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Warriors put heat on halves

After admitting they were disconnected and lacked execution over the past fortnight, the pressure is mounting on the Warriors' new halves pairing to fire this weekend.

The Kiwi side heads into the Round 21 clash against the Newcastle Knights having scored just four tries across their last two games, with coach Stephen Kearney and a number of players believing veteran No.6 Kieran Foran and young halfback Mason Lino haven't been working to the same plan.

Kearney said it was an area they immediately needed to improve on after their last-up 26-12 loss to the Cronulla Sharks in Auckland.

"Obviously execution let us down last week… I thought we got enough opportunities down on the Sharks' try-line, we just didn't capitalise," Kearney said.

"We are just probably missing things by half a metre, half a second at the moment, and it is about making sure that we keep working towards that, so that half a metre or half a second comes our way the next time it presents itself.

"I think they (Foran and Lino) have taken more ownership of that particular area of the game. Obviously Kieran being the senior half in that position… they have got on the same page so to speak. 

"I am sure you will see a clearer idea, in terms of an attacking point of view, of what that looks like this week."

‌Across Round 20 and 21 of NRL Telstra Premiership over the past fortnight only the Canterbury Bulldogs and Gold Coast Titans have scored fewer points than the Warriors, while the Kiwi club have managed only three line breaks in their last 160 minutes of football.

Foran, who has assumed a larger role following the loss of Shaun Johnson to a ruptured PCL, praised Lino for his individual contribution but admitted their combination needs work. 

"It's been OK, it's a new combination, all combinations take time and we are still getting an understanding of one another's game," Foran said.

"But I think he has been really good in his couple of games, we just keep working hard like we have this week and hopefully things click into gear

"Execution, especially in good ball [is want we want to improve]… so we have worked really hard on it again this week."

Meanwhile Foran spoke of a desire to finish his one-year stint with the Warriors on a positive note, despite the club being all but assured of missing out on the finals for sixth-straight year. 

"You have got to really have a lot of pride in the jersey, we have made a commitment to one another that we want to finish the year as strong as we can," Foran said.

"We have got five games to go, we get an opportunity to win all five and finish the season strongly.

"It starts this weekend against Newcastle."


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