Warriors coach Stephen Kearney believes Friday's 26-10 NRL defeat to Melbourne taught his side a harsh lesson in executing plays under pressure.

Kearney was dissatisfied with the Warriors last tackle options, with halfback Shaun Johnson kicking poorly and unable to apply any sustained pressure on the Storm.

The 26-year-old ran well in the first half, delivering the last pass for Tui Lolohea's try before stepping his way over for his side's second four-pointer, which took him past Stacey Jones' club point-scoring record.

However, his first three kicks were ineffective and he sent another into touch on the full two minutes before halftime. His range improved in the second half with the Storm starting sets closer to their own line but a lack of variety left fullback Cameron Munster mostly untroubled.

In contrast, the Storm utilised the kicking of captain Cameron Smith, five-eighth Riley Jacks, and halfback Cooper Cronk, all within the first four minutes of play, and each performed with purpose and precision.


Cronk's second kick was pin-point in finding Kenny Bromwich for the Storm's first try and a well-placed bomb almost led to Munster scoring their second, which eventually came when Cheyse Blair grounded a grubber from the reigning Dally M and Golden Boot winner.

"There's certainly areas of improvement for him," Kearney said of Johnson's kicking display.

"Could he have been better in that side of his game? Of course he could have.

"That's a lesson for him. When we're in positions where we're up against a side like Melbourne, who execute their last play really well, it's a matter of making sure that he matches that."

While Johnson's radar was off, young five-eighth Ata Hingano again performed strongly in his fourth first grade match. The 19-year-old defended well and scrambled to hoist a high ball in the lead-up to Lolohea's score, and a well-weighted grubber should have earned a vital second half try, but for a fumble from Solomone Kata.

With Kieran Foran approaching full fitness and veteran wing Manu Vatuvei ready to reclaim his spot on the left flank after two games in reserve grade, Kearney will face some difficult selections in the coming weeks.

Ken Maumalo's strong charges and high work rate on the left wing will not go unnoticed, after he managed a team-high 159 metres from 17 runs, having been second only to captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck in last week's win over Newcastle.

Right wing Lolohea has been less convincing, mixing touches of class with some glaring defensive lapses in both matches.

After overrunning and then slipping past the ball in the lead-up to Blair's try, Lolohea shifted to fullback after Tuivasa-Sheck was concussed but looked unsteady at the back in difficult conditions.

The 22-year-old has now played 50 NRL games but has been a victim of his own versatility, appearing in every backline position since debuting late in the 2014 season.

With Tuivasa-Sheck needing to pass follow-up tests before Friday's clash against the Bulldogs in Dunedin, Kearney may need to weigh up the merits of having Lolohea's talents on hand, or whether to switch Maumalo to the right side to accommodate Vatuvei's return.