NRL: Warriors coach Stephen Kearney sympathises with fans

Life as a Warriors supporter comes with its fair share of frustrations.

The highs followed by the immediate lows, the late-game brain explosions and inconsistencies – they all add up test a fan's mettle.

As a former fan himself, foundation player and head coach Stephen Kearney sympathises with the plight of the Warriors faithful.

"I watched as an ex-player and supporter of the Warriors for quite some time," Kearney told The AM Show.

"Like with anyone who has supported them, there have been frustrating moments, particularly when you've been living in Australia for quite some time and they certainly like to give it to the Warriors.

"Coming across was about looking to change that and looking to improve us as a football club."

The Auckland-based club will kick off its 2019 NRL campaign against the Canterbury Bulldogs at Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday.

After making their first finals appearance in seven years, culminating in a highly disappointing playoff thumping from the Panthers, Kearney says they'll be looking to go step further this season, especially with regards to week-in, week-out results. He's eager to wash away the bitter after-taste of that Sydney defeat.

"Consistency is about doing the right thing all the time and continuing to find a way to do it better… that's what we've focused on during the preseason.

"We didn't give a good account of ourselves [in finals loss against Panthers], so for us, it's about improving and that's the focus this year.

"Certainly, over the last 18 months, we've made progress, but this competition is so tough, you have to continue to do that.

"The absence of newly signed Shark Shaun Johnson means this year's edition of the Warriors has a different feel about it.  

But the off-season acquisitions of powerful prop Leeson Ah Mau, combined with the lethal wing tandem David Fusitu'a and Ken Maumalo has Kearney feeling confident.

"They're still young guys, they haven’t played 100 games yet. They've got their best footy ahead of them.

"With Blake Green there and another young half in Adam Keighran, I'm sure they'll do a great job for us."

And Kearney insists they're not lamenting the loss of the mercurial Johnson... yet.

"We haven't missed him in the last four months."


Watch the full interview in the video above.

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