Warriors address second-half scoring woes

Simon Mannering (centre) is tired of the Warriors' hot-and-cold form. Photo: Getty Images
Simon Mannering (centre) is tired of the Warriors' hot-and-cold form. Photo: Getty Images
An inability to trouble the scorers after halftime has the Warriors scratching their heads before their NRL clash with the Newcastle Knights.

A rocks and diamonds run of performances isn't the only work-on for the Warriors.

Now they're addressing an alarming decline in their second-half scoring - something Simon Mannering says could cripple their NRL title hopes.

Friday's match against the Newcastle Knights in Auckland is a chance to end a run of three matches in which the Kiwi club has failed to score in the second spell.

Losses to Melbourne and the Gold Coast, along with last week's win over St George Illawarra, were notable for the Warriors spending long periods of the game on defence after halftime.

They have slumped to last in the 16-club competition for points scored after the break (148).

By chance, the Knights have conceded the most points of any team in the second half (269).

That doesn't interest veteran second-rower Mannering, who wants his team to emerge from the sheds with more vitality.

"It's an area we need to fix because that's where you can go a long way towards losing the game if you don't come out and start that second half strong," he said.

"That's been a problem for us for a while now.

"We can't rest on our laurels, we've got to get back out there and start that second half like it's the start of the game."

The 18-12 upset of the Dragons instilled the eighth-placed Warriors with self-belief.

Their late offloads were lethal in scoring three first-half tries while their defensive grit over the last half-hour helped left them to the verge of the play-offs.

However, Mannering is tired of the hot-and-cold form line. They've only won successive games once since a five-win season-opening burst.

 

Victory over the 11th-placed Knights, who have a dreadful record at Mt Smart Stadium, would go some way towards shedding a tag of inconsistency.

"We can't keep waiting until we have a bad loss to spark us back to life," Mannering said.

"Hopefully that is the last lesson but I can't promise anything. We've just got to make sure we're improving our performance."

A Warriors loss would be their fifth on the trot at Mt Smart Stadium, something that hasn't happened for 13 years.

The 250th NRL game for influential hooker Issac Luke will be a motivating factor for the hosts.

Knights halfback Mitchell Pearce will celebrate the same milestone if he shakes off a leg injury and is cleared to start.

 

Add a Comment