Cleary laments poor ball control in Warriors loss
They headed into Saturday's match averaging an 80 per cent completion rate, but poor ball control has left Wests Tigers' coach Ivan Cleary searching for answers.
The visitors completed just 22 of their 34 sets and made 16 errors in their 26-4 loss to the Warriors in Auckland - their third straight defeat in the Telstra Premiership.
It was further coupled by conceding 11 penalties as well as David Nofoaluma's and Elijah Taylor's separate stints in the sin bin.
"It wasn't our night tonight," Cleary said.
"We lost Chris Lawrence early then they [Warriors] scored two tries well we had two in the bin. I thought we got off on the wrong foot, we just couldn't nail our opportunities and then made too many mistakes."
Cleary had no issues with Nofoaluma and Taylor both cooling their heels in the sin-bin.
"The first one was an obvious one, dumb play from us, the second one I didn't feel like we were deliberately giving penalties away they were all different, that one was an offside penalty but it's the refs call in the context of the game," he said.
Captain Benji Marshall felt the home side gave the visitors a lesson in ball control, discipline and game management.
"We didn't deal with things well enough tonight. We dropped too much ball and were probably guilty of trying a bit too hard at times,'' he said.
"I thought the effort from the boys was there, but when you are making a lot more tackles than the opposition you start to get tired and we played tired tonight."
Cleary said the biggest difference between the Tigers in the opening four rounds and now is poor ball control.
"It's back to basics for us, if you get the basics right you give yourself a chance to win games and unfortunately we didn't do that tonight," he said.
"It's always tough when you lose, but we don't have a lot of time to dwell on it."
The Tigers have a five-day turnaround before taking on the Cowboys this Thursday night at Leichhardt Oval.