Warriors v Manly
Yeah....we're not making the playoffs this year boys.
Before we pick over that shit show performance by the Warriors it should be said Tom Trbojevic absolutely tore the Warriors a new one today. He'll destroy Queensland in State of Origin as well, first choice NSW/Kangaroos fullback for sure.
The Warriors should be 3-0 to start the season but some old problems have resurfaced alongside injuries and unless Stephen Kearney gets creative and makes some serious calls on a few players, it won't get better. The first problem is the forwards are not playing with the same aggressive, take no prisoner attitude they played with in 2018.
For most of the game the backs, like Adam Keighran, were first in the tackle while players like Tohu Harris and Adam Blair were no where to be seen. If no one gets in the face of Manly, Manly will just march down the field....which they did.
The second and third problems are entirely on Stephen Kearney. Kearney showed piss poor player management by putting Gerard Beale on the bench when everyone knew Isaac Luke was still not 100% match fit.
For years I've barked on about how the Warriors need to focus on power running football, which they are now, and that means the hooker position is now the most critical position.
Luke got injured in the first half which meant Jazz Tevaga played the remainder at hooker and just threw interceptions and wayward passes the rest of the way.If Luke wasn't healthy there had to be another hooker on the bench and I'm talking about Karl Lawton since Nathaniel Roache cannot be relied upon due to his fragile body.
Fuck it, just bring Beale on, move Hiku to stand off and slot Keighran into hooker but for God sake's you need a playmaker in at dummyhalf (which Tevaga is obviously not).
Thirdly, some players need to be axed and yes Solomone Kata is the first to go. He made several weak tackles which lead to tries in this game and Fusitua is now struggling too. Other players need to be put on notice: Blake Green, Adam Blair, Agnatius Paasi come to mind.
If the Warriors need to make an emergency pick up from another team, since they do have the cap space, maybe inquire about Mason Lino at Newcastle as a potential hooker/halfback/bench option because Chanel Tevita-Harris is not doing well in the NSW Cup either. Bet the Warriors are regretting the "return your season pass for a full refund after three games" promo....
Team for next week:
1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
2 David Fusitua
3 Gerard Beale
4 Blake Ayshford
5 Ken Maumalo
6 Adam Keighran
7 Blake Green
8 Bunty Afoa
9 Karl Lawton
10 Adam Blair
11 Isaiah Papali'i
12 Tohu Harris
13 Jazz Tevaga
14 Peta Hiku
15 Agnatius Paasi
16 Leeson Ah Mau
17 Lachlan Burr