Avaiki wins Warriors coaching role

The Warriors have become the first of four clubs in the new NRL women's premiership to appoint their head coach with former Kiwi Ferns captain Luisa Avaiki winning the role.

In an illustrious international 14-year playing career, Avaiki captained the Kiwi Ferns to victory in each of the first three women's World Cup tournaments in 2000, 2003 and 2008.

Avaiki previously coached women's, men's and boys' teams at club and representative level and worked for the Storm as their games development officer and has been the NZRL's well-being and women's development manager since 2016.


She has also represented Samoa in rugby league, rugby union and touch, and, it's believed, is the first woman to have a coaching position with an NRL club.

"Women's rugby league has a long history in New Zealand but the introduction of this competition has taken our game to a whole new level," Avaiki said.

"It's a huge honour having the chance to take up this role."

Kearney upset after theft

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney is filthy with the grub that broke into the club's van and stole their playing strip and equipment, but insists it hasn't affected their build-up for Saturday's game.

"The fact our gear steward had someone follow him home and smash his van at 4am is a pretty ordinary act," Kearney said.

"He feels very uneasy about that, people following him around to get some jerseys and GPS equipment which is of no real use to them.

"But it hasn't affected our preparation."

Discipline needs to improve

Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson admits his side need to improve their discipline after a poor start against Canberra where they conceded six penalties in the first seven minutes.

The Warriors have put themselves under pressure by conceding several penalties in crucial stages of each of their first three games, but can't afford to make the same mistake against the Roosters

"We had no one to blame but ourselves," Johnson said. "We'll look at the video and look at the areas where we are giving penalties away and why and we'll get it right."

Cronk making his mark

Warriors forward Tohu Harris says it is noticeable what Cooper Cronk has brought to the Sydney Roosters.

Harris is looking forward to catching up with his former Storm teammate after the game but has enjoyed seeing Cronk make his mark on the Roosters' play.

"I haven't spoken to him since last year but it will be good to see him on Saturday," Harris said.

"He's a great guy and I get along with him well. You can see the impact he has – he's right in the middle of all of their different structures."

Warriors lead the way in Dally M

Two of the Warriors best early season performers have featured prominently in Dally M votes over the opening three rounds.

Captain and fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is in a three-man race on six votes at the head of the pack, along with Penrith halfback Nathan Cleary and Dragons five-eighth Gareth Widdop.

That man Tohu Harris is one vote behind on five, along with Newcastle duo Mitchell Pearce and Kalyn Ponga, and Dragons back-rower Tyson Frizell.

Hingano set to debut

Former Warriors playmaker Ata Hingano is set to debut for Canberra off the bench in Saturday's clash against Manly.

The 21-year-old joined the Ricky Stuart-coached side less than two weeks before the season started after being granted a release from the Warriors.

Former Dally M Five-eighth of the Year Blake Austin has been demoted to jersey 19 on an extended bench but could still feature given Aidan Sezer remains under an injury cloud following last week's loss to the Warriors.

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