The Warriors sit third on the ladder with a 7-3 record, but despite winning more than twice as many games than they’ve lost, their for-and-against is a modest +8 – eighth in the competition. Every other team in the top six has a points differential of +52 or better.
Heavy defeats to the Storm and Roosters in the past three rounds has slowed their attack to just 19.8 points score per game (seventh in the NRL) and ballooned their defensive stats to 19 points conceded per game (eighth).
While no one would argue that the Warriors are not a far superior side to the club’s 2017 outfit that won only seven of 24 games, last year their biggest loss of the season was by just 20 points. In the past three weeks the Storm pumped the Warriors by 40 points and the Roosters put a 32-point margin on them.
The 32-0 loss to the Roosters represented the first time the Warriors had been kept to nil since a 42-blot rout at the hands of the Storm on Anzac Day, 2016.
The Warriors out-offloaded the Roosters 16-6 but made just one line-break to their opponents’ eight and made 15 errors to the Tricolours’ 10. The missed tackle count – 24-14 in the Roosters’ favour – was also telling.
David Fusitu’a has slipped off the top of the NRL’s tryscoring charts for the first time this season, with Melbourne’s Josh Addo-Carr dotting down for his 12th try. Fusitu’a has 11 tries from 10 games to sit a comfortable second and will be out to avoid going try-less two games in a row for the first time in 2018 when he takes on Parramatta on Friday.
A poor team performance didn’t slow down skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck’s metre-eating efforts, running for a team-high 179. Ken Maumalo (126) and Fusitu’a (112) were the only other players to get near triple figures.
Tuivasa-Sheck (145 metres per game) edged back Maumalo (141) in the running metres stakes. The duo are sixth and seventh in the NRL respectively.
RTS also leads the team in try assists (6 – equal with Shaun Johnson) and tackle-breaks (35), and is second for line-breaks (7) behind Fusitu’a (9).
Karl Lawton struggled to replicate Issac Luke’s dummy-half influence but still managed seven runs for 71 metres, while he worked his guts out in defence with 34 tackles.
Simon Mannering and Tohu Harris (both 37) were the Warriors’ leading tacklers, however, just ahead of Isaiah Papali’i (35).
Adam Blair (249) edged ahead of Bunty Afoa (244) as the Warirors’ top tackler for the season, though Jazz Tevaga (32.4) and Mannering (31.3) remain miles in front in the average tackles per game department.
Despite being given a bath by Latrell Mitchell, Peta Hiku was credited with zero missed tackles for the first time in 2018. He still leads the Warriors in the stat, though, with 37 (Blake Green is second with 25), which is fourth-worst in the NRL.
On the plus side, Hiku is first for offloads (21) and second for tackle-breaks (25) in the squad. The Warriors lead the NRL in offloads (152).
Afoa boasts the most impressive tackle efficiency in the squad, making 24.4 tackles and missing just 0.9 per game.
The Warriors players have been pretty good discipline-wise – Luke (sixth with 11 penalties conceded) is the only player amongst the NRL’s top 50 penalty pullers. Blair, Green, Papali’i, Tevaga and Solomone Kata have all been pinged six times in 2018 (equal-53rd).
With Luke missing Saturday’s clash, only seven players have featured in all 10 of the Warriors’ games to date this season. Fusitu’a, Maumalo and Hiku are the only players to have been on the field for all 800 minutes so far.
The Warriors have used 25 players so far in 2018, behind only Cronulla, Manly, Gold Coast and Parramatta (all 26).
The following bets paid out after the Warriors’ 32-0 loss to the Roosters in Round 10 (Via NZ TAB)
-Roosters Win @ $2.05
-Roosters 13 & Over @ $5.50
-Roosters/Roosters @ $2.80
-Under 35.5 Points @ $1.87
-Roosters by 19+ @ $10
-1st Try Scorer – Ryan Matterson @ $26
We're just an hour away from kickoff at Mt Smart Stadium. Are you backing the Warriors to pick up another win this evening?
— TAB Sport (@TAB_Sport) May 12, 2018