Tuivasa-Sheck gets Warriors back on track by making it personal
Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck admitted his own form had suffered by worrying about the team's inconsistent performances after returning to his best in Saturday's 18-12 defeat of St George Illawarra at WIN Stadium.
Tuivasa-Sheck had been below par by his high standards in recent weeks but he played a significant role in the Warriors win, constantly troubling the Dragons defence with his dazzling footwork and producing a trysaving tackle just before halftime.
"I just had to take it a bit personal and come out and make sure I had myself ready to go," Tuivasa-Sheck said. "Too many times I have tried to get the team up and pumping but I think I forgot about myself and my own preparation.
"That's what today was about. I was pleased I was able to go back to a few of my things in the first half."
The superstar fullback ran 190 metres with the ball in the first half and produced two line breaks, including one that appeared set to result in a try until Dragons opposite Matt Dufty grabbed his shorts as he pushed past to win the race for a grubber by Tuivasa-Sheck.
Dufty was sin-binned for the incident and the Warriors capitalised to score tries through Solomone Kata and Issac Luke but it was a 38th-minute tackle by Tuivasa-Sheck on St George Illawarra centre Tim Lafai that turned the game.
Had Lafai scored, Dufty would have returned from the sin bin with his side trailing by just six points but Tuivasa-Sheck managed to reef the ball loose over the tryline.
Kata then scored his second try as Dufty was waiting to return to the field to give the Warriors an 18-0 lead at halftime.
"I thought it was a huge play and there has been a number of times this year where Roger has come up with a play like that," Warriors coach Stephen Kearney said.
"He sets a high standard, he is not happy when he is an eight out of 10 and I could just see this week in his body language that he was very determined to make sure that he led the way. I thought his carries today and that defensive effort on Tim Lafai epitomised what Roger is all about."
Kearney was pleased with the way the Warriors responded after last weekend's 36-12 loss to the Titans, in which they conceded 28 unanswered second-half points.
After two quick tries by the Dragons at the start of the second half, the Warriors ensured there was no repeat of the capitulation on the Gold Coast with some desperate defence.
"There was a 6-1 penalty count in the second half and for the boys to defend the way they did and to find a way to come on top, I was just really pleased for them," Kearney said.
"I made a harsh read on our performance last week and this week I just thought they were really tough out there and found a way to get the result.
"It has been a challenging week in a lot of ways. We had to have a decent mirror in front of us on Monday morning, to have a good look at ourselves, and the boys responded really well.
"They prepared well, trained well and came out against a top four footy team and I thought the way the guys hung in there to get the result was a real positive."
The win keeps the Warriors four points clear of ninth place and should ensure the club's first finals berth since 2011.