David Skipwith is the Herald's rugby league reporter

NRL: Warriors coach Andrew McFadden lauds Tui Lolohea's game-breaking effort in win over Roosters

Warriors wing Tui Lolohea breaks loose to set up Roger Tuivasa-Sheck's match-winning try against the Sydney Roosters. Photo/Getty.
Warriors wing Tui Lolohea breaks loose to set up Roger Tuivasa-Sheck's match-winning try against the Sydney Roosters. Photo/Getty.

Warriors coach Andrew McFadden has lauded Tui Lolohea's brilliant effort to set up Roger Tuivasa-Sheck's golden point match-winning try against the Sydney Roosters as a vital moment for the side as they grow in confidence after back-to-back victories.

Lolohea was outstanding on the right wing for the Warriors in yesterday's 32-28 win at Gosford, constantly posing problems for the defence with his speed and footwork and swallowing up every kick that came his way.

The 21-year-old showed all the skills that could see him slot in anywhere in the backline, producing a deft kick infield for Shaun Johnson's second first-half try, before kick-starting a long-range attack for Tuivasa-Sheck's game-breaking four-pointer in the first minute of extra time.

Under tremendous pressure from the Roosters' chasers, Lolohea claimed a difficult high ball and then split the defence with a scintillating run over halfway before finding his fullback in support to run and score.

"The last effort of the game was terrific," said McFadden.

"There was a huge amount of pressure on that catch before the run and we've been working pretty hard on those moments.

Listen: Tuivasa-Sheck on his match-winning performance

"You've just got to stay composed and make sure you don't get ahead of yourself and he (Lolohea) did that.

"It was a really important moment for him and for us as a team."

Lolohea made it known recently that he was desperate to get more involved on attack and in the last two games against the Knights and Roosters has gone looking for the ball.

McFadden has also been in his ear about lifting his contribution but believes Lolohea's improved form is down to the growing understanding between he and centre Blake Ayshford after five games together on the right edge.

Lolohea was a handful for the Roosters' defence and produced a deft kick for Shaun Johnson's second try. Photo/Getty.
Lolohea was a handful for the Roosters' defence and produced a deft kick for Shaun Johnson's second try. Photo/Getty.

"We've had that same edge and they're building their combination," he said. "We've generally kept the same edges together over the last few weeks and that just grows stronger.

"In the first half when we ran it on the last play and Tui set up the try to Shaun, we've been working on that. That only comes with time."

McFadden was also pleased with the performance of under-fire hooker Issac Luke, who made good on his intentions to run the ball more than he had in his previous three outings this year.

"He responded like I thought he would. He obviously copped a bit of criticism this week.

"He was already aware that he needed to play better and he was really determined today to do that.

"He had fewer distractions with his preparation, in terms of football, this week, and he performed really strongly and played the full 80 minutes out."

Hooker Issac Luke was at his running best in his most impressive game yet for the Warriors this season. Photo/Getty.
Hooker Issac Luke was at his running best in his most impressive game yet for the Warriors this season. Photo/Getty.

Despite their rising form, McFadden admitted there are plenty of areas for improvement after the Warriors committed 10 errors and conceded nine penalties.

"We've just got to play a little tighter at times," he said. "We got momentum and then we just had some loose moments and that just put us under pressure.

"We defended pretty strongly, only conceding the two tries off kicks in the first half, and it was one of those games where we just needed to keep it tight.

"We let them back in the game with some unforced errors so we'll talk about that. I'm sure we'll learn a lot."

Meanwhile, centre Solomone Kata has been charged with a grade one dangerous throw on Roosters' opposite Blake Ferguson in the 60th minute of Sunday's match, but will be free to play Manly on Saturday with an early guilty plea.

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