Axe looming: NZ Warriors coach Matthew Elliott.

Axe looming: NZ Warriors coach Matthew Elliott. Photo: Getty-Images

Matthew Elliott is set to be the first NRL coach sacked this season, with Warriors owners Eric Watson and Owen Glenn understood to have run out of patience after Saturday night's 37-6 loss to Cronulla.

Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah and chairman Bill Wavish did not respond to inquiries about Elliott's future on Sunday but a reliable source told Fairfax Media that the former Canberra and Penrith coach had already been advised that the club was going to move in a different direction.

Watson tweeted on Sunday: "Tough day at the office @NZWarriors ... however definitely some questions to be answered #WarriorsForever".

It is unclear whether Elliott has coached his last match for the Warriors or will see out the season as he is understood to have been preparing assistant coach Andrew McFadden to take over the reins next season when he was due to move into a coaching directors role.

Wigan coach Shaun Wane has been constantly linked to the Warriors but he has recently agreed to an extension with the Super League champions. There was speculation on Sunday night that McFadden may take over in a caretaker capacity with Wane a possible long term replacement. 

Elliott was appointed to the Warriors job last season after Storm coach Craig Bellamy rejected a massive offer to remain in Melbourne.

The Warriors were also linked to Australian coach Tim Sheens and he may be a long term option to replace Elliott.

Under Elliott, the Warriors won 11 matches last season to finish 11th and have this year won two of their five games - against North Queensland and Wests Tigers.

Elliott relinquished his role as coach of the USA Tomahawks at last year's World Cup in Britain to focus on preparing the Warriors for this season.

He posted on Instagram on Sunday night: "Life is not about agreeing with decisions. It's very rare when everyone does. It's about dealing with decisions, finding how they serve you best and getting on with life."

Fairfax Media reported after last month's round two loss to the Dragons at Eden Park that senior officials at the club went to the changing shed after the game and a warning was given out that heads would roll unless results improve.

It is also believed that Elliott read the riot act to the players after that defeat.

The Warriors won their next two games in Townsville and Wellington but were terrible against the Sharks, although hooker Nathan Friend made 70 tackles as the team were forced to play with little posession.

Asked afterwards if he felt the players had played for him, Elliott said: "That's a legitimate question and one that needs to be asked. This inconsistent tag is not unique to me, either.''