Warriors chief executive Jim Doyle has backed the club’s coaching staff and roster in the face of stinging criticism from Graham Lowe that a “bro culture” is to blame for their NRL woes.
The Warriors, fielding high-profile recruits Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Issac Luke, lost their opening-round clash with unfancied Wests Tigers 34-26 to make it nine successive defeats going back to last season.
Lowe, a former Kiwis and Queensland coach and one-time part-owner of the Warriors, believes the players are missing a hard edge and the club is going backwards.
But Doyle says it is early in the season and new combinations need time to bed in.
“We certainly don’t feel like we’re going backwards,” he said.
“It is the first game of the season and the result is not what we would like it to be but we know we’re building.
“We’re comfortable we have the right mix in our roster and we’re comfortable we have the right coaching staff and hopefully things will turn around and change.”
As for Lowe’s use of the term “bro culture”, Doyle said: “He is entitled to his thoughts and he uses whichever words he wants to use.”
Defeat to the Tigers has increased the speculation on coach Andrew McFadden’s security in the job, which will only rise again if the Warriors lose to Brisbane this weekend.
But Doyle said the club’s stance on McFadden hadn’t changed.
“We’ve said all along that he’s our coach and we are focused with him being our coach,” he said.
“We know things don’t change overnight. We have a new roster and we’ve played one game. We are building toward something and we have to have consistency to get there.”
Lowe said he didn’t see any improvement from the Warriors against the Tigers and the score flattered them.
“There’s a hard edge that has been missing for, basically, forever. A ruthless edge. And not just on the field,” he told the Daily Telegraph in Sydney.
“There’s a ‘bro’ culture that is obvious and unacceptable. That culture is in place of that hard edge. It’s just soul destroying, there’s no change.”