One down, 24 to go.

The first eight games of the 2021 NRL season didn’t just provide us with our initial set of winners and losers, it raised another series of questions.

With each of the league’s 16 teams set to do battle again this weekend, we attempted to answer the major issues facing their playing lists and coaches alike.


New Zealand Warriors

What does history tell us?

The New Zealand Warriors have long held many negative colloquial tags.

Undisciplined, uncoachable, undesirable and the most telling - inconsistent.

Those on the eastern side of the ditch may argue that these titles are not only hurtful, but also inaccurate. However, after 26 years of mediocrity and heartbreak, history suggests that their defense case would be thin at best.

Forced into another season on the road, the Kiwi club opened their campaign in stunning style with a controlled 19-6 win at their home away from home on the Central Coast.

Despite this, if League fans have learnt anything across the New Zealand franchise’s more than a quarter of a century in the competition, it is that when the Mount Smart men are riding high, it won’t be long before they hit the skids.

It may seem harsh to pin this history on the contemporary side, but until the wheel turns, the narrative, sadly, remains the same.

Due to their selfless nature in embracing hub life both this year and last, the Warriors have become a soft spot side for almost every Rugby League diehard. However, when their form dips, all are glad that their hearts weren’t totally invested.

As someone with roots from the land of the long white cloud, my fingers are perennially crossed for their success, but should they follow their regimented win with a juxtaposing chaotic performance against the Knights just six days apart, we will all feel as though we have heard this story before.

Prove me wrong, Warriors. Please, prove me wrong.