Sometimes the ugly wins are just as important as the extravagant ones in the NRL, and following a 19-10 win over the Broncos on Saturday night, Warriors coach Andrew McFadden was pleased with his ‘scrappy team’.
After a sluggish first 20 minutes of the match, where they found themselves 6-0 down and fighting against a high error count, the Warriors edged the Broncos out off the back of some defensive grit.
“It was a pretty hard fought win I thought,” McFadden said.
“I certainly think we have played better footy, but to get the two points in a scrappy affair was what we needed at this time of the year.
“They don’t go away the Broncos, they are a really competitive side, so we are very happy with the win.”
The Warriors came up with 23 missed tackles, which by their 2014 standards is an achievement; prior to the Broncos game the New Zealanders averaged 28 per match.
But perhaps most impressive was their ability to hold the Broncos out through sustained periods, including three occasions where Brisbane earned repeat sets.
“We pretty much won that on defence which is pretty pleasing,” McFadden said.
“We only conceded 10 points so that is a real positive sign.”
McFadden, in just his ninth game as head coach, also praised his side’s response to conceding a 60th-minute try to Ben Barba, which had the potential to shift the balance back in favour of the visitors.
“That really could have changed the momentum, but we managed to stifle their attack after that and we hung on,” he said.
Captain Simon Mannering said coming up with nine errors put his side under unnecessary pressure, and was disappointed with slow starts to both halves.
“They definitely put us under pressure. We put ourselves under pressure as well and they capitalised,” he said.
“We probably only had small stages in that game where we controlled it, and we definitely made it hard on ourselves tonight.
“It [the defence] got better, we probably started both halves pretty poorly defensively.
“But we turned up for each other on our line.”
The win was only the second occasion this season where the Warriors have managed to keep an opponent to under 16 points, but McFadden admitted to some early nerves as his side struggled to get into the game
“That is certainly a concerning thing,” he said.
“I am not sure if it was [because of] the bye, because last time we came off a week off we came out pretty good.
“I felt it before the game…that we were probably not quite as focused as we should be, so that is certainly something we will talk about during the week.
“You can feel it usually; when your players are switched on you can just feel it.”
The Warriors now have the luxury of their next two games being at home, but face tough opposition in the Eels and ladder-leading Panthers.