Warriors’ spine misfires in heavy loss

By Daniel Gilhooly, Daniel Gilhooly is a Roar Guru

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    The Warriors failed to cope with the absence of Shaun Johnson and Issac Luke during their directionless loss to the Sydney Roosters, says skipper Roger Tuivasa Sheck.

    The 32-0 hiding in Auckland on Saturday was lamented by Tuivasa-Sheck, whose third-placed team opened the season with five straight wins but struck wobbles over their next five.

    Inspiring wins over St George Illawarra and Wests Tigers have blended with hefty losses to the Brisbane Melbourne and now the Roosters, with the latter possibly the most dispiriting.

    The Warriors were a distant second in the battle of the trenches and their defence was easily prised open.

    However, it was the muted attacking effort which most concerned Tuivasa-Sheck, who admitted he, halfback Mason Lino and hooker Karl Lawton were out of synch in trying to mirror the influence of Johnson and Luke.

    “Me and Mason and Karl could have done a lot better to help Greeny out,” he said.

    “It felt like a lot of pressure was on him just to run the whole goal line.

    “Mason, he’s done it before, Greeny and Karl know that those combinations can be a lot better.”

    Another spine configuration may be needed next week against Parramatta after Lino suffered an ankle injury which requires scans.

    Coach Stephen Kearney said he will consider selection tweaks.

    Kearney said he was impressed by what he saw from “a couple of players” in reserve grade but wouldn’t confirm if he was referring to new club signing Gerard Beale, the veteran Kiwis utility back who has recovered from a broken leg.

    © AAP 2018
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    The Crowd Says (4)

    • May 13th 2018 @ 10:58am
      Paul said | May 13th 2018 @ 10:58am | ! Report

      Easts had a very solid game plan to rush Lino, especially through Latrell Mitchell who got to him a couple of times. Lawton’s service was okay but one dimensional, leaving the bulk of the attack on the shoulders of Green and RTS.

      In saying that, it was the Warriors lack of care with the ball, across the field which cost them this game, not the spine. Hard to beat a top 8 side when you’re consistently giving up the ball to the opposition in your own half. Back to basics for the Warriors

    • May 13th 2018 @ 11:21am
      Aem said | May 13th 2018 @ 11:21am | ! Report

      Lawton was pretty decent – but he spent a larger chunk of the match on the bench than he probably should have (I’ve seen him play 80 minutes in NRL before at the Titans, so he’s certainly capable of getting through more minutes – but perhaps it was forced by his still recent return from injury), and it’s a big, BIG drop off to Jazz Tevaga – a lock who gets used there on occasion because he’s undersized and thus seen as a ‘utility’.

      Very hard for a spine to create anything much when they have so little possession and territory because the team keeps dropping the ball (14 errors) – and previously decent defensive sets wasted by 4th tackle linebreaks or half-breaks to allow any defensive pressure to be alleviated.

      Then throw in a terrible performance by the pack in general forcing the team on the back foot for most of the match and you have a recipe for… well, exactly what happened.

    • May 13th 2018 @ 11:06pm
      Sylvester said | May 13th 2018 @ 11:06pm | ! Report

      I’ve never rated Lino. I think he had a couple of good games, but has been found out in their losses. The reality is they’ll lose more games than they’ll win without Johnson.

    • Roar Rookie

      May 14th 2018 @ 10:13am
      Joe said | May 14th 2018 @ 10:13am | ! Report

      The loss of both Johnson and Luke is what affected the Warriors. Basically left with no strike. Lino playing with Luke is passable as Luke will hold defenders and gives him a bit more space. No Luke means Lino was easy pickings for the rush defence. I think any club in the NRL losing their number one hooker and halfback would have the same problem.

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