Ball control the defensive key for Warriors

After leaking 24 unanswered points in the space of 44 minutes last week against the Roosters, the Warriors insist the issue isn’t actually with their defence.

 

The Roosters ran rampant against the Kiwi side at Allianz Stadium, racking up seven line breaks and 2085 run metres on their way to scoring four tries.

But ahead of hosting Manly at Mount Smart Stadium this Saturday afternoon the Warriors believe the key to conceding fewer points is to be more economical in attack.

"I think it was just the amount of pressure we put on ourselves with the ball in hand, making fundamental errors that we can't afford to make," fullback Sam Tomkins explained.

"I think we completed at [71 per cent] for the game and against a team as good as the Roosters they are going to punish you for that. 

"With only [43 per cent] of the ball, and a lot of that coming out of our own end, we didn’t have a lot of chance at the other end."

The Warriors have struggled with errors all season long, and are tied for the most in the competition heading into Round 20.

But in the three games prior to the Roosters loss they were averaging 31 points per game with only 12 conceded, and coach Andrew McFadden said more respect for the ball would quickly get them back to where they need to be.

"Ball control is a very important one, when we did hold onto the ball [against the Roosters] we created some good opportunities," McFadden said.

"Early in the game we still snuck through a few times, there were some good things in our game but we certainly let ourselves down with our ball handling.

"Once they got in front it was always going to be a long way back, they are a very good defensive team.

"Definitely in the second half when we just started to hang in there, it could have got away from us but we fought right throughout the 80 minutes.

"We probably gave ourselves a little reminder that we can't look too far ahead. We really have to stay in that week-to-week. 

"There's a long way to go and it's a still a very congested table. It starts with Manly this weekend."

Meanwhile second-rower Bodene Thompson said his side would be taking no notice of where the Sea Eagles sit on the ladder, instead focussing on the talent and ability Geoff Toovey's side will bring to Auckland. 

The Sea Eagles sit six points and places behind the Warriors on the table, and probably need to win all of their remaining games if they are to play finals footy this year.

"They are a tough team Manly, they are always going to fight back up," said Thompson, who had stints with the Titans and Tigers before moving to the Warriors this year.

"We can't take them lightly and they have heaps of high-calibre players in their team.

"Manly is just a team that will fight until the end, they have always been that kind of team.

"Come finals time they are always in the hunt and I am sure they will be pushing for a win this week."

Video courtesy of warriors.kiwi