Warriors coach Brian McClennan believes Manu Vatuvei is being unfairly targeted by NRL referees.

The winger dropped the ball a number of times during the Warriors' season-opening loss to Manly at Eden Park.

McClennan says the opposition often attack the ball in situations where there is more than one tackler on Vatuvei.

He says the referees just automatically call knock on even when it's stripped because there is an assumption Vatuvei must have lost it.

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McClennan believes the same thing happens with Feleti Mateo.