Johnson blasts Warriors
Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson has chastised his team for failing to execute the 'basic fundamentals' required to win a game of rugby league, following a 40-18 loss to Parramatta in their final game of 2016.
Clearly frustrated after his side suffered a late-season collapse to miss the NRL Telstra Premiership finals for the fifth year in a row, the Kiwi international didn't hold back in his appraisal.
"We gave up, again, too many soft tries that we just don't seem to learn our lesson from… it's schoolboy stuff some of it, we train that, we learn that when we are coming through the grades," Johnson said.
"It's basic fundamentals which we don't place enough importance on at the moment, it's hurting us and it hurt us again tonight, it hurt us in the previous games [as well].
"I'm over it, obviously, it is frustrating… we all put in so much effort, we know the talent we have got, the roster we have got and we expect a lot more of ourselves.
"We are holding each other accountable, you can't not call someone up on some of the stuff we are doing.
"There was a period there in the second half where we showed we can stop tries, we can turn away and keep defending and defending, and [all] it takes [is] a bounce of the ball to hit the ground for them to break us open, it's frustrating and it sucks.
"It's just not consistent enough, and that is all I can really say about it."
It was a limp effort from the Kiwi side at Mt Smart Stadium, and one which came after a positive start where the Warriors were 12-0 up after just eight minutes.
Across the next 72 they would spill the ball 15 times, finishing with a completion rate of just 60 per cent, as the Eels took full advantage to cross for seven tries and register their 13th win of the season.
Veteran prop Jacob Lillyman said it shouldn't have even been a contest after his side enjoyed such a strong opening to the game.
"After the start we had there is no way we should have let them back in the game like that," Lillyman told NRL.com.
"We let that one get away, we came out and started really well, we had them on the ropes, we just had to keep doing what we were doing and we were confident we would have come over the top of them.
"It's just disappointing, we had the opportunity to finish off well and we came up short… we just gave them some soft tries and we let them back in the game, no question about it.
"It's going to be a long time dwelling on that one."
Meanwhile Johnson expressed remorse at the situation he felt the playing group had left coach Andrew McFadden in, with the third-year mentor sure to come under heavy scrutiny after overseeing another failed campaign.
"Obviously we have put him in a very vulnerable position," Johnson said of his coach.
"[After the match] he thanked the players that had served the club and there is not much you can say.
"We let him down again and let ourselves down, that's where that's at."