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Well, it took 3 attempts but the Warriors have finally won a game in Golden Point and it came from a moment of Brilliance from Shaun Johnson.
The big assist came from Solomona Kata when he successfully stripped the ball in a one on one tackle mere moments before Shaun took advantage of a rushing Panthers defensive line to score the game-winning try in a much needed 20-16 victory.
The win moved the Warriors back into the top eight and kept their season alive.
It’s fair to say that the Warriors should have closed the game out as they were leading 16-8 late in the second half until Josh Mansour scored two tries back to back to level the game.
Both sides took turns attempting field goals unsuccessfully largely in part to both sides ignoring the marker rules and being offside taking advantage of the whistle-shy referees too scared to give penalties in Golden Point.
The Warriors improved their defensive line thanks largely to the returning Bodene Thompson and Albert Vete.
The error rate reduced and the Warriors took advantage of the chances they were given on attack.
With how tight the competition is at present the Warriors need to keep their eye on the ball as it is possible that a one-off performance could spell the end of their playoff aspirations.
My Player of the day goes to David Fusitu’a, it would be a cop out to give this to Shaun for the game-winning try but I believe that David had a strong game scoring a double and helping keep the right edge defensively tight.
Every time the Warriors give David a challenge he keeps knocking them for six, regardless of if he playing Fullback, Wing or now Centre he continues to contribute.
With Roger Tuivasa-Sheck possibly being close to a return David may have now found his permanent home in the centres which could very well be where he will find himself all next season.
My player who needs to improve….. Well, I can’t actually pick anyone that I was disappointed with, the team played well as a unit and I cannot pick anyone out for major criticism.
This week the series of must-win games continues for the Warriors as they head over to the Gold Coast to face the Titans.
The week leading up to this clash has been filled with news with calls for Golden Point to be removed, Konrad Hurrell’s first game against the Warriors and his impending clash against Solomona Kata and in perhaps the biggest news for the Titans the signing of Jarryd Hayne and the Titans decision to add him to the bench for this weekend’s matchup.
I am picking the Warriors to win this contest narrowly.
In regards to Golden Point, I’m really not swayed either way, it be an exciting part of the game when a team scores an amazing try to earn the victory but it can also a boring kick-fest.
I think one solution would be to remove Golden Point from the round robin matchups at least.
The Konrad vs Kata clash should be exciting to watch, with Konrad returning to the performances he use to give in a Warriors jersey a few seasons ago.
The move to the Titans has rejuvenated Konrad and I still think it was the best decision he could have made.
Solomona Kata will have his work cut out for him marking Konrad but I am confident that he will keep him contained.
And the lastly Jarryd Hayne is now a Gold Coast Titans.
I am surprised that the Titans were the team to nab Hayne but I guess the Titans fans can thank Daly Cherry-Evans for walking out on his deal with the club as that gave them enough money to become the top bidder.
I don’t expect much from Jarryd of the bench this week against the Warriors or for that matter the rest of this season but I think with a full preseason under his belt he could help make the Titans title contenders.
What were your thoughts on the performance against the Panthers?
Which position do you think David Fusitu’a should play for the rest of this season as well as next season?
What are your thoughts on Golden Point?
And lastly, how do you think Jarryd Hayne will perform for the Titans this weekend?
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