Everyone has off days. Unfortunately for young Warriors star Reece Walsh, one of his happened to come along with the team having little room for error in their run towards the NRL playoffs.
Walsh's performance in the team's 24-22 loss to Brisbane last weekend was solid. He ran for well over 100m, made metres after contact, broke tackles and assisted a try. However, the match will be remembered for his performance off the kicking tee, where he missed four of his five shots at goal.
Heading into the game, Walsh had been successful on 18 of his 22 shots at goal (82 per cent). Following last weekend's game, his success rate dropped to 70 per cent.
The two-point loss saw Walsh's kicking performance brought into the spotlight, with his lack of success leading to Warriors coach Nathan Brown fielding questions about whether the young fullback would retain to role with several other goal kickers in the side.
However, Brown backed Walsh to retain the role.
"We all have off days. It doesn't make you a bad goal kicker. Good people have bad days, and he just had a bit of a bad day," Brown said.
"We'll stick with Reece. His goal kicking had been superb until the other day. There's certainly no reason to change.
"It's just a part of life for Reece, it's a part of his journey about learning and preparation and obviously he understands how important goal kicking is, but if he goal kicks for the next 12 years, he'll have other times where he misses important goals because the more you do it, the more chance you have.
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"The key thing is that he wants to take it. He wants to do it, he kicks well, and he'll win us a lot more than he loses, I'm pretty confident."
Walsh will continue kicking in Friday night's match against the Canberra Raiders. It's a match the Warriors need to win if they're to have any hope of appearing in the playoffs, with plenty of other results needing to go their way as well.
The Kiwi side welcome back Kodi Nikorima, who missed last weekend's match due to the birth of his child, while prop duo Matt Lodge and Kane Evans are also available for the match. Sean O'Sullivan has been restored to the starting line-up after being replaced by Chad Townsend in the lead-up to their game against Brisbane. Townsend and O'Sullivan link up in the halves, with Chanel Harris-Tavita out nursing a foot injury.
Warriors: Reece Walsh, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Peta Hiku, Adam Pompey, Marcelo Montoya, Sean O'Sullivan, Chad Townsend, Addin Fonua-Blake, Wayde Egan, Matthew Lodge, Josh Curran, Euan Aitken, Bayley Sironen.
Interchange: Kodi Nikorima, Bunty Afoa, Eliesa Katoa, Jazz Tevaga, Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, Rocco Berry, Kane Evans, Jack Murchie (four to be omitted).