Converting chances the focus for Warriors
The Warriors are determined to ensure they turn possession into points this Friday night against the Canterbury Bulldogs after a frustrating performance on the ball last week.
Despite playing through periods of torrential rain in Round 2, the Warriors completed 31 of 36 sets (at a rate of 86 per cent) and enjoyed over half of the possession against the Melbourne Storm, but finished with only two tries and 10 points to show for it.
Coach Stephen Kearney said it had been a focal point at training in the lead-up to meeting the Bulldogs at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.
"Our finish to our sets [is an area we want to improve] which is pretty obvious," Kearney said.
"I think the guys did pretty well [last week], we had I think it was an 86 per cent completion rate in that game, I thought if we take that same sort of attitude to the stadium on Friday then it will be pretty good for us.
"For us it's maximising our opportunities, we had a couple of opportunities in that second half where we just weren't good enough to capitalise on them.
"We need to, you can see the difference with the Melbourne side when they get themselves into those opportunities they generally make you pay for it.
"That's the improvement for us."
The Warriors forced just one repeat set in the 26-10 loss to Melbourne, compared to four against the Newcastle Knights in Round 1, and will be without a key attacking contributor this week after skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck failed to recover from concussion sustained against the Storm.
Halfback Shaun Johnson said it was a matter of improving execution on the ball, rather than inventing new attacking plays.
"Keep running them (the same plays), we have just got to get better and better. This week we are not going to be playing against the Storm and we are going to be playing in drier conditions," Johnson said.
"I don't think you can read too much into 'you didn't score 40-odd points' [last week], I guess the defensive efforts the Storm showed are why they are always at the top of the table.
"In the first half we were running into a head wind with rain and in the second half it died right off.
"We threw plenty at them, they just turned us away.
"There will certainly be a little bit more letting the ball go this week for sure."
With new recruit Kieran Foran still unavailable due to a delay in his comeback from shoulder surgery, 20-year-old Mafoa'aeata Hingano will line up in the No.6 jersey for the third-straight week, with Johnson full of praise for his rookie halves partner.
"He is obviously a very talented kid and it's still crazy to think he is [only 20], he is doing an awesome job," Johnson said of Hingano.
"In the halves, we are always pushing each other and always wanting to make it a competition.
"He is being direct, executing on last play, we don't need him to do anything crazy."