NRL 2022: NZ Warriors owner Mark Robinson backs Nathan Brown as coach, confident of playoffs

NZ Warriors owner Mark Robinson is pleading for fans to be patient and insists they're still a good chance to make the NRL playoffs. 

A third of the way through the season, he's also reaffirmed his support for coach Nathan Brown, despite a turbulent few weeks. 

Recent performances have been tough for the Warriors faithful and with their homecoming games selling out fast, Robinson accepts the team need to improve. 

"You can't give up," Robinson told Newshub. "I mean, the team's going to come through."

Warriors CEO Cam George & owner Mark Robinson
Warriors CEO Cam George & owner Mark Robinson. Photo credit: Photosport

With the side yet to put in a convincing 80-minute performance and brutal defeats to Cronulla Sharks and Melbourne Storm, fans are frustrated. 

Some have questioned if Brown is the right person for the job, as the side struggles for consistency, but Robinson's support remains emphatic. 

"Yeah, of course he is," he insisted. "I think he's got the right nature, he's definitely very talented at coaching and he's got to have the right team behind him too." 

With a host of young players in the side still learning their craft, patience is key for fans, as the club looks to build towards 2023 and beyond. 

"This year's going to be tough, but we're going to be better than we were last year," said Robinson. "Then we'll have new people coming in next year and we're going to be better again.

"2024 is the big year, I’m hoping - we just need to keep building nicely. If you want to win one and slam your salary cap, then you’ll be rubbish again for the next 5-6 years, because you can’t buy any players." 

Despite their patchy form, he's been heartened by how fast tickets have sold for their four games at Mt Smart this season. 

Addin Fonua-Blake reflects on the loss to Cronulla
Addin Fonua-Blake reflects on the loss to Cronulla. Photo credit: Photosport

"It's amazing, it just shows how much the Warriors are missed in New Zealand and how much the Warriors miss being in New Zealand. It's going to be such a special four weeks of football." 

Despite all the optimism, Robinson concedes the side haven't been up to scratch and they need to make sure they're in a strong position, when they do come home. 

"Hopefully, we're in a position where we can make the club proud... but that's going to take a bit of hard work in the next few weeks." 

Asked if the side can still make the top eight this year, Robinson's response was unequivocal

"Yep, definitely should make the eight. I'm hoping they do and I'm hoping they do that for our fans, but I'm hoping that they do it for themselves No.1.

"I think, after two weeks of being in damage control, I think you'll see a big difference this week." 

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