Sharks crush Warriors with supreme ease
The Warriors losing streak in the NRL has extended to an embarrassing 11 games.
New Zealand's only NRL club will require some serious soul-searching in the coming days as they eye two daunting showdowns in the coming weeks against the North Queensland Cowboys and Sydney Roosters to try give their 2013 campaign some sort of momentum.
There was little to like about their 28-4 loss to the Cronulla Sharks today with their lacklustre defence heading a long list of concerns that hangs over the Matt Elliott-coached team.
There was next to no line speed when defending and they simply missed too many tackles to be competitive which headed the problems this team has.
It was the same problems that led to the Warriors losing eight on the trot at the end of the 2012 season that has seen them lose the first three in 2013.
The bad day started just three minutes into the game when frontrower Steve Rapira copped a kick to the side of the head and was forced from the field.
In hot conditions which forced the inclusion of drinks breaks every 20 minutes the task was always going to be a difficult one for the Warriors but with Rapira gone and the interchange bench reduced to just three players the assignment got a whole lot tougher.
The Warriors defence first broke in the 9th minute when five-eighth Todd Carney made a nice play close to the line looking to run across field and possibly kick before he feed the ball to the inside leading to a John Morris try.
The visitors managed to get some field position midway through the half through two 40/20 kicks from Kevin Locke and Shaun Johnson but they offered little on attack to capitalise on that making two basic errors.
As the half wore on the Sharks continued to have the Warriors back peddling as the defensive structure lost all shape and they looked like a boxer on the ropes late in a fight.
In the 34th minute they cracked again as Anthony Tupou looked to be tackled but freed his arm to off-load leading to a try for fullback Michael Gordon.
Gordon converted his own try to make it 12-nil but the hurt didn't end there for the Warriors.
With just a minute to play before the break the Sharks found themselves back in good field position and this time it was Carney's boot that was pinpoint as he put a cross kick to the unmarked Beau Ryan to score as the score blew out to 18-nil at the break.
The Warriors missed 14 first half tackles with the majority of them coming in the final 10 minutes.
Five minutes into the second half it got worse for the visitors as big frontrower Sam Tagataese cut through the flimsy Warriors defence with ease to score and Gordon extended his perfect 2013 record with the boot to make it 24-nil.
Jeff Robson pushed it out to 28-nil when his footwork was too much for the tiring Warriors defence close to the line as he scored with 10 minutes to play.
There was a consolation try for the Warriors after Konrad Hurrell went over with six minutes left on the clock.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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