TWL RD 10 WRAP: ROOSTERS ZILCH WOEFUL WARRIORS

Last week we lauded the Warriors’ ability to ‘win ugly’ (despite some of our readers’ dislike of our use of the term) in a 26-4 result against Wests Tigers, but in Round 10 they produced quite easily their most repugnant losing display of 2018 in a 32-0 defeat to Sydney Roosters.

A solid start was laid to waste by substandard execution with the ball and a lack of intensity and commitment without out it as the Roosters picked off their ample opportunities to run away with the game.

The Warriors’ ability to not only cope with the loss of their big names, but excel had been a feature of the opening nine rounds. However, the absence of Issac Luke and Shaun Johnson – the first time the club has played without both since 2015 – was palpable.

Halfback Mason Lino was a non-factor and the dummy-half rotation of Karl Lawton and Jazz Tevaga lacked the precision the Warriors have been accustomed to.

But it would be unfair to blame the loss of the spine stand-ins – the Warriors were poor across the board, falling off one-on-tackles and frequently giving up cheap possession with dropped balls and penalties.

The Warriors had lost the forward battle by a TKO midway through the second half and the outside-back contingent struggled to have an impact.

The Roosters were good but they weren’t forced to be great – certainly not to the level a side would expect to be to rack up a 32-0 win.

The Warriors gained the early upper-hand possession- and territory-wise, but couldn’t convert a wealth of good ball into points.

The Roosters opened the scoring through a penalty and – after several ordinary errors from the Warriors coming out of their own end – posted the first try when Cooper Cronk delivered a deft short ball to Ryan Matterson in the 31st minute.

After coming close at the other end, the Warriors suffered a hammer blow to their chances as Joseph Manu zipped over in the corner, capitalising on a slip from Peta Hiku.

The Roosters took a somewhat flattering 14-0 lead into the break, but they put the foot on the throat immediately after the resumption.

A dreadful error from Sam Lisone, whose spot in the squad must be under threat, provided the opportunity for Blake Ferguson to cross out wide from a simple shift.

Things went from bad to shithouse a few minutes later.

A low-percentage play from Hiku with the Warriors hot on attack handed possession back cheaply and Luke Keary cut through weak defence to send James Tedesco away for a long-range four-pointer.

Scraping the bottom of the barrel for positives, the Warriors at least halted the torrent of points against them until a Latrell Mitchell penalty in the 68th minute.

But the night finished in fitting fashion, Isaac Liu spinning his way over for the softest try of the game with five minutes to go.

It was a bad night at the office and certainly nothing to get overly worried about. But the challenge will be regaining their confidence if Luke and Johnson both fail to return next week or beyond.

An injury to Lino may also test the Warriors’ playmaking depth further.

The silver lining, of course, is that the Warriors still boast a strong 7-3 record and are entrenched in the top four. But a road trip to take on desperate Parramatta certainly shapes as a much more tricky one on the back of conceding five tries and being kept to nought.

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