David Skipwith is the Herald's rugby league reporter

NRL: Hoffman slams team's commitment after thrashing

Storm 42 Warriors 0
The Warriors react after their 42-0 defeat to the Storm. Photo / Getty
The Warriors react after their 42-0 defeat to the Storm. Photo / Getty

Warriors captain Ryan Hoffman has slammed his side for a lack of commitment in their humiliating 42-0 Anzac Day defeat to Melbourne Storm, saying they failed to properly prepare for the intensity of the occasion.

The Warriors were awful from the opening whistle at AAMI Park, with poor discipline and lazy defence allowing the Storm to capitalise on a wealth of attacking possession to lay on five first-half tries.

Down 28-0 at halftime, coach Andrew McFadden read his side the riot act, and they showed some improvement in the second-half but leaked a further three tries without troubling the scoreboard attendant once themselves.

Too often the Warriors were caught on their heels and failed to meet the Storm's aggressive ball-runners with any intent, with forwards Tohu Harris, Tim Glasby and Jesse Bromwich all breezing past weak attempted tackles to score three easy tries in the first 17 minutes.

Out wide the Warriors were also gun shy, with Melbourne wing Marika Koroibete and fullback Cameron Munster cashing in for four-pointers on the end of some classy backline play.

Hoffman, returning to Melbourne to play his first Anzac Day game against his former club after turning out for the Storm in six of the previous seven traditional clashes since 2009, was loathe to explain his side's "passive" display and questioned the mindset of his teammates heading into the match.

"We waited for Melbourne to run at us, we waited for Melbourne to run over us," said Hoffman.

"We weren't willing enough to put our bodies in front. We took some soft options defensively and they equate to tries.

"We had a really good session the other night so basically it comes down to the individual.

"Does the individual want to prepare themselves for this game? And it showed tonight that en mass individuals weren't prepared for a tough encounter."

McFadden was reluctant to share the details of his emotional half-time speech but agreed the Warriors problems started with an unwillingness to get their hands dirty on defence.

"That stays between us," he said. "It's pretty clear I wasn't happy. I'll leave it at that.

"It was unacceptable. We never really got ourselves in the game at any stage. Physically we were just dominated.

"Most definitely, it comes down to that. You've got to be prepared to win the physical side and they're a big side Melbourne.

"It's hard to win any football games when you're not prepared to roll your sleeves up."
A week after losing fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to a season-ending ACL injury, the curse of the Warriors No1 jersey continued with his replacement Tui Lolohea departing after suffering a medial ligament strain midway through the first half.

The Warriors' injury woes deepened early in the second-half, when back-rower and Kiwis test captain Simon Mannering suffered a deep facial cut that will require plastic surgery.

Both players are now facing time on the sidelines and are also in doubt to be available for New Zealand's transtasman test against Australia in Newcastle on May 6.

Lolohea's departure forced a backline reshuffle with Jonathan Wright filling in on the right wing when David Fusitu'a shifted to fullback, but McFadden, who has numerous concerns weighing on his mind, was yet to consider who would fill the custodian role in Sunday's game against St George Illawarra at Mt Smart Stadium.

"Not at this stage. We'll get to that. We'll address first things first."

- NZ Herald

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