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Effort there for struggling Warriors

Jack Brady, National Correspondent NRL.com Sat, Apr 19, 2014 - 9:15 PM

Warriors try-scorer Manu Vatuvei takes a charge against the Dragons during their Saturday night clash at WIN Jubilee Stadium. Copyright: Robb Cox

Rookie New Zealand Warriors coach Andrew McFadden has defended his side's effort despite their 20-10 loss to St George Illawarra Dragons, in what was their third straight defeat.

Although he is yet to win an NRL match as a coach, McFadden is adamant that rather than a lack of effort the Warriors are lacking decent execution when opportunities present themselves. McFadden brought the problem back to the confidence – or lack there of – in the team.

"There was lots of effort but we just lacked that quality execution, we just made too many errors and again didn't build enough pressure on the opposition," McFadden said.

"We probably lack a bit of confidence at the moment. There's certainly, when we show some conviction with what we do, we trouble teams but we're definitely inconsistent with that. The effort's there but we need to stick with what we've been practising."

McFadden said his side's kicking game was where the game was lost.

"I thought our kicking game was really ordinary and I think that's what hurt us in the end. We didn't build any pressure, we didn't contest any of the kicks, which was a shame because we really did focus on it this week – a bit of that is a probably a structural thing so I'll definitely have a look at it this week," McFadden said.

Warriors captain Simon Mannering agreed with his new coach's qualms,saying that the way they have kicked off 2014 has been disappointing.

"It's nothing new for us at the club, we're usually slow starters. Obviously a few distractions a couple of weeks ago but we're past that and I guess the frustrating thing is that polish at the end – the execution," Mannering said.

"The effort is there, which is pleasing. If we keep that then that's a good cornerstone for us, if we can tidy up a couple of areas then we'll start getting some results."

On a bright note for the Warriors, English fullback Sam Tomkins had arguably his best game since joining the club at the start of the year. Tomkins was especially influential in getting his side back into the game in the second half.

"He's come up with some good plays for us," Mannering said.

"It's probably hard for him with probably the rest of the team not playing great but he's doing some special things and I'm sure once we get into a good rhythm result-wise he'll really start to show up."