Clubs return fire - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Clubs return fire

31/05/2004 10:17:27 PM Comments (0)

Fed up with growing criticism, under siege NRL teams New Zealand Warriors, Parramatta and South Sydney returned fire as the rumour mill went into overdrive.

Calls for coaches Brian Smith (Parramatta), Daniel Anderson (NZ Warriors) and Paul Langmack (Souths Rabbitohs) to be axed reached fever pitch after their NRL sides again sank to disappointing weekend losses.

The Eels (12th; 4-7 record) have lost five straight, Souths (last, 2-8) six of their last seven and the Warriors (second last, 3-8) four of their last six.

But all three clubs dug in with Eels forward Nathan Hindmarsh telling critical fans to back off, Anderson saying he would not walk away and Souths boss Nicholas Pappas dismissing talk that Langmack could be fired as early as this week as "pure speculation".

Hindmarsh issued a challenge to Eels fans who have booed Parramatta off the field and planned a protest rally calling for Smith's sacking at the next Parramatta home game in a fortnight.

"They have been a bit harsh, I think they are even starting to get stuck into the players now," he said.

"All I can pretty much say is `I'd like to see you get out there and do a better job'.

"It's pretty harsh but we are getting booed off the field and doing our best to stay in the game but it's just not happening for us."

The Eels players will discuss their slump at a private meeting later this week.

"We'll have a chat, have a few beers and just relax and see if there's any problems," Eels forward Michael Vella said.

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