Warriors 'need 17 blokes committed' if they are to rediscover their winning touch

Ryan Hoffman says the Warriors need 17 committed players each week.
PHOTOSPORT

Ryan Hoffman says the Warriors need 17 committed players each week.

If the Warriors' 2017 season is to avoid the same fate as so many before it, they need more commitment as a collective.

The two C words were out in force in the wake of Friday night's 30-14 loss to the St George Illawarra Dragons, and those using them know it's their actions that will matter in the coming weeks.

"We need 17 blokes committed every weekend - you can't get by with only 10 players on, or nine players on," said senior player Ryan Hoffman.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck's captaincy career is off to a rocky start.
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Roger Tuivasa-Sheck's captaincy career is off to a rocky start.

"It comes down to the commitment of the 17. We as leaders, we've got to lead better, but it's all got to start with our actions."

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Warriors responding well to loss

With Friday's loss following last Saturday's 36-28 loss to the Penrith Panthers, where they conceded 30 unanswered second-half points, the Warriors have suffered a one-two punch that has made their fight for finals football all the more harder.

Stephen Kearney says the Warriors issues are collective ones.
PHOTOSPORT

Stephen Kearney says the Warriors issues are collective ones.

The likes of Hoffman, the team's former captain, know it's not good enough, but they also know the potential is there for them to turn things around.

"If you go back three weeks, we're probably playing some of the best football in this competition, so we're not throwing the baby out with the bathwater yet. 

"We know we can turn it around, it's just a matter of doing it."

Russell Packer and the Dragons were smiling on Friday night.
GETTY IMAGES

Russell Packer and the Dragons were smiling on Friday night.

The question then becomes how, and for Hoffman, it starts with everyone on the team making a full effort.

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"We've got to put our bodies on the line, and we've got to commit to the tackle better. If you go back three weeks, we're holding the Roosters out 61 times inside their 20, so we know we can do it, but we just need to put it into practice now."

For young captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, who replaced Hoffman at the start of the year, the Warriors' four-win, seven-loss start has been a baptism of fire, but he is growing into the role with each passing game, and he knew immediately what went wrong on Saturday.

Ben Matulino marked his 200th Warriors game with a try, but it ended in a loss.
GETTY IMAGES

Ben Matulino marked his 200th Warriors game with a try, but it ended in a loss.

His men "just weren't strong enough," losing the physical battle and missing 57 tackles, more than twice as many as their opponents, two problems that took took their toll at ruck time.

"That's where it was pretty tough. We had too many players on the ground, and they were running through us up the middle, which brings our outside men in and opens space for them out wide."

Space that the Dragons exploited to the tune of six tries.

In trying to explain how the loss had happened, Tuivasa-Sheck pointed to his team's lack of collective focus, saying "everyone's going in separate ways," a sentiment that was backed up by coach Stephen Kearney.

"The one thing I do know in this game, is it it needs everyone putting in the same effort," he said.

"Tonight, there were a couple that were trying hard, and probably trying too hard, and when someone drops off, or as Roger's saying, they're on the short side and not working as hard as the guy inside them, then as the Dragons did, [other teams] hurt us.

"I think there's some guys that are really busting their backsides off, but we've just got to make sure we're doing it collectively."

 - Stuff

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