Michael Burgess is a sports writer for the Herald on Sunday.

Three things we learned from Warriors loss

Warriors captain Ryan Hoffman and Thomas Leuluai look disappointed during the Warriors loss to the Canberra Raiders at Yarrow Stadium in New Plymouth last night. Photo / Getty Images
Warriors captain Ryan Hoffman and Thomas Leuluai look disappointed during the Warriors loss to the Canberra Raiders at Yarrow Stadium in New Plymouth last night. Photo / Getty Images

Herald rugby league writer Michael Burgess lists three things we learned from the Warriors dismal 38-12 home loss to the Raiders.

Warriors remain fragile

As they have been for most of this season, the Warriors remain a fragile beast. They just can't deal with adversity. On Saturday night the Warriors competed well for the first 20 minutes - at least staying in the grind - and it looked like it might be a tight match. But then a few things went against them, and they completely lost their way. Bodene Thompson fumbled the ball over the try line, then Raider's centre Joseph Leilua grabbed a slightly fortunate try to extend their lead. Throw in a couple of mistakes and curious penalties and suddenly the Warriors were out of the contest; heads were down and there was no coming back, despite a brief lift in tempo for 10 minutes after halftime.

Selection dilemma for McFadden

Warriors coach Andrew McFadden mentioned after the match that he needed to find players with the necessary desire, but where does he go for new solutions? The coach has used 30 players already this year; there isn't too much more in the cupboard. But somehow the mix isn't quite right. Aside from the well-publicised defensive issues - which flow right across the park - the team also has a serious lack of attacking weapons, probably the bluntest Warriors' team we have seen in years.

Raiders become the bullies

Before last night Canberra had lost five consecutive matches against Warriors, including three hidings where the Auckland club cracked a half century of points. But yesterday, after a fairly even first 20 minutes, it was a one sided affair. The Warriors rarely looked like scoring, while Canberra looked dangerous all night. The Raiders - so often bullied on their visits to New Zealand - became the bullies.

- NZ Herald

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