NRL: Warriors overrun in another poor display

By Michael Brown

Will Matthews of the Dragons celebrates scoring against the Warriors. Photo / Getty Images
Will Matthews of the Dragons celebrates scoring against the Warriors. Photo / Getty Images

Dragons 38 Warriors 6

Stand-in Warriors coach Tony Iro said in the leadup to the game he wanted to see a good attitude and performance from his players in the wake of Brian McClennan's sacking.

He didn't witness it, which was a shame for his own chances of getting the coaching position on a permanent basis. The club were looking at the last two games as something of a job interview for Iro but a coach is only as good as the players who try to execute the game plan.

The Warriors produced another horrible display as they equalled their worst losing run of seven games. They lacked conviction in most things they did, with ball in hand and on defence, and it was a minor miracle they trailed only 12-6 at halftime.

Statistics don't always tell the full tale but the Warriors missed 42 tackles (to 16), couldn't muster a single line break (while conceding 10) and allowed the Dragons to run for a massive 1874m.

Their kick chases were virtually non-existent as they went through the motions and the commitment on defence was often laughable.

The Dragons' second try, for instance, saw Matt Cooper and Chase Stanley jink around eight would-be tacklers and many of those merely grasped at opposition arms.

So much for doing it for all the people they had let down this season. There was certainly little of the spark often seen in sides whose coach has just been sacked.

It didn't help when they lost Shaun Johnson to a head knock in the first half but they fell apart in the second spell as the Dragons ran in five unanswered tries through Jason Nightingale (two), Josh Miller, Ben Creagh and Matt Cooper.

Fullback Carlos Tuimavave was one of the Warriors better performers and Ben Matulino was decent in his first game back since recovering from a pectoral injury picked up in the defeat to Newcastle five weeks ago but there was little to be enthused about.

Mercifully, the 2012 season ends for the Warriors next Sunday against Canberra at Mt Smart Stadium but some, particularly the retiring Micheal Luck, deserve much better than this.

Dragons 38 (Jason Nightingale 2, Will Matthews, Chase Stanley, Josh Miller, Ben Creagh, Matt Cooper tries, Jamie Soward 5 gls) Warriors 6 (Shaun Johnson try, James Maloney gl). HT: 12-6.

- APNZ

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