Warriors coach Stephen Kearney was full of praise for back-up halfback Mason Lino and new five-eighth Blake Green following last night's stunning 30-6 NRL win over the Sydney Roosters.
Lino turned in a superb performance filling in for star playmaker Shaun Johnson who missed the Allianz Stadium match with a groin strain, with the 24-year-old scoring the Warriors opening try, setting up another for wing David Fusitu'a, and booting seven goals from as many attempts to clinch the side's fourth-straight season-opening victory.
The four-tries-to-one result was Lino's first NRL win in his 10th outing since his debut in 2015, and the one-test Samoan international turned the tables on the club's poor record that's seen them lose their last 12 matches without Johnson leading their attack.
Many critics believed the Warriors had left themselves short on halves after granting five-eighth Ata Hingano a release to join Canberra less than two weeks before the start of the season, but Lino proved he was a more than capable replacement with a confident and mature display.
Alongside the more experienced Green, the pair thoroughly outplayed their highly-rated opposites in Roosters halves Cooper Cronk and Luke Keary.
"Mason's one of those guys you want at a footy club," Kearney said.
"He doesn't whinge a great deal and he just gets on with the job.
"He's a real pro and is always trying to make himself better and he probably doesn't possess some of the talent that some of the halfbacks in the game have, but what he has got is a wonderful attitude.
"It's his first NRL win and, as he told me, it's his first NRL try and his first NRL game with 100 per cent with his kicks, so I was just really pleased for him."
Meanwhile, new recruit Green continues to impress in the No6 jersey with the seven-club veteran launching himself into discussions for State of Origin selection for New South Wales after another composed and controlled performance.
The 31-year-old played a hand in their three first-half tries to Lino, second-rower Leivaha Pulu and centre Solomone Kata, and produced three moments of brilliance within two minutes during the second-half, when he shut down Roosters hooker Jake Friend on the last tackle, kicked a 40/20 to put his side on attack, and followed up with a grubber to earn another repeat set.
"I tell you what, if he was a Kiwi I'd be looking at him for the Kiwis," Kearney said.
"He's got a real calming influence and I don't want to embarrass him, but he's made a wonderful contribution to our footy club and will continue to do so.
"He's a footballer and a real pro with how he goes about his business, so I'm pleased he's in our team."
Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck departed with 10 minutes remaining after aggravating an elbow injury, but the inspirational fullback is expected to be fit to play next Saturday's double-header clash against North Queensland at Mt Smart Stadium.
Johnson's injury is not considered serious and he along with prop James Gavet, who also missed the match with a hamstring strain, are both a chance to return as they hunt a fifth-straight win.
Veteran forward Simon Mannering is also on track to play his first game of the season after suffering a shoulder injury in the Warriors final pre-season trial against the Titans five weeks ago.
"[Tuivasa-Sheck] hurt it before which is why it was strapped up and then the young lad Latrell [Mitchell] gave it another little flatten-out, but he should be ok," said Kearney.
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