So far this season the Warriors have shown glimpses of their best defensive work in years, the only problem is that it’s been mixed in through periods of some of their worst.
Less than a fortnight ago the Kiwi side held the Broncos to just 10 points – only the second time they have managed to restrict a team to less than 11 since June last year – while a little further back in Round 9 the Warriors edged past the Roosters 14-13 in a result completely built on defensive effort and grit.
Yet in their other three games since Round 9, coach Stephen Kearney’s men have conceded 30 points or more on every occasion, with the 30-14 defeat to the Dragons in Hamilton also seeing them miss a colossal 57 tackles.
Veteran lock Simon Mannering said the lack of consistency continues to frustrate the playing group.
“This is a competition of consistency and we have rarely shown that this year,” Mannering said.
“That’s got to be the focus, backing [good] performances up
“I’m not too sure [how far away it is], I feel like we are doing things well through the week, preparing right, so that’s obviously the start there.
“It’s not coming out on the field, there’s a game where we perform really well… and then the next week we are probably just a little bit off and that’s all it takes in this competition.”
— Andrew Bryan (@AndrewBryan321) May 24, 2017
The Warriors average 30 missed tackles per game this year, a stat which actually ranks them as the seventh best in the NRL heading into Round 14.
But they have also have the 13th worst defensive record, averaging 22.3 points against per game.
After scoring 24 last week against the Eels, the Warriors still left ANZ Stadium with nothing in a 32-24 loss.
Unsurprisingly the club’s focus ahead of Saturday night’s meeting with the Titans on the Gold Coast has been on their work off the ball, according to prop Jacob Lillyman.
“That was a game we definitely felt we should have won last week, it was very disappointing to let them cross our line that many times and to lose the game,” Lillyman said.
— NRL Talk Youtube (@nrltalkyoutube) June 2, 2017
“The number of times they crossed our line wasn’t acceptable, we scored enough points to win that game, but obviously we just let them rack up too many themselves.
“It’s very disappointing, I thought we really could have used that momentum and confidence out of the Broncos win a couple of weeks back to move forward and string some wins together.
“I was really confident of doing that, but for some reason we didn’t follow that up against Parramatta.”