Warriors 22 Eels 10

Momentum is building at Mt Smart.

No one knows how far this team will progress in 2017, but today's 22-10 victory over Parramatta showed the Warriors are on an upwards trajectory.

After a quarter of the NRL season, there is some evidence of a team that is gaining belief, confidence and cohesion.

They are by no means the finished product - and still look susceptible defensively - but thankfully there are signs of progress.


Just achieving back to back NRL victories has been a rarity for the Auckland club. It hadn't happened since last August, and they only managed it four times across the entire 2016 season.

Perhaps more significantly, the Warriors hadn't restricted an opposing side to just 10 points since last June, when they outlasted the Roosters at Mt Smart.

They were fortunate today, with the Eels having two tries (correctly) rubbed out by the bunker, and the Sydney team also made some poor decisions in prime attacking positions.

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney and captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck speak following their 22-10 NRL win over Parramatta.

But the Warriors tackled with grit and heart, they defended like it actually meant something, and got their reward.

Coach Stephen Kearney admitted their defence "set up the win", as did an extremely high Warriors completion rate, measured at 95 per cent in the first half.

"When you are handing the ball to the opposition and they have got to go 100m to score, it sets things up," said Kearney. "To do that, you have to defend well and take the opportunities away from a team that have got some real attack in them."

Kearney also, quite correctly, played down the win, indicating that no one at Mt Smart is getting carried away. It's a message that will be reinforced over the next few days, with intimidating road trips to Canberra and Melbourne in the next two weeks.

"It was okay," said Kearney. "The guys set it up in the first half when they made one error. At the start of the second half Parramatta got a bit of momentum there. I was pleased with the way the guys responded and wrestled it back from them. It was okay [but] I know we have so much more improvement in us."

Parramatta coach Brad Arthur and captain Tim Mannah speak following their 22-10 NRL loss to the Warriors.

Prop James Gavet was again outstanding. He gave no quarter on attack or defence, and some of his charges from the back fence inspired memories of cult heroes like Hitro Okesene and Iafeta Paleaaesina in their prime.

Kearney has, from somewhere, also found the instruction manual to get the best out of Issac Luke, with the hooker thriving off the back of a committed pack.

The partnership between Kieran Foran and Shaun Johnson continues to build and Foran will take quiet satisfaction from his match turning break in the 62nd minute. With the game in the balance at 16-10 - after the Eels had dominated the third quarter - Foran produced a trademark sniping run down the blindside, before sending Ken Maumalo away for the game sealing try.

The Eels were hurt by the pre-game loss of Bevan French, though their backline functioned admirably with the reshuffle. The game turned in a ten minute spell before halftime, with Bodene Thompson (two) and Simon Mannering crossing for tries. The Warriors attack still looked disjointed at times but the direct approach of Foran and the extra latitude offered to Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Shaun Johnson as a result again made a difference.

Warriors 22 (B Thompson 2, S Mannering, K Maumalo tries; S Johnson 3 goals)
Eels 10 (N Brown, J Hoffman tries; C Gutherson goal)
Halftime: 16-6