The New Zealand Warriors today announced that
they have sacked head coach Matthew Elliott has resigned following the side’s 37 – 6 loss to the Cronulla Sharks at the weekend as the club aims to move in a new direction where they won’t aim for excellence or to try and win the NRL.
Warrior’s CEO Wayne Scurrah made the announcement this morning in the hope that New Zealand’s media contingent would be fully deployed in Wellington to monitor the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. However, on finding this wasn’t the case, especially as Australian media were reporting Elliott’s
sacking resignation last night, Scurrah was forced to front reporters.
“On reflection, we told Matt that his plans to make the club a regular post-season and premiership contender were simply too lofty for us to achieve,” Scurrah told reporters at Mt Smart Stadium. “We let Matt know that we’d much prefer the lower profile and reduced expectations that come from us hyping up the side’s prospects but never actually performing well.
“Frankly, the idea of living up to expectations scares the shit out of the Board and I and we’re simply not prepared to go there.”
Assistant coach Andrew McFadden will take over as acting-head coach for the remainder of the 2014 season and said he was excited about “the challenge of ensuring a mid-table finish” for the club.
“At the end of the day we’ll get more buy-in from the fans if we’re a mid-table club that threatens to make the play-offs rather than ever being one of the big boys,” McFadden said at his inaugural meet and great with the press. “There’s nothing more Kiwi than celebrating mediocrity, and that’s precisely the direction that Sir Owen Glenn and Eric Watson want to take us in. Don’t aim too high and run the risk of becoming a tall poppy that people will criticise.”
For his part, departing coach Elliott was bullish about his future prospects.
“Mate, you have no idea how relieved I am to be leaving. It’ll be nice to go someplace where they’ve actually heard of the words ‘aspiration’, ‘winning’ and ‘dedication’.”
Self-appointed greatest sportsman in history, Sonny Bill Williams, is reportedly in tears this afternoon after his name was not included in the list of Halberg Award nominees. Williams, who has spent the last few days admiring his reflection in hotel pools in Dubai, heard of his omission after disembarking his flight home to Sydney.
“Don’t they know I was Rugby League’s player of the year?” Williams sobbed into manager Khoder Nasser’s shoulder at the airport when told the news. “The Kiwis even did a haka for me, surely that must count for something, mustn’t it?”
Nasser, who appeared awkward attempting to hold a conversation with his client that wasn’t about money, tried patting Williams on the back, saying “There, there big guy. Just think of all the other great things you did this year, like defeating that drugged up South African boxer, or single-handedly winning the NRL premiership for the Roosters and carrying the Kiwis to the Rugby League World Cup final on your shoulders.”
As kind as Nasser’s words appeared to be, they only seemed to spur my tears from Williams.
“But why then, why? Who the fuck are Aaron Gate and Simon van Vacuumcleaner anyway? Do they command the salary that I do? Did they have hakas performed for them? Did they have the All Blacks and Chiefs begging them? How do Cyclists get nominated ahead of me? Don’t they appreciate my greatness?” Williams asked as he was handed a tissue from a Customs official. “And all Scott Dixon did was win a third Indy Car Championship, it’s not like he even built the car.”
Nasser eventually managed to get Williams to calm down and leave the terminal building, but only after several more minutes off feigning compassion before he opted to lead Williams out by the nose using fresh $100 bills until the pair reached a waiting car.
The Mad Butcher, Sir Peter Leitch, has said he is madder than usual over Sonny Bill Williams decision to make himself unavailable for the Kiwi’s Rugby League World Cup defence in the UK this year.
Speaking on Radio Sport this morning following the Kiwi’s squad announcement, the Mad Butcher said that it took a lot to raise his anger levels above their already high levels. “I don’t know what game Sonny Bill is playing at because it’s certainly made me slightly more vexed and mentally unhinged than I normally am,” shouted the Mad Butcher, “But he won’t be getting any of my tenderised barbeque steak for only $9.99 a kilo this week, because he seems more obsessed with making money rather than showing any loyalty to his country.”
Leitch added, “I don’t mean to say that Sonny Bill isn’t allowed to make his own choices, like deciding between having some of my tasty corned silverside, only $5.99 a kilo, or scotch fillet steak, only $18.99 a kilo, but after all the support Kiwi rugby league fans have shown him you’d think he’d at least of purchased a few of my Tegel size 12 frozen chickens for only $5.95 each.”
When asked by Radio Sport breakfast host Mark Richardson whether the Mad Butcher actually had a point to make about Sonny Bill’s constant chasing of the sporting media limelight, Leitch snapped back that he did, “The important thing people have to remember about this entire Sonny Bill saga is that nobody, just nobody beats the Mad Butcher’s meat.”
Despite having rebranded themselves to the New Zealand Warriors in 2001, the Warriors have today admitted the rebrand was “a bit of a have” and that they’ve actually just been an Auckland only team all along.
Speaking on Radio Sport this morning, Warriors CEO Wayne Scurrah said that he was surprised that nobody had realised the truth earlier. “When you look at the fact that it took until 2013 for us to finally take one of our home games outside of Auckland, while Australian clubs have been giving up their home games to play at other New Zealand venues for years, I’m surprised nobody cottoned on to the fact that we’re still just the Auckland Warriors some time ago.”
Scurrah also confirmed that the 2001 rebrand was a ploy to ensure that, “those bloody Wellingtonians couldn’t enter their own NRL team,” and that the rebrand had proven its value after the recent realisation that Wellington could run a football team better than Auckland could had forced their hand to play a home game in Wellington this year.
“After seeing how Wellington turned around Auckland’s A League football franchise with the Phoenix, and that the turn around wasn’t just a fad, we realised this year we’d better take a game down to Wellington just to show we’re not totally incompetent at running sports teams here,” Scurrah told Radio Sport.
Embattled rugby league team the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks have issued a heart felt apology to members and supporters today after news emerged overnight that the club was issuing secret payments above the NRL’s salary cap to skipper Paul Gallen.
The apology, released as a media statement, said, ‘The Cronulla-Suthlerland Sharks would like to offer our deepest apologies to our members and supporters. With all the illegal performance enhancing drugs our players were taking and our ability to ignore the NRL’s salary cap, we should have actually won some Premierships over the past few years.”
The statement continued, “At least when the Melbourne Storm cheated their fans were able to enjoy the illusion of success for a few years before having it all taken away from them. In our case, we have utterly let you down by not making the most of our cheating. The Board feels that this failure is unacceptable and we will be instigating an investigation to identify how we can achieve better results from future incidents of cheating.”
Cronulla has been hit by a wave of scandals recently, with 14 of its players being caught up in the ASADA supplements investigation, the resignation of their temporary CEO and now these allegations of secret payments to Paul Gallen.
When approached for comment, no response was forthcoming from Paul Gallen as he tried to hide a brown paper bag beneath his jacket after training.