David Skipwith is the Herald's rugby league reporter

League: Issac Luke looks to get Warriors rolling

Issac Luke of the Warriors. Photo / Getty
Issac Luke of the Warriors. Photo / Getty

Warriors hooker Issac Luke admits he failed to get the forwards rolling in last week's defeat to Canterbury and says it's his job to ensure they dominate a formidable Dragons pack in Sunday's NRL clash in Sydney.

The Warriors forwards were full of remorse after being out-performed by the Bulldogs huge pack rotation, with Luke leading the chorus of apologies.

Without gaining ascendancy through the middle of the park and few support runners providing options for their big ball-carriers, the Warriors backline were easily contained by a swarming and sliding blue and white defence.

When asked about the potential inclusion of playmaker Kieran Foran, Luke put the focus back on the side's forwards and said it was their responsibility to provide a platform for their five-eighth.

"It's great to have Foran back but I'm more focused on the middles," said Luke.

"My job is to make sure they are going forward and I failed there last week.

"My job is to make sure they go forward this week and if Kieran does get on then he'll reap the rewards if our boys go forward."

The Warriors looked at their best against the Bulldogs during brief periods when strong charges from wingers Manu Vatuvei and Ken Maumalo helped get their sets started to allow Luke to run from dummy-half.

Coach Stephen Kearney lamented the lack of quick play the balls which made those periods of positive play all too fleeting.

While he's keen to see both Luke and the side's backline provide more in attack, he returns to the point that it all comes down to the efforts of the forwards.

"Do I want Issac giving us more? Of course," said Kearney. "That's what his strength is but it goes part and parcel. You can't have one without the other.

"We had some pretty slow play the balls so that doesn't allow him to get out. That's why I always say it's a collective energy that we need.

"For the forwards it's making sure they're up for it. And they put their hand up and said 'we didn't get it done last week'.

"This week it's a similar challenge."

- NZ Herald

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