NZ Warriors Round 1 Review: Impressive Warriors vanquish Perth Curse

NZ Warriors Round 1 Review: Impressive Warriors vanquish Perth Curse
The Vodafone Warriors made the long journey to Perth to kick off their 2018 campaign.

A long history of disappointment plagued the Warriors in Western Australia, and many predicted this misery would continue as the Warriors faced the South Sydney Rabbitohs in Round One.

However, this was not to be as the Warriors, looking a completely different side to the Woeful Warriors of 2017 started their season off strong with a 32-20 victory.

What a way to start the season, saying that the Warriors have changed from last season is not an exaggeration.

First the Positives.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck set the platform with a fantastic ball and all tackle to prevent Alex Johnston from scoring in the corner in the early stages of the match.

Blake Green controlled the game with relative ease behind a forward pack that was gaining metres, this allowed Shaun Johnson to run freely, and the Rabbitohs paid the price.

Shaun can cut teams to ribbons when he is allowed to play his natural game and Blake being there has finally granted him this freedom.

When Shaun is running it opens up so many options for other players to break the line and put the Warriors in scoring opportunities as the opposition don't know if Shaun is going to go himself or put someone through a hole, either way, it sets the Warriors in a strong position to win any game.

The Forwards fronted and set the platform needed to unleash the damaging backline, Sam Lisone was strong off the bench and even scored his first try for the club.

James Gavet continued his form from 2017, and Adam Blair, Leivaha Pulu and Bunty Afoa all performed their roles well, and this pack can only improve with the like of Simon Mannering returning from injury in a (hopefully) a few weeks.

David Fusitua continued his World Cup form scoring a nice double, and Ken Maumalo and Solomone Kata both scored, admittingly they still have issues, but it is hard to deny that when given the opportunity they know how to cross that try line.

The Warriors fitness has definitely improved, and you could see the Rabbitohs were waiting for the final 20minutes to come so the Warriors would start to slide again as they have done for so long.

But when the Warriors kept coming at them with no signs of slowing down the frustration set in and this lead to the Rabbitohs making more errors.

The Warriors were a unit, they were all on the same page and playing for each other.

They will need to live and breath this new mentality if they want to be playing finals football.

I am a fan of the new huddle they have started doing after each score, together as a team doing deep breaths, centring and focusing on the job at hand.

It is only Round one, and there is a long season ahead of them but if they keep their performances consistently at the level they performed in Perth then it may well be a fruitful year for the New Zealand side

There is still a lot of work to be done in the upcoming months though which leads me to my negatives from the match.

The penalty count was far too high in the first half.

I didn't agree with some of those penalties, but if the ref is calling tackles early, the Warriors need to adjust and act accordingly.

Giving away silly penalties and awarding the opposition repeat sets can derail any great performance, so they need to reign that in.

Solomona Kata's sin bin was a bit unfair, but ultimately it did not affect the game that much, but if the game was a bit closer they could have been in trouble.

That left edge defence is still suspect and caused a few heart palpitations in my household when Kata or Maumalo rushed out of the line early and left a gaping hole, so some refining in that area will make a Warriors victory more attainable.

Overall though it was a great way to start the season and set a platform for the remainder of the season.

My Warrior of the game goes to Issac Luke 180309rabbitohsvwarriors nrlcom 180309rabbitohsvwarriors nrlcom ; this was Issac's best performance since he signed with the club.

In 2017 Issac had arguably his worse season, he was overweight and sluggish, and it paid a toll on his performance.

Going into the final year of his contract Issac needed to make changes, and he really has, 6kgs lighter and sniping out of dummy-half like he used to was a welcome sight for sore eyes.

If he can continue to perform at the level he displayed in round one then he is going to provide a lethal component to the Warriors attacking arsenal.

Typically I would have a Warrior that needs to improve, but this week I couldn't pinpoint any player that played poorly enough to be named and shamed.

What I do want to do is mention Isaiah Papali'i.

Isaiah just narrowly missed out on being my Warrior of the game, it's hard to believe that he is still only nineteen years old.

With Simon Mannering out, Isaiah has been given the opportunity in the starting side and taken it with both hands.

This kid has a truckload of potential and the fact that he has Simon Mannering and Tohu Harris to learn from only bodes well for his future and I look forward to watching him grow as a player in the years to come.

Round two finds the Warriors playing at home for the first time this season on St Patrick's day against the Gold Coast Titans.

The Warriors have arranged a St Patricks day theme which should make for an entertaining day and im looking forward to it.

The Titans haven't had the best track record against the Warriors, and I don't see them getting a win here and im picking the Warriors to win by 20.

With it being my birthday tomorrow I hope the Warriors help me out with my prediction and give me a great win on Saturday.

So that was a positive Round 1, and as usual, I will leave you with some questions.

Who was your player of the day?

What was the most pleasing aspect of this performance for you?

Are there any changes you would make to the line up for Round 2?

What is your score prediction for the Warriors first home game?
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About author
Hi All

My name is Brad and I have a dream to turn myself from a Wannabe writer into an actual writer, just working on finding my voice and then getting my voice out there.
Warriors Tragic, general sports lover and comic book geek.
Would love to get conversations going with anything I write on here.

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Cut your Hair please warriors Cant catch the ball with your hair in your face plz give it a fade and a trim hehe :eek:

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