Warriors coach Stephen Kearney believes it's unfair to single out halfback Shaun Johnson for criticism following Saturday's season ending NRL finals defeat to Penrith.

Johnson has copped the brunt of the blame after the Warriors conceded 25 unanswered points to lose 27-12 to the Panthers in their sudden death clash at ANZ Stadium.

The 28-year-old struggled to make an impact while Penrith five-eighth James Maloney dragged his side back from 12-2 down and dominated the match through his brilliant kicking game.

Kearney conceded Johnson was below his best but felt he wasn't alone in a disappointing team performance.


"It's a bit like when we have our very good victories, again everyone plays a part," Kearney told Radio Sport.

"The same can be said when we have losses, everyone plays their part, so to single one person out [is wrong].

"Did I think Shaun played his best game? No I didn't. There were other individuals that were with him too.

"It's not about pointing the finger and blaming (individuals). The experts that make comments like that, I'm happy for them to have their opinions, but from the inside we know that when we play our best footy we're all working to help each other."

The Warriors coaching staff are currently working through their end of season review and examining reasons why they were comprehensively beaten in their first finals appearance in seven years.

Some players may have let the occasion get the better of them and Kearney also wonders whether the intensity of the last fortnight of the regular season took a toll on the team.

"There's many parts to it. But potentially that (big occasion) played a part in it," he said.

"We'd worked really hard the two weeks previous, we put a fair bit into that last time we played the Panthers in round 24. We put a fair bit of energy into the game against the Raiders, for Simon's [Mannering] last game at home, and maybe that played a part too.

"We were up for two big weeks and then we had to get ourselves up for another big game against the Panthers.

"We started off OK but we just made a couple of crucial errors through the middle part of the first half which, [and this] is the lesson in big games, Jimmy Maloney made us pay for.

"He did a wonderful job in managing and controlling the game and we didn't have a great deal to respond with."

In assessing his own performance throughout a season in which the Warriors defied expectations, Kearney paid credit to the work of the club's wider football staff in helping the side improve.

After losing their last nine matches of last season many critics predicted the Warriors would finish with the wooden spoon but they went on to win 15 of 24 games to finish eighth overall.

Kearney was satisfied with the progression but remains focused on helping the club make further improvements when pre-season training begins in November.

"Like I mentioned earlier, about blaming one single player, it's the same, it's a collective effort in how we go as a footy club.

"And the contribution by everyone this year in helping us go forward has been great but the truth is that we weren't good enough and we've got to find ways to be better.

"That's the goal and that's the focus for us moving into next pre-season obviously with 2019 in mind."

Meanwhile, Kearney confirmed negotiations are continuing for the club to re-sign off-contract hooker Issac Luke and bench utility Jazz Tevaga.

"That's a process we've been working through with both of those guys over the course of the last month or so, probably longer, so that will continue."