RTS: Individual defence not good enough
Star Warriors recruit Roger Tuivasa-Sheck says he is frustrated with the way he has started season 2016, but believes improvement on the defensive side of his game will quickly return him back to top form against Melbourne this Sunday.
By the 22-year-old's own admission he has had a quiet couple games to open his career as a Warrior, as the club recorded back-to-back road losses to the Tigers and Broncos.
Tuivasa-Sheck still managed 200 or more running metres in both matches, and heading into Round 3 led the entire competition in yardage gained.
But it's on the defensive side that the Kiwi international fullback has struggled, missing more tackles than he made in Rounds 1 and 2, including glaring last-man misses which led to opposition tries in both matches.
"I have been disappointed with the way I have been playing and I am definitely keen to pick that back up," Tuivasa-Sheck said ahead of the game at Mt Smart Stadium.
"There is a lot of stuff I have been disappointed with. I have sorted drifted away a bit from my defence, whereas I was priding myself on it last year."
"Coming in [to this season] I was always focussed on how I could work together with Issac Luke, Shaun Johnson and Jeff Robson.
"But I went away from my defensive play and it has showed the last two weeks. It's really important to stick to it and I need to get back into it."
Coach Andrew McFadden believes many viewpoints on his star recruit's first games with the New Zealand side have been misguided, pointing to the nature of the contests as a reason for the lack of razzle dazzle play which Tuivasa-Sheck was known for last year.
"Roger was criticised for not having an impact on the game, but he had about 27 carries and 200-plus metres on the weekend [against Brisbane]," McFadden said.
"If you know anything about football that's the type of game it was.
"I know he hasn't made the line breaks that people think he should be making, but that combination will happen over time with Shaun, Jeff and Issac; that will get better.
"But in terms of his impact on the game on the weekend, that was huge for us.
"He hasn't been caught out of position, he's just missed his tackles. He has been pretty hard on himself and he is working on it."
Tuivasa-Sheck will line up opposite another of the Telstra Premiership's most promising young custodians this weekend in Cameron Munster, who looks set to become a permanent fixture in the Storm No. 1 jersey this year following a season-ending shoulder injury to Billy Slater.