Predicted Finish: 16th
Actual Finish: 10th
Few could have predicted the season that the Warriors ended up having. At almost unbackable odds to finish with the wooden spoon, they played well above expectations. Considering the incredible difficulties they were forced to deal with, a 10th placed finish is downright incredible.
– The Obvious: The Warriors players and staff could have been forgiven for throwing their hands up and putting 2020 in the too hard basket. Considering everything that was going on, and the uncertainty it created, you wouldn’t begrudge the Warriors staying at home and waiting to see what happened.
For them to agree to go into camp in another country from their homes and families was huge. Although I’m sure the NRL would have found a way to continue on either way, the fact the Warriors were so quick to commit to the move saved untold stress that would have come as a result of broadcast agreements. Brilliant stuff. The communities really embraced the Warriors too, with literally thousands of Australian based League fans buying Warriors memberships.
– Late Season Form: At the halfway point of the season the Warriors set three wins from 10 games and looked a long, long way from finals footy. The Warriors would rally and win five of their remaining ten games to briefly flirt with an unlikely finals run.
A run of four wins over five weeks saw them enter a must-win game against the Eels to set up a virtual eliminator with the Sharks. Unfortunately, they would not obtain the result they needed in either game, however, a 40-28 win against Manly in the final round of the season sent them out as their efforts deserved.
– Future Sorted: Full disclosure I was pretty dirty on the club when they sacked Stephen Kearney considering everything that was going on. That said, the Warriors finally ended speculation re their coaching future with the move. They’ve appointed Nathan Brown as their coach and have already made some big-name signings to help build their future. AFB, despite his history off-field, moves home as one of the premier props in the game, while Bayley Sironen is a clever signings. Euan Aitken has a chance to really establish himself also. Kane Evans and Ben Murdoch-Masila both add size and power to an impressive Warriors pack for 2021 and beyond.