Solomone Kata admits he is struggling for form. It's not yet a major issue but is perhaps symptomatic of the Warriors' season so far, with too many players failing to play anywhere near their potential.

Kata deserves some leeway, as he has been outstanding for the past two seasons, but there is no doubt he hasn't reach those heights in 2017.

Last year, he was almost unstoppable. Simon Mannering was the deserved Warriors player of the season, but Kata was next in line. He scored 15 tries from 21 games - more than any other Warrior - showing a try-scoring instinct and hunger rare at Mt Smart in recent years.

Kata also managed a club-high 17 line breaks and 90 tackle busts, and was a granite presence on the left edge.


He's yet to click this season. It's not drastic, but down on the standards set previously. There have been missed tackles, handling errors and a crucial fumble over the tryline in the 26-10 loss to the Storm.

"I've been struggling a little bit," said Kata. "I can feel it in myself ... I feel like I am not on my level and probably I need to step up more, in my defence and also my attack."

Kata has stood out since he burst on to the scene two years ago. Unlike fellow Tongan Konrad Hurrell, Kata was relentlessly consistent.

He looked like he belonged in the NRL from his first game and has also shown an ability to put bad moments behind him, epitomised in the 2015 match against the Roosters, where he was torn apart by Blake Ferguson in the first half but got revenge in the second.

"I'm pretty sure I will be back there soon," said Kata. "I keep on working hard, preparing well."

Kata might also be feeling the effects of the 2016 Four Nations campaign, where he played every game for the Kiwis. He had some time off in Tonga afterwards but such international tours can take a toll on young players.

Kata has also been criticised for his single-minded approach - he rarely looks to set up his winger - but says that won't be changing.

"If the winger is open, then I try to give it to him, but my main focus is just to run," said Kata.

"If I think I'm going to score, then I'm going to go for it. The main thing for me is my running game and I'm not going to change that."

There are several other youngsters who have performed only intermittently this season.

Albert Vete and Sam Lisone have been down on their output last year, Charlie Gubb has yet to convince he belongs among the best prop rotation at the club and Tui Lolohea has mixed sweet and sour.

Only Ken Maumalo, Bunty Afoa and to a lesser extent Ata Hingano have been consistent for the young brigade.

Unfortunately, Kogarah this Sunday is a daunting place to find form. The Warriors have an awful record against the Dragons, with only five wins in 24 games.

The Dragons have also defied dire pre-season predictions, with many pundits tipping them as wooden spoon contenders due to their modest roster and questions over coach Paul MacGregor.

They enjoyed a huge victory over the Panthers in round one and won a grinding local derby over the Sharks last week.

"They are going well - there is no doubt," said Afoa.