Four Pointers: New Zealand Warriors 12 Cronulla Sharks 26

Plenty of effort but lack of execution from the Warriors

The Warriors gave their all in last night’s match against the Sharks but unfortunately they lacked execution and gave away multiple errors which can be dangerous when playing a team like the Sharks. The Warriors made a total of 10 errors and conceded 10 penalties. The team played well, both their defence and attack was strong and they made more metres than the Sharks with fewer runs totaling 1549m throughout the full 80 minutes. If the Warriors could eliminate the large amount of errors that creep into their game every week, they would have the potential to be a top eight – possible even a top four contender going into finals football, but unfortunately this won’t be the case this season.

“Mixed. There was some really good stuff there”, Says coach Stephen Kearney. “Our physicality, particularly with our defence was really good at times, but we just let ourselves down with our execution.”

Excellent performance from David Fusitua

David Fusitua was beautiful to watch last night as he ran it hard and made an impact through his tackles. The Warriors forwards in previous years were always known for their physicality and Fusitua brought that back into the game last night – testing the Sharks defence. In recent years the team has been lacking in this aspect of the game and their forward pack has been problematic. It would be nice to see winger Ken Maumalo step up and follow in Fusituas’ footsteps, as he has the size and power behind him to cause some damage to the oppositions defence.

The impact of Fa’amanu Browns’ injury on the game

In the 59th minute, Sharks halfback Fa’amanu Brown received a knee to the head as he went low to tackle Sam Lisone. He was knocked out and looked seriously unwell as medical staff rushed to his side and took him off the field. The process took a few minutes which swung the momentum towards the Sharks favour. Even worse for the Warriors was the fact that the referee awarded the Sharks a penalty and a hand over of the ball which they scored from 2 minutes later. This was a crucial moment as the Sharks were able to dominate and the Warriors never recovered as the game slipped out of their grasp.

Warrior’s coach Stephen Kearney disagreed with the referee’s call by saying, “In all honesty, I didn’t think there was a great deal in it. When you’re running, your knees do lift, so he’s got his head caught in the wrong spot.”

If his knee hadn’t of collided with Browns’ head, there would not have been a penalty for lifting of the knees.

Paul Gallen and Andrew Fifita’s influence on the field

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Sharks’ forwards Paul Gallen and Andrew Fifita had a huge influence on and off the field during last night’s match. When they were on the field, they both made big hit-ups and hard tackles which tested the Warrior’s stamina. Fifita made 2 offloads, 2 tackle breaks and 1 line break assist as well as 25 tackles. Paul Gallen made 3 offloads, 1 tackle break and 30 tackles as well as gaining 159 metres. When the two forwards came off the field for a period of the game, the team noticeably missed their presence and influence they brought to the Sharks overall performance.

Final Score

Warriors 12

Tries: Solomone Kata, Bodene Thompson
Goals: Isaac Luke (2)

Cronulla Sharks 26

Tries: Kurt Capewell, Fa’amanu Brown, Sosaia Feki, Jayson Bukuya
Goals: Valentine Holmes (5)

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