Tough love turns the tide for Warriors
Stephen Kearney has revealed some tough love was the catalyst for the Warriors' dramatic turnaround.
One week after being thumped 50-10 by Melbourne, the Warriors bounced back on Saturday night to put away the Wests Tigers 26-4 in Auckland.
In stark contrast to their opening to the Storm clash, the home side came out of the gates firing against the Tigers - led by the hard running of four key players in particular.
Starting props Bunty Afoa and Agnatius Paasi and wing pair Ken Maumalo and David Fusitua each ran for more than 100 metres, and between them combined for more than 600 metres gained.
Kearney revealed he singled out his wingers after the Melbourne loss and challenged them to respond.
"Truthfully that's their job, if we put you on the wing that's what we expect out of you," Kearney said.
"I challenged both of them after last week. Ken gets our sets off to really good starts, as does David and Roger (Tuivasa-Sheck), and after our last performance while everyone had to take some ownership for it I particularly asked David and Ken to respond."
And the message got through.
Maumalo finished with 178 metres and a try while Fusitua dotted down for his 11th of the season to go with his 125 metres.
Fusitua is now tied with Melbourne's Josh Addo-Carr atop the competition's leading try-scorer list.
"I thought the way those two responded was first class so now, they know what it looks like and they prepared really well during the week so that's the standard. I was really pleased for them both," Kearney said.
Captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck also credited the work of his fellow men at the back for the win.
Now sitting at outright second on the Telstra Premiership ladder, he feels his side have their mojo back after being humbled by the premiers.
"This gives the boys a lot of confidence, for sure," Tuivasa-Sheck said.
"I know a lot of us were really hurting after that Melbourne loss. To come back and go back to our ways and take confidence out of the way we have done things all year and what we know works, it was really pleasing as a group."
This week the Warriors are back at Mt Smart Stadium, where they are yet to lose a game this year, to face the Sydney Roosters on Saturday.