An SOS looks set to be answered by the most unlikely Warriors saviour in the wake of the besieged NRL club’s 25-10 loss in Brisbane.
Just weeks ago Konrad Hurrell looked set to be shipped off to NRL rivals Gold Coast after falling out of favour with Warriors coach Andrew McFadden.
However, McFadden admitted Hurrell looked set to make his long-awaited Warriors return after his backline took a huge hit against the Broncos on in their second-round loss on Friday night.
The man McFadden preferred over Hurrell – centre Blake Ayshford (concussion) – and hulking winger Manu Vatuvei (ribs) both went down on Friday night, reducing the gutsy Warriors to 15 men with 30 minutes left on the clock.
Hurrell had fallen so out of favour with McFadden that he has not been able to crack the Warriors’ 17 despite playing the NRL All Stars game in February.
But McFadden not only claimed Hurrell would be considered for their next round clash against Melbourne, he hosed down talk the wrecking ball was leaving New Zealand.
“He is definitely in the frame, we have a few injuries,” McFadden said.
“He is working on his game.
“It (the priority) is taking those unforced errors out of this game – that’s a big one.”
Asked about rumours linking Hurrell to a looming $1 million, three-year Titans deal, McFadden said: “He is contracted to us.
“I am not sure where those rumours have come from but from our perspective we are committed to Konrad.”
While Hurrell will no doubt add some punch, McFadden said he had seen enough encouraging signs in their arm wrestle with Brisbane.
McFadden arrived in Queensland under enormous pressure after the Warriors’ woeful start in their disappointing first round loss to lowly Wests Tigers.
But McFadden appeared confident about his future despite the Warriors slumping to their 10th straight loss stretching back to July last year.
Indeed the Warriors showed plenty of fight, going toe to toe with the 2015 grand finalists until the muggy conditions, the limited interchange rule and injuries caught up with the visitors.
Unlucky to be trailing 12-10 at halftime, the Kiwi side was held scoreless in the second stanza.
“Although we went into halftime behind I thought we were well in front to be honest,” McFadden said.
“The challenge just got a bit too big for us.”
Pressed on this year’s limited interchange rule, McFadden added: “It is just going to put a massive burden on players to play 80 minutes.
“I think it has impacted the game more than most coaches thought it was going to.”
Warriors captain Ryan Hoffman added: “And when you have injuries it just compounds it.”