Kearney hopes loyalty will pay off
After succumbing to their fifth defeat in seven matches few would have considered it harsh to see the selection axe swung at Warriors HQ this week, but coach Stephen Kearney insists that wouldn't be the best approach right now.
Despite going down 32-24 to the Parramatta Eels last Friday, a result which sees them languishing in 12th position heading into Round 14, Kearney resisted the urge to adjust his squad with James Gavet (hamstring) the sole omission from last week's 17 ahead of Saturday night's meeting with the Gold Coast Titans at Cbus Super Stadium.
But while sections of the fan base have been baying for blood, Kearney said he was confident in his stance.
"It gets a bit frustrating for everyone but it's important I set a standard and a tone and to make wholesale changes, in my eyes, is not the right thing to do," Kearney said.
"I thought that same group of players did a pretty good job the week before (in a 28-10 victory over the Brisbane Broncos) and [did again] apart from a few moments in the match against Parramatta.
"When we talk about getting consistency… I trust that they have the ability to do the job and that's why I am persevering with the selection choice.
"We have a certain expectation and a certain standard that we want to play to every week and I didn't think we did that on Friday night.
"[But] it's about this week and getting them ready to perform this week, I am not focussed on the past."
The Warriors have used 26 players at NRL level so far this year and possess some quality depth, best displayed by the fact that their reserve-grade side currently sits second on the Intrust Super Premiership ladder with nine wins from their first 13 games.
Veteran back-rower Simon Mannering said the squad was behind Kearney's selection policy and believed the current crop deserved a chance to turn things around.
"We have got faith in what we are doing and even more so in the players that are here," Mannering said.
"He (Kearney) has obviously shown that faith and as a team we have shown that we can do it.
"I definitely don't think it's a personnel thing, it's just a matter of us doing the job together on the field and not having those little lapses between weeks where we are slightly off our game in certain areas."
Mannering also called on the senior playing group to do a better job in leading by example, and admitted several experienced players had put their hand up this week to admit personal shortcomings against the Eels.
"For us as senior players we definitely let the team down and that's really unfortunate because we have got a very important role for the side, and I guess when our senior players aren't performing it reflects on the younger guys," he said.
"First and foremost it's our job to make sure we are leading the right way and that's with our performance. If we do that week in, week out then our young guys are going to follow."