Warriors coach blames game plan for loss

DAVID LONG IN HAMILTON
Last updated 05:00 17/02/2013
Manu Vatuvei
CHRIS HILLOCK/FAIRFAX NZ
TRY TIME: Manu Vatuvei celebrates scoring a try for the Warriors.

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Warriors coach Matt Elliott says he should take the blame for his team's 32-18 loss to Penrith Panthers in Hamilton yesterday.

It is the second trial game lost by the Warriors in a row, following on from their 42-24 defeat to Gold Coast last weekend and theoretically it is 10 games in a row that they have lost now.

But the big difference from the previous trial to this one was that Elliott brought back most of his experienced campaigners for yesterday's fixture in front of 12,000 spectators at Waikato Stadium. While Elliott felt the players stayed true to the structure he asked of them, he conceded that his game plan was wrong.

"Honestly, I am a little disappointed, but I am equally disappointed in myself," Elliott said.

"I looked at some of the structural stuff we asked the players to abide by and I think it got in the way of our fluency.

"It is really easy to address and the guys were really good. They were trying to comply with it, but it just hindered us.

"It was a good learning lesson for us, but on the other side of that, there were some individuals that really put their hand up and said they wanted to play first grade and there were a couple that need to show us that next week [against Brisbane in Dunedin]."

However, Warriors captain Simon Mannering believes the players should also take responsibility for the defeat.

"You always have a game plan going into a game, but you've got to be able to change it if it's not working," Mannering said.

Manu Vatuvei, Ngami Laumape, Kevin Locke and Glen Fisiiahi all scored tries for the Warriors, with Shaun Johnson nailing just one conversion.

For Penrith, former Warrior Lewis Brown came back to haunt his old club, scoring two tries, while Josh Mansour, David Simmons, Lachlan Coote and Geoff Daniella all got their names on the score sheet.

As a contest, this game was over in the first half, with the Warriors trailing 22-4 at the break. There were a high number of errors made on attack, while they were also caught out defensively.

The main injury concern for the Warriors from this game is over Ben Henry, who tweaked his ankle but it still uncertain how serious it is.

Penrith (Josh Mansour, Lewis Brown 2, David Simmons, Lachlan Coote, Goeff Daniella tries; Luke Walsh 2 cons, Wes Naiqama con, Blake Austin con) Warriors (Manu Vatuvei, Ngami Laumape, Kevin Locke, Glen Fisiiahi tries; Shaun Johnson con) Ht: 4-22

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