McFadden amused by 'easy' draw
Warriors coach Andrew McFadden has scoffed at suggestions his side has been given the kindest schedule among the 16 clubs following the release of the 2015 season draw on Monday.
Many pundits were quick to the point to the Warriors' apparently kind fixture list in what was one of the most complex draws ever to be completed.
Analysts have pointed to the fact that the New Zealanders play 2014's best teams less often than any other club, with only 11 of their 24 matches coming against last season's finalists.
The Roosters are also the only top four side from 2014 that the Warriors play twice next year.
But McFadden was quick to point to some negative aspects, combined with the fact that they have it harder than every other team to start with due to travelling internationally for half of their matches.
"I do have a bit of a chuckle when they talk about how easy the Warriors' draw is, given the circumstances we have to deal with every second week," McFadden said.
"I think three times we have back-to-back away games which is always a bit of an issue with the travel for us.
"We always look at the long legs we have and we have all three of them this year in the Cowboys, Newcastle and Canberra, and they are always just a bit tougher for us because of the length of travel.
"The other thing is that the game changes, the competition changes so quickly that top four sides [last season] could quickly slip down to the bottom [in 2015].
"It changes, but it's a good talking point. I guess there are good parts of it and some negatives."
In addition to some of the logistical headaches the draw presents for them, the way the Warriors' season starts and finishes is also a challenge.
As it stands over the past five seasons the Warriors have managed a win in one of their opening two games only twice, while also winning just 50 per cent of their final two regular season games in that period.
The first two games of 2015 will see the Kiwi side face long trips to Newcastle, where they have a 43 per cent winning percentage, and Canberra where they win only 27 per cent of the time.
The run home isn't much better, with the Warriors playing three away games in the last month and having back-to-back trips to Sydney in rounds 25 and 26.
"Travel early in the season isn't too bad, it's just at the end of the season where it can really test you and drain you," McFadden said.
"[Early] is a better time to have it, we are going to be nice and fresh. We are definitely going to look at that opportunity to spend some time together there and I am sure we will handle it.
"One of the things we really need to focus on is starting well. We haven't had a great start in the last few years and that is why we are really trying to ramp up our pre-season.
"We [also] finish with some away games as well; with that last month we are away a fair bit."
As teams prepare to break for Christmas, McFadden was viewing his side's condensed trial campaign, which will feature just one game against the Panthers in Rotorua, as a positive for their preparations.
"It wasn't a conscious decision, we did have two trials but we obviously lost the Nelson trial with the Dragons at the last minute, but I think it could be a positive for us," he said.
"It is a long season and I think maybe it will give us an opportunity to cement our combinations a little better at training, given we have a shorter preparation with our senior group [due to the Four Nations].
"It could be a blessing in disguise."