Kieran Foran was the centre of attention at the Warriors media session today, with coach Stephen Kearney leaping to the defence of his star recruit.
Kearney was responding to comments made by former Kiwis and Warriors coach Frank Endacott, who suggested Foran's recent less-than-dazzling form was because he had "clocked off early".
Foran will join the Bulldogs next year, ending his one-year stay at Mt Smart.
By Michael Burgess
Kieran Foran was the centre of attention at the Warriors media session on Wednesday, with coach Stephen Kearney leaping to the defence of his star recruit.
Kearney was responding to comments made by former Kiwis and Warriors coach Frank Endacott on Tuesday, who suggested Foran's recent less than dazzling form for the Auckland club was because he had `clocked off early'.
Foran will join the Bulldogs next year, ending his eventful one year stay at Mt Smart.
The 27-year-old made an impressive start to his Warriors career, with superb displays in his first two games, and has been crucial to several important victories this season.
However he played below his own high standards in the narrow loss to Manly in Perth, then had a quiet match in the 34-22 defeat to Penrith last Friday.
But Kearney pointed out that inconsistency had been common across the team, and Foran was by no means the only Warriors guilty on that front.
"I think there's been stages where everyone hasn't been at their best and to single out Kieran is pretty ordinary," he said."Has he been at his best? Absolutely not. "But he's not by himself there, so I don't think he's clocked out early."
Foran made 16 tackles - without a miss - against the Panthers - but only carried three times for 13 metres. And he failed to take control of the team after Shaun Johnson left the field injured in the 62nd minute.
"I thought he did some okay things early in the contest and I'm not going to be really critical of Kieran because it is a team sport," added Kearney.
With rookie halfback Mason Lino coming for his first NRL grade in almost two years on Saturday, the Warriors' hopes of an unlikely victory in Townsville are surely dependant on a strong display from the Kiwis No6.
"My expectation is that you will see a better performance from Kieran this week," said Kearney. "[But] I'm not putting any extra load on him. He's a competitor. What I know about Kieran [is that] if I tell him Frank's been getting into him I'm sure he'll bristle up and put in a good performance.