OPINION: The Warriors' decision to sack Bluey McClennan at this stage of the season is pointless for several reasons.
Other than showing that the new club owners and board are ruthless, it achieves little.
With two games left in the team's nose-diving NRL campaign it would have been better for the dignity of McClennan and the club to let him see out the season and bring the axe down as a result of a review that few could argue against.
The last two games mean nothing. Lose them both and the Warriors are highly unlikely to finish with the dreaded wooden spoon because they remain four points clear of bottom-placed Parramatta and have a far superior points differential.
Right now the difference between finishing 13th, 14th, 15th or last is meaningless. The damage had been done in the bemusing meltdowns against the Knights and Manly and the embarrassing capitulations to the Sharks and Cowboys.
Tony Iro, McClennan's assistant coach and surely culpable for the current mess nearly as much as his now departed boss, takes over for a thankless task of seeing out the sorry season against the Dragons and Raiders.
Can Iro prove in two games he's the man to lead the Warriors out of this shambles? Is he head coach material, the head-honcho for the future? Doubtful. He's walking the same tightrope that McClennan just got pushed off.
But it will be interesting to see what unfolds against the Dragons on Saturday night.
Wollongong has been a graveyard for Warriors teams and this group of players deserve to be buried on the back of their spineless efforts in recent weeks.
And if they somehow get up and beat the Dragons it will only add to the suspicions that some of them haven't had their heart in McClennan's methods for some time. And that might be as disgraceful as copping a club record-equalling seventh consecutive loss.
Let's hope Bluey got a decent payout to end his time at the club one season and two games short of his initial deal. He deserves every cent of that for the way the "board of businessmen" turned on him this week.
That same group now need to dig deep into their pockets to find a replacement coach of suitable stature.
Owen Glenn needs to put his money where his mouth is in the supposed pursuit of excellence and lure a supercoach to Mt Smart.
A decent imported player or three would help too, because as talented as the Junior Warriors are, they take time to adjust to the rigours of first grade football as McClennan found out the hard way, patching up his broken squad with youngsters all year.
There's obvious irony in the Warriors courting Steve Kearney for a role, given his awful record as head coach of the Eels this year.
It was also unnecessary for the public admission that Kearney talks were going on behind the scenes while McClennan was battling to save his job.
Previous Warriors coaches have survived horror seasons with Ivan Cleary the most recent. Patience was paying off with Cleary before he was strangely let out the door a year early.
Should McClennan have been provided the same luxury? Better support staff, people with an eye for detail, could have complemented his strengths in other areas.
Better support staff should also include a better defence coach than what Ruben Wiki has proven. His name has been mysteriously absent as the coals are raked over.
Wiki is like some protected species in New Zealand league, given the mana of his playing days. But the Warriors defence has been their real Achilles heel this year. The finger should be pointed there, too.
It might have been better to provide McClennan with an ambulance to help him find his way out of this mess rather than a hearse.
The ball is now firmly on the boardroom table. It's an oval object very foreign to most of the people sitting around it. How they pick it up and run from here deserves as much inspection as what they placed on McClennan.
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