Herald rugby league writer David Skipwith lists three things we learned from the Warriors' 36-4 loss to the Rabbitohs yesterday.
1. Rabbitohs forward rotation hard to handle
The Warriors started well with their forwards muscling up in defence but the Rabbitohs pack began to gain the upper hand throughout the second quarter through their superior forward rotation.
Led by prop Tom Burgess and Kiwis test hooker Issac Luke, the Rabbitohs forwards absorbed the Warriors' early enthusiasm before bench men George Burgess (158m), Tim Grant (113m) and Chris Grevsmuhl (109m) arrived to lift their go-forward.
For the Warriors, starting props Jacob Lillyman (121m) and Ben Matulino (107m) were effective but their young and relatively inexperienced interchange forwards were found wanting, with Sam Lisone (70m) the only player to make more than 50 metres.
2. Ball control and defence lacking
The Warriors' ball control was woeful with 14 errors ruining their hopes of building sustained pressure and ruining several promising attacking chances.
In just his second NRL game, Warriors right wing Ken Maumalo stood tall with a busy display that included 15 runs for 149m, but he, along with fullback Tui Lolohea and back-rower Ryan Hoffman, each made three uncharacteristic errors, and Shaun Johnson and Bodene Thompson both committed two mistakes.
Soft defence compounded their troubles with the Warriors missing 37 tackles as the Rabbitohs broke the line on nine occasions, with their outside backs running riot with a glut of front-foot ball.
Fullback and captain Greg Inglis ran for a remarkable 244m that included five tackle busts, two line break assists and a try assist, and Dylan Walker (125m), Bryson Goodwin (125m), Aaron Gray (118) and speedster Alex Johnston were all impressive.
3. Perth trip a recurring nightmare
The Warriors need to do everything they can to avoid playing in Perth again next season after crashing to their seventh defeat in as many visits to the Western Australia capital.
Despite leaving Auckland on Wednesday - as they have the two previous years - the long-haul trip and five-hour time difference doesn't agree with the Warriors, who looked lethargic and lacked energy during key points of the match.
The record 20,272 NIB Stadium crowd will ensure the Rabbitohs will want to book this clash in for 2016 but the Warriors should appeal to the NRL to avoid making the 5300km trip for a fifth straight year.