Coach finds a silver lining

Published 5:00pm 2 June 2022

Coach finds a silver lining
Words by Kylie Knight

Vodafone Warriors coach Nathan Brown has found positives in his side’s recent performances, despite losing the past four games and five of their past six.

As he prepares for Saturday’s trip to Manly Sea Eagles, Brown says the Warriors have “moved forward” in their past two performances.

“I don’t think there is any lack of accountability (for performances), but there has been a lack of getting everyone, on the same day, on the same page,” he says.

“We still need to get 15-16 blokes out there on the same day to give a solid performance.

“We haven’t got the puzzle right yet, I’m aware of that, but our younger players are all getting a lot better.

“And on the recruitment front we have some outstanding young players coming to the club next year.”

His comments follow the Warriors' 24-16 loss the Newcastle Knights at Moreton Daily Stadium last Saturday. 

Photo gallery

Images by Dominika Lis

Forward Jack Murchie admitted: “It does hurt when we are right in the game and losing those moments. But we’re working on it and I’m sure we’ll fix it up in the next couple of weeks.

“I think it is just awareness. Moments in the game when we know we have to be clean in certain situations, knowing we have to get it right here.”

Bayley Sironen echoed his teammate saying he was a “firm believer we can give this competition a crack whatever team we put out there”.

Welcome return

First-choice hooker Wayde Egan and second-rower Sironen return from injury lay-offs in a revamped Vodafone Warriors side for Saturday night’s 13th-round NRL encounter with Manly Warringah at 4 Pines Stadium in Sydney (7.35pm kick-off local time; 9.35pm NZT).

They’ve both been unavailable for the past three matches, Egan with a calf injury and Sironen with osteitis pubis.

Egan slots straight back into the starting hooker’s job after utility forward Jazz Tevaga, recent signing Freddy Lussick and Taniela Otukolo filled the void against South Sydney, St George Illawarra and Newcastle.

It will be Egan’s 48th appearance for the club putting him on track to achieve the 50-game mark against former club Penrith on June 18. Sironen is on the interchange.

There’s a change in the centres with Rocco Berry returning to replace the injured Viliami Vailea. Berry will be playing his sixth match of the season and his first since the defeat by the Sharks.

While Egan and Sironen are back, Josh Curran’s hoped-for return has been delayed by a week as he continues to recover from the MCL knee injury he picked up in the Anzac Day loss to Melbourne.

Egan’s comeback sees Lussick moving out of the side named in jersey #18 while Otukolo is retained on the interchange after making his sixth appearance for the club last Saturday.

Squad shapes up

As of this round, clubs are now required to name a 22-man squad on Tuesday rather than 24 players which applied for the first half of the season.

The five additional players outside the listed playing 17 are Lussick, prop Dunamis Lui, back-rower Eliesa Katoa, half Daejarn Asi and centre Jesse Arthars.

The Sea Eagles sit 11th on the NRL ladder on 10 points - just one place and one win ahead of the Vodafone Warriors.

They have lost their last three matches to Brisbane, Parramatta and Melbourne.

This is one of only four matches being played in a split round ahead for the opening game in the 2022 State of Origin series next week.

The Sea Eagles have lost captain Daly Cherry-Evans to the Maroons while fullback Tom Trbojevic is out for the season.


VODAFONE WARRIORS v MANLY WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES

4 Pines Stadium, Sydney

7.35pm, Saturday, June 4

VODAFONE WARRIORS

1 REECE WALSH

2 DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK

3 ROCCO BERRY

4 ADAM POMPEY

5 MARCELO MONTOYA

6 CHANEL HARRIS-TAVITA

7 SHAUN JOHNSON

8 BEN MURDOCH-MASILA

9 WAYDE EGAN

10 JAZZ TEVAGA

11 EUAN AITKEN

12 TOHU HARRIS (c)

13 JACK MURCHIE

Extended bench:

14 TANIELA OTUKOLO

15 BUNTY AFOA

16 AARON PENE

17 BAYLEY SIRONEN

18 FREDDY LUSSICK

20 DUNAMIS LUI

21 ELIESA KATOA

22 DAEJARN ASI

23 JESSE ARTHARS

Head coach | Nathan BROWN

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