Michael Burgess is the football and rugby league writer for the Herald on Sunday.

Michael Burgess: The Warriors' most frustrating night

Shaun Johnson, Jazz Tevaga, Ryan Hoffman and Tuimoala Lolohea of the Warriors. Photo / Getty Images.
Shaun Johnson, Jazz Tevaga, Ryan Hoffman and Tuimoala Lolohea of the Warriors. Photo / Getty Images.

So where do the Warriors go from here?

Of all the defeats this season - and there have been some ugly ones - it felt like last night's 30-18 loss to Penrith was the most frustrating.

There have been games in 2016 where the Warriors didn't turn up, and others where they could barely string a pass together. Last night was different. They played well for extended periods, and led until the 62nd minute.

But there was always a nagging sense that Penrith would prevail, despite the incredible atmosphere created by the capacity crowd.

When the going got tough, the Warriors couldn't stay with the Panthers; they didn't complete their sets well in the second half - compounded by some poor decision making - and failed to take advantage of any momentum swings.

An attempted James Gavet offload was a coach killer, and Ben Matulino blighted an otherwise strong return to first grade with crucial second half fumble.

They were isolated incidents, but epitomised a disjointed Warriors performance.

"We made errors at crucial times," said Shaun Johnson. "We put ourselves in position and then we tried to force an offload and they came down [our] end of the field. We scrambled hard but at the end of the day they were scoring pretty easy tries."

It was hard to fault the forward effort - the Warriors pack generally matched up well - but it was fractured display outside them.

"It is frustrating," admitted Johnson. "It doesn't reward the boys in the middle that are working hard. Our right edge got pulled apart a few times out there tonight...just soft..it's so frustrating."

The conditions were exceptional, with the ball often floating forward as it was passed and it was a nightmare for kickers.

"I've played in some windy stadiums but that was right up there," said Johnson. "But it was the same for both teams and they did it a little bit better than us. I haven't had to kick in conditions like that before so I will learn from that."

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