Three things we learned from Warriors loss

Andrew McFadden. Photo / Getty
Andrew McFadden. Photo / Getty

Herald rugby league writer Michael Burgess lists three things we learned from the Warriors loss to the Panthers last night.

Bench options baffling:

Not for the first time this season, Andrew McFadden and the Warriors' coaching staff got their mix on the bench all wrong.

With the reduced interchange this year the way you use your bench - and how it impacts on the game - is absolutely crucial. So why was Matt Allwood one of the four replacement options? It's hard to think of another team in the NRL that carries an outside back on the bench - it's just too much of a extravagance.

The accepted formula is simple; either four big men, or three forwards and a utility player. Allwood was only there to cover an emergency injury in the back line, but the Warriors can't afford such luxuries at the moment. And Charlie Gubb offered little in a cameo stint; he needs to be used more, or replaced with someone who can bring a greater impact.

Warriors lacked heavy artillery

There's about been this long-held myth about the `giant' Warriors forward pack, usually hyperbole provided by Australian media commentators.

Last night it couldn't have been further from the truth. The Warriors lacked pure size and power across the park, and were gradually wore down in the middle in conditions which kept the game tight.

League remains a brutally physical game and watching last night you wondered who from the Warriors was actually going to dent the line and send defenders backwards. Ben Matulino, James Gavet, Solomone Kata and Ryan Hoffman brought some genuine presence, and Jazz Tevaga and Bodene Thompson worked incredibly hard.

But the likes of Johnathan Wright, John Palavi, Gubb and Allwood offered little in terms of momentum on either attack or defence, and in a match of fine margins that added pressure to the Warriors' territorial game.

Tyrone has peach of a game

What the Warriors would give for a player like Tyrone Peachey. The Panthers utility man was a menace last night, and his ability to pop up at just the right moment was ultimately the difference.

He scored three tries, continuing a stellar season for the underrated Peachey. The Warriors don't currently have someone like him, who can sniff out an opportunity with the awareness and instinct to be in the right place at the right time.

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