'Not acceptable': Warriors criticised by coach after latest loss

Author
Radio Sport, NZ Herald ,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Sunday, 31 March 2019, 1:30PM
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck of the Warriors reacts as Joel Thompson of the Sea Eagles and his teammates celebrate scoring a try. (Photo / Getty)

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney must have major concerns for his team, after their abject defeat to the Sea Eagles on Saturday.

Kearney generally tries to be pragmatic — never getting too carried away in either victory or defeat — but wasn't holding back in the wake of 46-12 thumping in Christchurch.

He labelled aspects of his team's defensive performance as "not acceptable" and questioned their resilience, after another effort that lacked courage, conviction or composure.

The Warriors gave up eight tries, came close to conceding three or four more and missed 41 tackles in an embarrassing performance.

They were mostly steamrolled in the first half — with Manly taking advantage of a strong wind at their backs — but were still in the game at 24-12 at halftime, as the Sea Eagles couldn't make the most of their dominance.

But the Warriors folded in the last half hour, and the game was over with more than 20 minutes to play, after Daly Cherry-Evans crossed for his second try.

After such an extended buildup to the match — and with all the emotion surrounding the game, as a major sporting event returned to Christchurch for the first time since the horrific events of March 15 — the Warriors were flat, out enthused and out-played by the hungry Sydney team

"I'm very disappointed," said Kearney. "Given the situation on the back of last week and obviously the circumstances of the game I was very disappointed with the effort."

Kearney bemoaned the inability to be patient and stay in the contest in the first half, after a Manly blitz had yielded three tries in the space of seven minutes and was highly critical of the overall defensive effort.

"There is a lack of resilience at the moment," said Kearney. "Which is an area of concern for us. To have 46 points tonight, 34 last week. That's not good enough in the NRL."

The coach said it was too early to talk about changes to the team, though several players will be under pressure, if he sees viable alternatives among the rest of the squad.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was a standout, while Bunty Afoa, Blake Green and Isaiah Papali'i were solid, but most of the rest of the Warriors' 17 were well below par.

Still, Kearney remains positive that the Warrriors ship can be turned around, despite the dreadful displays of the last two weeks, in time for what is now a critical clash with the Titans on Friday night.

"The lads confidence will have taken a bit of a whack after the last couple of weeks and today hasn't helped," said Kearney. "That's my responsibility, and the other coaches to remind them that they are a good footy team. It's getting to what we know works for us and I thought we went away from that today ... and I thought the Manly side did a pretty good job of putting us off that too."

 

 

Radio Sport Breakfast

Radio Sport Breakfast

6AM - 9AM