.
 

BLN2

Juniors
Messages
376
Yeah for sure. The way I'm looking at these 2 releases is it won't hurt our 2023 squad, as they are both young players a season or 2 away from being serious contenders for the 17, if they ever get there. It's a real shame that 2 juniors of the little stock we have are gone. Let's hope a couple rise from the playing pool.

Anyone got some intel on what's going on? Mix? Wouldn't mind nabbing a young homesick Kiwi prop who has been ripping up the lower grades or something similar.. Along with a NRL experienced prop/utility forward.
 

Penrose Warrior

First Grade
Messages
8,125
Unless there's a signing coming down the pipeline (and in almost Feb, seems very unlikely) our only hope is that our middles stay fit. If they don't, we're f**ked. AFB, Afoa, Ale and apparently Barnett, Harris if we absolutely need him to shift, but there's almost literally no one else in the squad.
 

Manu Vatuvei

Coach
Messages
16,057
I actually didn't realise that Otukolo is quite as young as he is - I thought he was more just "next cab off the rank" whereas he seems to have been seen as a bit of a young prodigy coming into first grade.

He didn't really impress much in first grade (seemed a bit lacking in physicality/defensively for a hooker) so hard to be too gutted about him going, but a shame we couldn't get more out of him.
 

SpaceMonkey

Immortal
Messages
31,010
Reckon this has been said about the Warriors more than anyone else

Too true. On the upside it’s a reason the NRL won’t likely let the club die, we might be crap but we consistently feed the comp with talent
 
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WellsNZ

Juniors
Messages
900
Too true. On the upside it’s a reason the NRL won’t likely let the club die, we might be crap but we consistently feed the comp with talent

Do we really feed the comp with that much talent? The amount of Warriors who go on to excel elsewhere seems to be a much bigger narrative than the actual reality of it. Seems more that we have a lot of blokes our fan base think are talented, go off to Aussie clubs, everyone screams that we've let another future star go, and they end up in the UK a year or two after.

If the Warriors didn't exist, they'd just get picked up as kids by all the Aussie clubs, which already happens for plenty of the Kiwi talent anyway.
 

Meth

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
32,785
Unless there's a signing coming down the pipeline (and in almost Feb, seems very unlikely) our only hope is that our middles stay fit. If they don't, we're f**ked. AFB, Afoa, Ale and apparently Barnett, Harris if we absolutely need him to shift, but there's almost literally no one else in the squad.

As it is, someone is going to be converted into a makeshift prop- Harris, Barnett or (gulp) Tevaga...maybe Curran?
 
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