Four Pointers: New Zealand Warriors 14 St George Illawarra Dragons 30

Disgraceful defence from Warriors

The Warriors defence was not on point in last nights match against the Dragons. The team missed a whopping 57 tackles throughout the game and allowed the Dragons to make 9 line breaks which led to tries. The Warrior’s left gaping holes in their defence specifically in the middle which the Dragons targeted and steam-rolled through.

Coach Stephen Kearney acknowledged that the team’s defence needs to be improved, “However we unfixed it, we need to fix it,” He went on to say, “A lot of that is in attitude, in working together, and I thought there were some efforts out there from individuals but we weren’t working collectively.”

In round 9 the Warriors defence was impressive against Melbourne Storm who they managed to hold out time after time while only allowing them 2 line breaks and 28 missed tackles but it all went downhill in round 10 as their defence started to show more holes and it carried through till round 11 last night.

Newbie Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad displays strong attack but weak defence

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad made his debut in round 9 and has since scored four tries for his team. Two of those tries were scored in last night’s match against the Dragons, therefore most would say he had a good game – but I think round 11 will be a game that Nicoll-Klokstad will be wanting to forget ever happened. The winger was outwitted numerous times by Dragon’s left-edge duo Timoteo Lafai and Kalifa Faifai Loa as they managed to score three tries which Nicoll-Klokstad allowed. Second-rower Joel Thompson also targeted Nicoll-Klokstad’s flank to score another try for his team.

Although the winger gave away multiple tries due to his weak defence, coach Stephen Kearney refused to place the blame on the rookie stating he had been let down by a sub-par showing from the forwards.

Excellent attack from Dragons

The Warriors defence was no match for the Dragons attack as they cut through the opposition countless times while making it look easy. The Dragons scored a total of six tries to the Warriors three and made an outstanding nine line-breaks which contributed to a few of their tries. The Dragons were too strong and agile for the Warriors as they missed 57 tackles on the Saints who also made 20 offloads compared to a pitiful 2 from the Warriors. The combination of left-edge duo Timoteo Lafai and Kalifa Faifai Loa proved dangerous as they scored three tries between them as they worked together to target the oppositions weak spots.

Dragons were the better team but the Warriors did themselves no favours

The Dragons played exceptionally well last night as their attack was strong and direct and their defence held the Warriors from adding additional points to the board multiple times. Although the Dragons were the better team on the night, this was not a case of the Warriors purely getting outplayed. The Warriors were disappointing and as well as getting beaten by the Dragons they also beat themselves due to multiple mistakes and weak defence. The Warriors missed 57 tackles which was a large contribution to their loss. The team only made a pitiful two offloads and one line break. The Warriors are a team in crisis – no matter what they do or how hard they try, they can’t seem to find what it takes to be a consistent and successful team. On paper, the Warriors have a strong team with the potential to win game after game, but what we see all too often is the team beating themselves.

Final Score

New Zealand Warriors 14
Tries: Ben Matulino, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
Goals: Shaun Johnson

St George-Illawarra Dragons 30
Tries: Kalifa Faifai Loa (2), Joel Thompson, Timoteo Laifai, Nene Macdonald, Taane Milne
Goals: Timoteo Laifai (3)

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