Players like Manu Vatuvai and Konrad Hurrell won’t be the biggest casualties to come out of the latest off-field drama to engulf the Warriors, but rather it will be coach Andrew McFadden.
Following their 42-0 loss to Melbourne on Anzac Day, six Warriors players were spotted drinking and gambling in Auckland following the sides return flight home. A handful of those players were late to a team meeting the next day.
Those players included key veterans and leaders Manu Vatuvai and Konrad Hurrell.
As a result, all six players, including Vatuvai and Hurrell, have been discounted for selection for the Warriors clash against the Dragons on Sunday.
The message that the axing of these key players, and members of the Warriors leadership group, is loud and clear – perform like a professional off the field. It is a punishment in every sense of the word. Going out drinking and gambling less than 24 hours after one of the worst performances in club history says that there is a clear lack of professionalism, but if a deeper view were to be taken, perhaps a clear lack of trust between coach Andrew McFadden and his players.
McFadden wasn’t responsible for the performance on the field against the Storm in the 42-0 thumping, but a retweet by Konrad Hurrell suggests that McFadden has lost the faith and respect of the squad as a whole.
If McFadden were to be fired for this, a latest in a long string of incidents amongst poor on field performances, it wouldn’t be right but it would be consistent with business in the NRL.
Coaches heads roll in this sport, not those of the players who perform badly.