|Copyright Photo: Getty images|
The Warriors travelled to Townsville to face the North Queensland Cowboys in a must-win match to keep their playoffs hopes alive and for the second week in a row when the Warriors had the chance to control their own destiny they crumpled under pressure.
The Warriors were outclassed by the Cowboys who dominated them in all facets of the game.
They kept the pressure on the Warriors and kept them camped in their own half for the majority of the game and the Warriors were never in the contest losing 34-6.
The biggest issue in the past fortnight has been the Warriors handling errors.
For two weeks in a row, the Warriors have dropped the ball early in their sets and almost always when they are in their own half.
When you give any team let alone the reigning premier Cowboys, all the possession and territory you are going to struggle to compete.
The Warriors were bullied into submission and the Cowboys made them look like amateurs.
Shaun Johnson went missing in this game and left Ata Hingano to attempt to lead the side around on his debut.
Ata was one of the only highlights in this match, he got more minutes than he was expecting and when Shaun threw up the white flag, Ata showed signs of fight but unfortunately the Warriors forwards were never in the game.
The forward pack has been laughably average, Ben Matulino has offered nothing to the Warriors all season and Jacob Lillyman has been a shadow of his former self since returning from State of Origin duty.
If I was involved with the coaching staff, I would be dropping both Matulino and Lillyman and bringing Bunty Afoa and either James Gavet or Toafofoa Sipley into their spots.
Watching this game it looked like the Backline was doing the majority of the hit ups
when you get the third tackle and Blake Ayshford is taking the hit up instead of a big forward you just have to scratch your head.
It just looks and feels like the team has given up on the season with the exception of maybe 3 or 4 players who still seem to be putting the effort in.
My Player of the day goes to Simon Mannering, Simon was out there tackling anyone who crossed his path, if the rest of the team just put 15% of the effort that Simon does on game day the Warriors would be a much-improved team.
There were times in that game where you could see the frustration on Simon's face at the performance the rest of the team was putting in.
My player that needs to improve goes to the entire team.
Heading to Townsville was always going to be tough but when the season is on the line you need to show up.
I don't really know what else to say but the Warriors team of last month needs to return quicksmart.
So after that loss the Warriors playoff hopes now fully rely on them not only winning their last two games but the Titans need to lose their last two games.
Could it happen, well yes there is a chance but the Warriors need to quickly return to form and ensure that they drastically improve for the last two rounds.
This week the Warriors return to Mount Smart and face the Tigers who haven't played well since the loss of James Tedesco but they did put the Warriors to the sword in the first round so they are no easy beats by any means.
I am picking the Warriors to win by 10.
What were your thoughts on the game?
What changes (if any) would you make to the team?
Would you bring Ata Hingano into the starting lineup?
Do you think the Warriors are going to make the eight?
Comment below and let me know what you think.
This post first appeared on Nz Warriors 2017 Season Preview : Above The Line - The Kearney Era Begins, please read the originial post: here