Lets not fall for the dressing up of this situation, Matthew Elliott was fired. He didn’t resign…
As the winless Cronulla Sharks thrashed the New Zealand Warriors 37-6 on the weekend, you could tell that Matthew Elliott’s short time at the club was over.
There is a look that teams get when they have given up, and just 5 rounds into the 2014 NRL season, the New Zealand Warriors had that look.
It is easy to blame players in this situation. They are the ones out there missing tackles, knocking on, making poor decisions and not showing enough effort. You have to consider why they are playing like that though.
If a coach is unable to make an impact on the playing group, if he can not prepare them or inspire them, what is he there for? What is he doing?
I remember Phil Gould talking about when he knew it was time to move on from coaching the Sydney Roosters. He spoke about being able to inspire his troops. About getting to them at half time and being able to turn things around. Over time, your voice starts to have less of an impact. Gould talked about the day he got the Roosters at half time and told them what he wanted from them…and he could see they weren’t listening. He had lost them.
When a coach loses his team, there is no coming back. They are gone for good and a new voice is needed.
The Warriors haven’t got a bad lineup at all. There are a number of their players that would walk straight into another other team in the competition. This is a club with the best junior base of all to choose from. New Zealand turns out so many great players year after year. Talent is not an issue at the New Zealand Warriors.
When the club failed to give Ivan Cleary the long term deal he wanted a few years ago the writing was on the wall. Who ever made that decision stuffed up big time. Cleary took the Warriors to the 2012 NRL Grand Final. Think about that for a moment…its not that long ago that the majority of this lineup went all the way to the Grand Final!
The club brought in Brian McClennan as Cleary’s replacement and that was always going to end in tears. I don’t know how many times we need to be shown that success in Super League means nothing at all in the NRL. Some of the worst coaches I have ever seen, people that were basically stealing money pretending to be coaches, have won multiple titles over in Super League.
It was clear very early on that McClennan was not up to the task. He didn’t make it to the end of his first season before he was fired.
For what ever reason the New Zealand Warriors then chose to give Matthew Elliott the head coaching job despite the fact that Elliott’s record was terrible.
Elliott brought all of the same people in that he had at the Raiders and then the Panthers. He also brought the same same terrible results.
For any Canberra Raiders or Panther Panthers supporters, they looked at the New Zealand Warriors and saw something very familiar. A club going no where. They didn’t look as fit as they should have. Their style of play didn’t ask questions of the opposition. When I heard last week that the Warriors players went to the coach and said they didn’t understand what he wanted them to do….I knew what was coming. That same thing happened at the Penrith Panthers.
There are people right now defending Matthew Elliott. I simply say to look at the results. Results do not lie.
Matthew Elliott had a losing record at the Canberra Raiders. He had a losing record at the Penrith Panthers. He had a losing record at the New Zealand Warriors.
A Matthew Elliott coach side has never won an NRL finals game.
During Matthew Elliott’s NRL coaching career these coaches have won their first NRL Grand Final: Craig Bellamy, Trent Robinson, Des Hasler, Steve Folkes and John Lang.
You simplly can not argue against results. Matthew Elliott is a coach who, between 2002 and 2004, had a losing record. What other coach has had a career that long who was unable to take a team to a single win in a finals game?
You would think this is the end of Matthew Elliott’s coaching career. Any club that looked at his record would be mad to sign him.
As for the Warriors, where their next coach comes from is anyone’s guess.
While Andrew McFadden might stand up and be the man to turn things around, my guess is he is purely in a caretakers role until the club gets the coach it really wants.
Who ever they get, they will hopefully have a bigger up side than the one Matthew Elliott provided them.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com