Rugby League: Poor starts remain a problem for Warriors

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck of the New Zealand Warriors on his way to a match winning try in golden point against the Sydney Roosters yesterday. Source / Getty Images
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck of the New Zealand Warriors on his way to a match winning try in golden point against the Sydney Roosters yesterday. Source / Getty Images

Three quick thoughts after Warriors thrilling win over the Roosters

1. The Warriors are growing in confidence:

Two wins in a row with the same 17 players will do wonders for coach Andrew McFadden's men who are starting to show what they're capable of after ending their 11-game losing streak last week against Newcastle.

With under-fire hooker Issac Luke responding well to a week of heavy criticism and fellow spine-members five-eighth Shaun Johnson and fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck also heavily involved, the Warriors' attack had better shape, looked more rounded, and was more threatening.

After admitting to suffering from a lack of confidence in the first three weeks of the season, Johnson has injected himself into the side's attack more in the last two games and is back playing close to his best football.

Tui Lolohea has also lifted his involvement and showed his brilliance with a pin-point infield kick for Johnson's second try, and was cool as a cucumber under the high ball throughout before breaking away to set up Tuivasa-Sheck's match-winner.

Listen: Tuivasa-Sheck on his match-winning performance

2. Poor starts remain a problem:

The thrilling victory cannot mask the fact the Warriors started the match poorly and let themselves down with errors and ill-discipline.

A penalty against Issac Luke after 30 seconds gave the Roosters some attacking impetus before Shaun Kenny-Dowall's early try and a Jackson Hastings penalty goal put the Warriors behind 8-0 after 11 minutes.

They worked their way back to claim the lead with tries to Manu Vatuvei, Solomone Kata and a double to Shaun Johnson, but then quickly lost possession to gift the Roosters another chance with Kenny-Dowall claiming his second try just before the break.

A sluggish start to the second-half saw them fall behind a second time with Sio Siua Taukeiaho and Mitchell Aubusson crossing to make it 24-20, but to the Warriors' credit they hung tough and fought back again to claim the win.

Listen: Audio highlights of the Warriors' round five golden point thriller

3. Warriors centres finding their feet:

The Warriors look to have found some stability on the edges with centres Solomone Kata and Blake Ayshford looking more comfortable in their roles with each outing.

A troublesome area for the club since 2012, Kata is a try-scoring force together on the left side with wing-partner Manu Vatuvei, while Aysford is developing a good combination with lightening-quick winger Lolohea on the right.

Against the Roosters, Kata crossed for his second double of the season to have six tries from five games, while Vatuvei scored his second of the year after getting over the line in last week's win over Newcastle.

Ayshford has been solid on defence in recent weeks but was ineffective in trying to prevent Sio Siua Taukeiaho's second-half try.

- NZ Herald

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