If the Warriors wanted to turn the public's attention back to the footy field ahead of today's game against the Bulldogs at Eden Park, it was a masterstroke to announce a bunch of re-signings yesterday.
Most significantly, Simon Mannering has committed to the club until 2018, with his agent, Steve Gillis, no doubt making the most of the club's week from hell.
Also, former Queensland State of Origin prop Jacob Lillyman has re-signed for three years, while John Palavi, Sione Lousi and Charlie Gubb have inked two-year deals.
Nathan Friend and Kevin Locke are the two biggest names in the squad that are unsigned for next season and it's likely that they could both be looking at pastures new for 2015.
Retaining Mannering is huge for the Warriors. Not only is he arguably their best player, but a key leader and if he chose to take up one of the big offers from other NRL clubs that were thrown his way it would add further instability to the club.
"This is the biggest contract of my career because it could possibly be my last," the 27-year-old Mannering said.
"I love this club and always will. I'm keen to be a part of our future and have the greatest faith in the direction the club is heading. We have much to offer this season and in years to come.
"It's not just about football, though. I also have my family to consider. That was a big part of the decision and I'm really happy it has all worked out."
It has been easy to forget that there's a game for the Warriors to play this week, such have been the shenanigans going on, but a win today is crucial and not just for the careers of coach Andrew McFadden and CEO Wayne Scurrah, who will both be shown the door if the club doesn't make the top eight.
Much has been made of a bounce-back factor that occurs the week after a team sacks its coach.
Sadly for McFadden, this is a myth. Of the last 15 NRL clubs to sack their coach, only six of them won their next game.
WARRIORS vs BULLDOGS
WHERE & WHEN: Eden Park, Auckland, today 4pm (live Sky Sport 2 from 3.30pm)
WARRIORS: Sam Tomkins, Ngani Laumape, Dane Nielsen, Konrad Hurrell, Manu Vatuvei, Thomas Leuluai, Shaun Johnson, Sam Rapira, Nathan Friend, Ben Matulino, Jayson Bukuya, Simon Mannering (c), Sebastine Ikahihifo. Interchange (from): Jacob Lillyman, Suaia Matagi, Dominique Peyroux, Charlie Gubb, Siliva Havili, David Bhana. Coach: Andrew McFadden
BULLDOGS: Sam Perrett, Corey Thompson, Josh Morris, Tim Lafai, Mitch Brown, Josh Reynolds, Trent Hodkinson, Aiden Tolman, Michael Ennis, James Graham, Josh Jackson, Tony Williams, Dale Finucane. Interchange (from): Greg Eastwood, Pat O'Hanlon, Tim Browne, David Klemmer, Moses Mbye, Frank Pritchard. Coach: Des Hasler
- Sunday Star Times
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