Execution key in Warriors' final hit-out
The New Zealand Warriors have one thing in mind as they prepare for their final trial match before the start of the 2017 NRL season – execution.
In what will be their first trial match in New Zealand for the year, the Warriors will finalise their season preparations against the Gold Coast Titans at Central Energy Trust Arena on Sunday afternoon.
A strong Warriors line-up will take the park, led by captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and star halfback Shaun Johnson.
Stephen Kearney's side will be looking to bounce back from the 30-18 loss they suffered in last week's trial match against the Melbourne Storm, with the Warriors' defence going missing in the second half – giving up an 18-point lead.
Tuivasa-Sheck does not want to see a repeat of that performance, with the 23-year-old urging his team to execute the game plan they have been working on throughout the pre-season.
"We've had some awesome efforts from our young guys already in this pre-season and I expect the same this week," Tuivasa-Sheck said.
"We have to stick to our game plan and execute that. As captain I'm a big part of that.
"It looked like our game plan was working in the first half of the trial against Melbourne when we hit an 18-0 lead, but we wilted away in the second half.
"If we can work on executing it for 80 minutes then we will gain confidence and know it can work."
But execution can only work with a disciplined approach and that it is something the Warriors have struggled with in recent years.
It's something Kearney wants to turn around after arriving from the Broncos in the off-season to take up the full-time head coaching job.
Reducing the penalty count has been the big focus this week after his side conceded almost twice as many as the Storm in last weekend's loss.
"We haven't been helping ourselves with some of the habits we've picked up," Kearney said.
"In the second half last week we gave away a lot of penalties and that put way too much pressure on ourselves.
"When that happens you end up spending a lot of time on your try line and it makes it very hard to keep a lead.
"We need to turn that around and show some discipline."