Coach of the Warriors Andrew McFadden.
Coach of the Warriors Andrew McFadden. JULIAN SMITH

Have the Warriors killed another coach?

SALARY caps in footy codes have practically guaranteed that on most weekends any team is capable of producing an upset. And every season, again in most codes, every team will turn in a shocker.

But there are shockers, and then there are shockers. And the loss by the coach-killing Warriors on Saturday goes straight into the latter basket.

Since their admission to the NRL 21 years ago, the Warriors have teased the Australian rugby league public.

In just about every one of those 21 seasons, at some stage they have looked genuine premiership potential. But just as often they have disappointed, as it appears they are set to do again.

Fielding arguably their strongest-ever roster, with 12 internationals among their official 25-man NRL squad, most good judges tipped them to be finals bound in 2016. And the bookies also rated them highly - at $9, and fifth in line for premiership favouritism.

To their formidable roster from 2015 they added Kiwi internationals Roger Tuivasa-Scheck and Issac Luke, two of the top players in their positions.

And despite the loss early on of Tuivasa-Scheck for the season and injury to Luke at various stages, the Warriors recently have looked on track for an eighth finals campaign.

But the submission on Saturday night, in front of their biggest home crowd in three seasons, rates high on their list of misfires.

Virtually since the State of Origin series kicked off three months ago - and the Warriors almost totally unaffected - the spotlight has been on the Aucklanders.

Of the nine matches played in that period they won six, and suffered three losses, all in golden-point extra time.

To all and sundry, it appeared they were finals bound and the two premiership points on offer against the 16th placed Rabbitohs virtually in the bag. But, as they have done with meticulous regularity in the past, the Warriors offered zilch.

Sure, the premiers of just two seasons ago continued on from where they left off when pipped by the Storm in golden point the previous week. And on a fair-dinkum basis they had little to play for except pride.

But when the Rabbitohs led 31-6 at halftime, it was a case of the wobbly Warriors again.

They have fallen two points out of the eight and on Saturday night face the Cowboys in Townsville. And although they have the Tigers and Eels to finish the season, they now rely on other results to get them in to the eight.

If they fail, it's odds on coach Andrew McFadden will get the bullet and join 10 previous mentors assassinated by a team that can never be trusted.

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