Storm loss a lesson for Warriors
Warriors coach Stephen Kearney believed his side's 26-10 loss to the Melbourne Storm on Friday night would serve as a reminder of how far they have to go on their journey as a squad.
The Warriors footed it with the Storm for 65 minutes of the contest at Mount Smart Stadium and completed at 86 per cent despite periods of torrential rain, but struggled to produce positive ends to their sets and control the ruck on the other side of the ball.
Kearney said he had "mixed" feelings about the performance, but believed it was clear where the Warriors fell short.
"For me it's a wonderful lesson, you come up against a side like Melbourne and they are a benchmark of the competition," Kearney said.
"They taught us some lessons, but I thought there was some really encouraging signs there, there were just moments in the game that I thought some of our younger players sort of stepped away from [the plan].
"I didn't think we finished off our sets real well and [Melbourne] are pretty lethal with the finish to their sets. I thought that was an area that we probably didn't execute as well as we would have liked.
"The way Melbourne play they don’t give you a great deal, so you have got to really make sure you are executing well.
"I know myself that I think we are on a journey where in terms of the finished product, Melbourne have been that way for quite some time, hence why they play in the finals every year.
"For us that's the journey we are on."
The loss of skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to concussion on 28 minutes was a major blow to the Warriors, and the match appeared to change from that point on, with the home side leaking 14 unanswered points.
In the forced re-shuffle Tuimoala Lolohea moved to fullback, with David Fusitu'a shifting to the wing and usual second-rower Bodene Thompson coming off the bench to play right centre.
Tuivasa-Sheck had played a leading role in last Sunday's 26-22 win over the Knights, running for 251 metres, making a line break and setting up a try, but Thompson told NRL.com that his absence couldn't be used as an excuse.
"Obviously Roger is massive for us and his contribution at the back is phenomenal, so losing him had an impact," Thompson said.
"But with Tui going back there we have faith, and stuff like that is going to happen so we have to be able to adjust and move forward."
Meanwhile Kearney confirmed Tuivasa-Sheck had shown positive signs of a quick recovery ahead of the Round 3 Warriors v Bulldogs match in Dunedin on Friday.
"[Roger] is well, he came good pretty quickly the doc said, but it's a big risk, he fell over there at one stage when he tried to get up," Kearney said.
"That is part of the protocol now if that happens."