Kearney criticises short turnaround following loss to Sharks
Frustrated New Zealand Warriors coach Stephen Kearney has questioned the logic of a short turnaround for a number of his players following their 18-15 defeat at the hands of the Sharks.
In-form winger David Fusitu'a was a late withdrawal at Mt Smart Stadium, with utility Peta Hiku his replacement.
The away side won it late, with a contentious forward pass which couldn't be ruled on by the NRL Bunker, but Kearney was in no mood to ponder what might have been.
"It is tough, I'll just leave it at that,'' the Warriors coach said when pressed about the final pass before Cronulla winger Edrick Lee crossed in the 78th minute.
"I will need some explaining about a few calls ... my opinion doesn't count though, it is the person right next to it [touch judge] who matters.
"In key moments we need to better ... we came out of the box early, but overall we didn't execute as we would have liked.
"We were very unlucky in the end."
Kearney was equally concerned about the workload of his players, labelling the situation "not ideal".
"The stress we put the guys under, to play after the representative round, plenty has been said about it this week,'' he said.
"From memory, I've heard five different [NRL] coaches voice their opinion about the matter, that tells you the story.
"We just have to work through it, I'll let other people deal with it, I have a footy game to prepare for at Panthers Stadium next week."
The frustrating defeat was further compounded after back-rower Tohu Harris (knee) and Bunty Afoa (elbow) failed to finish the match.
Both will have scans over the next few days to determine the severity of the injuries.
Kearney was fearful Afoa's could be season-ending.
"It looks like a dislocation, we will just have to wait and see,'' he said.