Kearney questions Warriors' efforts

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney has pointed the finger at "individuals" in his side following their 26-10 loss to the Newcastle Knights on Saturday. 

It was a lacklustre performance from the Warriors who have now suffered their fifth straight defeat on the back of losing Shaun Johnson for the remainder of the season.

Despite winning their last four encounters against the bottom-placed Knights, the visitors had no answers for a flamboyant Newcastle outfit that put in their first controlled performance of the season. 

While the Warriors boasted three of the New Zealand Test spine in Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Kieran Foran and Issac Luke, it was Newcastle's young brigade of Brock Lamb and Danny Levi who outperformed their representative opponents. 

‌"It wasn't a pretty first half and didn't get better in the second, it's obvious the group are lacking confidence," Kearney said post-game.

"There were some guys out there that were trying really hard but some from others that were very questionable.

"In this competition you just can't have that.

"I thought the Knights played with a lot of energy on the back of last week's win at home. We're just very disappointed we couldn't match it."

When asked if changes needed to be made with the last month of the regular season all but a write-off to another disappointing year, Kearney hinted it was a possibility. 

"I'll have to have a good think about that," he said.

"If I thought making wholesale changes was going to change some things out there, I would have made changes a while ago."

Looking longer term, Kearney insisted the squad's personnel could change if these results continued.

He went on to further explain the club was in a similar position to the Knights – trying to find themselves in the competition after years of disappointment. 

"If individuals aren't up to getting that done then we'll have to get some new ones in there," he said.

"It's been a tough few years for the footy club and we're trying to turn things around.

"Sometimes when they've had habits that are not good ones it's tough. It's about showing them the way and giving them information on how to do that.

"The idea is to get players in there that know that but I can't click my fingers for that to happen."

The Warriors' depth in recent seasons has been one of the strongest in the competition on the back of quality in their lower grade systems.

The club's Intrust Super Premiership side are coming second on the ladder, however the usually dominant Holden Cup squad are languishing in last place and were thumped 70-4 against the Knights prior to the main game.

"That's one thing I can't change with the click of a finger and there is a lot of things at the club that need to improve," Kearney said.

"We've got scars there that have been there for quite some time and we have to keep chipping away at it.

"There's only one group of people who are going to get us out of this and that's everyone in the dressing sheds."