|Copyright Photo : Fiona Goodall / www.photosport.nz|
The largest crowd of the season came to Mount Smart expected to witness a win over what has been a disappointing Rabbitohs outfit who were on a 9 game losing streak.
Instead, however, they were forced to witness a hapless Warriors side lose 41-22 in what was the Warriors worst performance since Round 11.
The game did start well with the Warriors dominating the Rabbitohs for the first 10minutes, forcing repeat sets and scoring through Solomona Kata.
Then the game started to unravel, the Warriors attack was filled with handling errors, the forwards had no go forward and were bullied all night and the last tackle options were woeful, I am not a halfback but I do not understand why every last tackle option had to be a grubber kick into the in-goal area, when you look at the Warriors right edge attack consisting of David Fusitu’a and Ken Maumalo, why not put a kick up and let them use their height advantage?
The Warriors defense was sub-par, there was no line speed, no urgency or desperation, and their defensive positioning was school boy level at best.
With the season still very much in limbo to see the Warriors perform this poorly was dishearting and with how tight the top 8 currently is this loss may very well come back to bite the Warriors and their playoff aspirations.
Watching this game live at Mount Smart the main thing I was most disheartened by was the perceived lack of effort or care shown by the majority of the team.
When the Rabbitohs finished their sets with kicks to the Warriors goal line I sat in disbelief as I watched the Warriors backs try and get the Warriors out of their own half as all the forwards just walked back slowly like it was a training run.
As a fan it felt like they didn’t care, I could only pick two forwards that looked like they were trying their best and they were Albert Vete and Ryan Hoffman.
Overall this game was a huge disappointment and this team has a lot of work to do to get back to the level required to make the playoffs.
My Warrior of the day was hard as there weren’t many options to choose from but I choose Albert Vete.
Albert was the only front rower that offered any impact with his carries, Albert has come a long way this season and I hope that his performances start to rub off of Ben Matulino and Jacob Lillyman who have not offered a lot in recent times and the Warriors need their whole prop rotation to be performing if they want to take advantage of the backline they possess.
My Warrior who needs to improve goes to Tuimoala Lolohea.
In a woeful Warriors performance Lolohea by far had the worst performance, he never seemed to be in the right position defensively and the Rabbitohs took advantage.
He needed to show some guts when defending as a lot of the tries that the Rabbitohs scored may very well have not happened if he put his body on the line, he is young and talented but he still has a long way to go and I still believe that he should not be used as a Fullback.
He has been dropped for this week’s game and I think it is the right call, I’m sure he will come back stronger from this setback.
This Round the Warriors travel to North Queensland to face the reigning premier Cowboys in what will be the Warriors last away game unless the reach the playoffs.
The ramifications of this matchup have increased after the Warriors loss in Round 23, the Warriors really need the win here and if there is ever a good time to play the Cowboys in Queensland it might be now as their form has not been that great for the past month.
If the Warriors can return to the form they had from Round 12-22 they can walk away with the victory but if the Forwards decide to not show up again the Warriors are going to be in for a long night and possibly another year of failing to reach the playoffs.
What were your thoughts on the Warriors performance?
Do you think dropping Tuimoala Lolohea is the right call?
How confident are you that the Warriors will make the Top 8?
Let me know below.
This post first appeared on Nz Warriors 2017 Season Preview : Above The Line - The Kearney Era Begins, please read the originial post: here