|Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.nz|
Well after two wins in a row the Warriors looked to be gaining confidence and the Holy Trinity of Shaun Johnson, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, and Issac Luke appeared to finally have some cohesion heading into this game against the Manly Seagulls.
Unfortunately, for the fans all the improvements the Warriors had made the previous fortnight being thrown out the window as the Woeful Warriors returned losing to Manly 34-18.
I don’t really know what to say about this performance, yes there were some bad calls from the match officials including the incorrect call from the bunker regarding Solomone Kata being tackled in goal (But more about that later) but the Warriors played with no heart in my opinion.
They were careless with the ball and appeared lost on attack, the forwards had no go forward and spent most of the game being driving backwards by a strong Manly defense and Shaun reverted back to not running the ball towards the line or more accurately not running at all.
It could be fair to say that Shaun didn’t attack the line because of the lack of go forward from the pack but it does not excuse the silly errors and easily avoidable penalties.
The Bunker contacting the referee and advising that Solomone Kata had been tackled in goal and to take play back to a drop out was abysmal.
The first point is that the call was incorrect, Kata made it out and the on field Referees made the correct call on the spot.
The second point is if the Bunker has the ability to contact the referee in regards to any error they see on the field, why are they not doing this for all games?
I can think of many moments this season that there have been calls on-field that were wrong and the bunker kept quiet.
They need to either help like this all the time or keep quiet until they are asked for assistance, this call was not needed or asked for and it gave Manly and easy set which resulted in a try.
My player of the day goes to Solomone Kata, in a game where it looked like no one was trying Solomone was still trying to run hard and added another try to his season tally (7 tries which places him 2nd on the top try scorer list), he does need to stop rushing in on defense as that puts extra pressure on the winger outside him and with the trouble the Warriors defense has been having they don’t need him making it harder.
My player who needs to improve goes to a player I never thought I would put in this category and that is Ryan Hoffman.
Ryan missed 6 tackles in this match (The most by any individual player in this game) and let his temper get the better of him, he was clearly frustrated with the calls being made by the officials but as the leader of this team he cannot let things like that affect him because if he if loses his temper and starts trying to fight the opposition what does that say to the rest of the team.
I hope as a fan of the Warriors that he has sorted this out and starts to perform at the level he was consistently at when playing for the Melbourne Storm.
This week the Warriors are travelling down to Wellington to face the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
Wellington has not been a good ground for the Warriors, in fact of the 5 times the Warriors have faced the Bulldogs here the best they have managed is a draw.
Andrew McFadden has made some changes to the side for this contest dropping Jeff Robson from the side and moving Tuimoala Lolohea into the halves and giving Shaun back his number 7 jersey, David Fusitu’a has been brought in to replace Tui on the wing, the only other change is bringing Ligi Sao onto the bench (In new today it was announced that Konrad Hurrell was playing for the New South Wales Cup side so Ligi has taken Konrads position on the Warriors bench).
I am happy with these changes, Tui has been wasted on the wing and Jeff hasn’t offered any value yet this year so it was an easy decision to make and in fact should have been made weeks ago. David Fusitu’a has been battling injury but when he is fit he hasn’t disappointed while performing in the top grade and will be staying on the wing for the rest of season if he stays fit.
Ligi I think has been brought in to address that lack of go forward we saw last week.
The Bulldogs have been consistently inconsistent this year and I believe this is the time for the Warriors to strike, the Holy Trinity need to gel and put the Bulldogs to the sword.
I believe that if they do the basics right and avoid silly penalties the Warriors will walk away with the victory and I'm picking them to win the game by two.
If you like what I've written or disagree with what I think then let me know, i would love to discuss anything Warriors related in the comments, share it with your friends on facebook too as I want to get this out to as many people as I can and I know there are so many loyal Warriors fans happy to chat on there.
Hopefully, I will be writing about the Warriors getting back on track next time but until then enjoy the game tonight and talk later.
This post first appeared on Nz Warriors 2017 Season Preview : Above The Line - The Kearney Era Begins, please read the originial post: here