Soward: Green can make Warriors contenders
Premiership winner Jamie Soward has identified Blake Green as the player who could deliver a shock top-eight finish for the Warriors this year.
Soward regards Green as potentially the buy of the year for the under-performing Warriors.
Stephen Kearney's side were well off the pace last season, picking up just seven wins from their 24 games and finishing 12 points adrift of the top eight.
He potentially could be the buy of the year ... he provides an important stability to what is an unpredictable team in the Warriors.Jamie Soward
Soward said: "[They] have picked up Tohu Harris, Gerard Beale, Peta Hiku [and Adam Blair] who are all internationals [but] the big question every year is 'can they get it right'. Can they get this mix of talent versus game management versus control versus flair right, because if they do they're going to be lethal."
He says though Ben Matulino's departure to the Tigers is a blow for the Auckland club, Blake has the ability to lead them to success.
"He was so pivotal last season for Manly and the style they played," added Soward, who won a grand final with the Dragons in 2010. He potentially could be the buy of the year ... he provides an important stability to what is an unpredictable team in the Warriors."
Green could provide a better foil for Shaun Johnson and club skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck than Kieran Foran had done in his one season at the club, feels Soward.
"Blake Green provides a steady hand, understands when to kick, when to be able to make changes to the game plan on the run, that's because he's been in systems like Melbourne," he added. "He's been successful in England, been successful over here, got the best out of his body and game management style; I think he provides the key to getting the best out of Tuivasa-Sheck and Johnson."
NZ Warriors are 5001.00 to win the grand final. The Warriors are 1.02 to finish in the top eight.
View all Rugby League betting