The Warriors are on the board, notching up their first win of the season in round three against the Tigers at Campbelltown on Friday night.
It was a hard-fought 16-12 victory, with tireless defence required to hang on in the second half when the Warriors were a man down following Marcelo Montoya’s exit to the sin bin with 11 minutes to go.
As had been the case in the previous two rounds, the Warriors took a slim lead (14-12) into the sheds at half-time, but on this occasion they managed to stop their opponents scoring in the second half.
Warriors’ tries went to Euan Aitken (11th minute) and Adam Pompey (25th minute), while Reece Walsh kicked two conversion and two penalty goals.
While Head Coach Nathan Brown was happy to get the win, he thought the side played better the previous week.
“We can’t fault the boys’ defence in the cage … the second half especially with 12 men, we were down a few troops with injury .. the effort and that you can’t fault at all but we certainly came up with some disappointing plays in the game which was quite clear for everyone to see,” Brown said at the post-game press conference.
He said some players performed well while others were not at their best.
“There’s some blokes who did some things today which was great. You know, Reece (Walsh) is a talented young player and everyone sees the try assists but his work off the ball for the night, in particular, in the defensive part was the best it’s been since he’s been here, which was great,” Brown said.
“I thought Bayley Sironen had the best game since he’s been at the club. I thought, under difficult circumstances we had some other blokes off their game. I thought Kodi (Nikorima) did pretty well under some circumstances where other blokes in key positions were off their day.”
What the side will look like for their clash with the Brisbane Broncos on Saturday at Moreton Daily Stadium will depend on injuries, with Ash Taylor likely to be out and uncertainty about whether Shaun Johnson will be fit enough to play.
“We’re waiting on some results for Ash but he’s not looking likely in the short-term at all for us,” Brown said.
“Not sure how Shaun is at the moment. He’s tracking along good, he’s a lot better than what he was. Is he going to be fit? I couldn’t answer that until Monday but he certainly won’t be far away. If he’s not fit, he won’t be far away.
“The thing that’s affecting us the most the moment is we can’t put a group of people together that are pretty solid. No one’s looking for remarkable but at the moment, we’re getting some real fluctuations in performance.
“It’s hard to carry people at the NRL level, it’s really difficult. The commitment and effort I think was outstanding … I don’t think anyone could disagree the last 15 minutes of the game the way we scrambled for each other was outstanding and I’m really proud of the boys there but we certainly know we need people with good, solid performances that are going to beat teams.”
Captain Addin Fonua-Blake said defending and hanging on to win, with 12 men, was good for confidence.
“It’s a good feel to know we finished the game like that. Just for the boys to keep turning up for each other and (defend) the try line real well … I think we’ll take a lot of confidence out of that moving forward in the competition,” he said.
The Warriors will play the Brisbane Broncos in round four this Saturday, April 2 at 2pm at Moreton Daily Stadium.
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