Sir Graham Lowe bemoans Warriors ‘attitude problem’ after record defeat

Embarassing, disastrous – and the result of a massive attitude problem.

Graham Lowe
Photo: Photosport

Just some of the words being used in the post-mortem of the Warriors rugby league side’s record-setting defeat to the Storm on Monday night.

The 70-10 loss is the biggest in club history as the defence of the NRL’s lone New Zealand side capitulated in the annual Anzac Day match in Melbourne.

And as the exasperation wore off, the assessment remained ugly.

No less than 10 unanswered Storm tries and 54 unanswered second half points. The home side scoring the equivalent of a try every 3.2 minutes for the closing 32 minutes of the match.

For New Zealand rugby league legend Sir Graham Lowe, it was a dark day to top all dark days.

“I’ve seen some big disaster results in my lifetime.

“But I just can’t imagine how one side can be beaten like that by another team when you’re playing at this level, unless there’s an absolute massive attitude problem…

“The attitude of the Warriors is so far behind everyone, they’ve points against them before they’ve even kicked the ball off.”

In the immediate aftermath, Warriors coach Nathan Brown didn’t hold back either.

Answering a question about players giving up, Brown gave a blunt response.

“Some people did, yeah. I’ve got no doubt at all.

“I’ve been in this game a long time and it’s disappointing to actually sit here and say that but some people looked for the easiest way out they could, and that’s sad.”

The bad news for Warriors fans didn’t end with the scoreline, with Kiwis wing Dallin Watene-Zelezniak stretchered off the field after a bad head knock and utility forward Josh Curran forced from the field with a knee injury.

While stressing they were no excuse for what transpired, Brown believed the losses were a catalyst for the capitulation that followed.

Warriors players look on after a Titans try during the Round 25 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and New Zealand Warriors at CBus Stadium on the Gold Coast, Sunday, September 5, 2021.

Photo: AAP Image/Dave Hunt/Photosport Ltd 2021

A sentiment echoed by Storm coach Craig Bellamy.

“The Warriors had a lot of things go wrong for them in the second half.

“Obviously with those injuries. I don’t think they had anyone on the bench and that was a pretty serious injury to Dallin.

“Second half they only had seven sets [of six] and only completed two. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that in a game of rugby league before.”

Sir Graham Lowe, though, was less sympathetic.

He says Monday night was simply a snapshot of a much bigger issue.

“There were things that went against them, and that’s the nature of the game we love.

“But I think when injuries happen to one or two players and the team crumbles, there something seriously wrong. If you’ve got the right mindset within the club it doesn’t matter who goes out…

“I don’t care who they bring in. Bring in superman, if you don’t develop the right attitude within the club you’re destined to get these sort of results.”

As for bouncing back, Brown was thankful they only had to wait five days until their next game.

Between now and then, the Warriors coach was promising there strong messages would be sent.

As far as Lowe was concerned, the situation went well beyond the 13 players on the field.

“Getting flogged out on the training field, and things like that, that’s not going to solve any issues.

“This is an absolutely deep rooted mental issue of low expectations that’s in club and it’s been there for a long time.

“Until that’s addressed, there will be more of this to come.”

The Warriors would no doubt be hoping that was not the case when they hosted the Canberra Raiders at Redcliffe on Saturday.

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