'Another year down the drain' - Warriors speak on failed 2019

Author
Michael Burgess, NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Thu, 29 Aug 2019, 7:48PM
Warriors players have not held back in their criticism. (Photo / Photosport)
Warriors players have not held back in their criticism. (Photo / Photosport)

'Another year down the drain' - Warriors speak on failed 2019

Author
Michael Burgess, NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Thu, 29 Aug 2019, 7:48PM

Jazz Tevaga admits it is another "year down the drain" for the Warriors.

Sam Lisone feels they are still missing the 'GOAT'.

Agnatius Paasi says the team can "switch off" on game day.

As the Warriors search for answers, with their finals hopes extinguished by back-to-back drubbings from the Roosters and the Sharks, the frank words from some of their younger players are refreshing.

While some of the senior men tend to spin familiar clichés, Tevaga, Lisone and Paasi didn't hold back with their verdicts.

After a positive run in June and July, the Warriors have hit a brick wall this month, conceding more than 40 points in heavy defeats against the Raiders, Roosters and Sharks.

"She's not pretty to watch," said Tevaga. "It's frustrating because we are a better team than that. It's hard to gauge how we train so well and then come out on the field and it is shit, really."

Asked why the team had nose dived over the past fortnight, Tevaga didn't fudge his answer.

"There's lot of things," said Tevaga. "Pressure on us making finals, the care for the jumper — that's gone missing, a bit of enjoyment is missing as well and there's trust issues.

"It's not just one person, it's us collectively. It was tough to find out why. We are not getting our jobs done, not doing the little things. It just compounds, it's an infection. One thing leads to another thing, [the] next thing you know we are two or three tries down and it's like 'shit, here we go again'."

Tevaga, who has featured in 20 games this year despite a persistent ankle problem, is adamant the squad was good enough.

"It's not nice because we worked so hard this year and we are a better team than that," said Tevaga. "We towelled up Manly, who [beat] the Raiders, who smacked us. We just lost in Melbourne, [then] the close games against Penrith and the Broncos (at Mt Smart), the Parra game (at Bankwest).

"It all counts. And it's just like another year down the drain, and all that hard work gone to waste."

The consistent Paasi, who will play his 100th NRL game this week, admits their inability to transfer training ground intensity to the match situation has been frustrating.

"Against the Sharks it felt like it was the same game as the Roosters," said Paasi. "When things got hard we tended to switch off. We have a good training session during the week and then come to game day it's way different."

Paasi hinted that the cumulative pressure of a season where the team has been in dogfights most weeks had taken it's toll.

"Things haven't gone our way," said Paasi. "The wins we have really had to scrap out and the losses hurt us a little bit and it builds and it builds."

"Losing Tohu [Harris] didn't help (the Kiwis forward has been out injured since mid-June). He is one of the leaders and builds his game on defence. We really get a boost off him when he is there."

For his part, Lisone lamented the absence of 301-game Warriors legend Simon Mannering.

"What's changed? We are missing the GOAT [Mannering]," said Lisone. "You don't know how good he was. All the little things and his leadership especially. Probably in the middle we haven't been as good, we have been struggling there a bit."

But all insist the squad is motivated to end the campaign on a high, starting with Friday's match with the Rabbitohs.

"We want to finish the year off well," said Lisone. "If you lose, you have that bitter taste for the whole break and you start pre-season on a low."

Though the Warriors haven't enjoyed much success against South Sydney, with last season's win in Perth their first over the Rabbitohs since 2012, Lisone has some happy personal memories.

He broke a 63-game NRL try scoring duck when he busted through in round one last year, then got his second career touchdown in the 28-24 defeat in Gosford earlier this season.

"My first try against them, [my] first try this year, some nice memories," said Lisone. "Hopefully I get one, or put my roomie Iggy [Paasi] in for one, for his big game."

 

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