Kearney takes positives from Warriors win
Warriors coach Stephen Kearney says despite a "sheepish" start, he is pleased with the way his side was able to get the result against the Melbourne Storm in Saturday's trial match.
Kearney rolled out a mix of youth and experience in front of a vocal Rotorua crowd, his side getting the job done 20-16 over a depleted Storm side without any notable first graders.
"There were some really nice patches there. In terms of expectations this early, I was pleased. For the most part it was good and there are some real positive signs," Kearney said.
"I think we started a bit sheepish, a bit slow there as a group but overall I'm pretty happy with what I saw."
One encouraging sign for both coach and fans was the right-edge combination of Peta Hiku and Tongan international David Fusitua.
The pair terrorised the Melbourne defence throughout the first 40, Fusitua scoring on the end of a backline move around the 30-minute mark.
Kearney said the combination shouldn't come as a surprise.
"They're both class players so if you give them some ball anywhere near the tryline, particularly David, they have a good habit of getting the ball down," he said.
"I think there are some really good signs on that side but also on the left with Kata and Ken (Maumalo) there so overall yeah, I was pretty happy."
The game was Hiku's first in a Warriors jumper since running out in the club's NYC team in 2012.
"It's great to be home," Hiku said.
"The body is feeling awesome, I was excited to come out today and have a run around and it feels good to be back in this jersey for sure."
Hiku was quick to credit his flying winger for a solid performance and said he hoped the combination could continue to develop.
"No matter where I'm put i'm just happy to be out on the field but jeez, David (Fusitua) makes things a lot easier on the right," Hiku said.
"Early ball and that guy can do anything. He's a really special player and that combination between him and myself felt pretty good."
The Warriors will head to the Sunshine Coast next Saturday to take on the Gold Coast Titans.