‘Definitely down on confidence’ – Warriors look to rebound at Magic Round

Warriors coach Andrew Webster has admitted the team is “down on confidence” following their fourth straight loss.

They suffered a 38-18 defeat against the Roosters on Sunday, in which they found themselves down 22-0 after only 12 minutes.

It was a situation that Webster said made him “feel sick”.

“This could be really ugly here,” Webster said, recalling his feelings at the time.

“I felt sick, let’s be honest I think every Warriors fan did. We did fight, but it wasn’t good enough.”

Webster has been forced into making key changes to his lineup for this weekend’s game against the defending premier Panthers at the NRL Magic Round in Brisbane.

A pectoral injury to Shaun Johnson sees Te Maire Martin taking over at halfback, while Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad starts at stand off. Taine Tuaupiki comes back into the first grade side at fullback.

“We’re not going to come out with any fancy plays this weekend … and I don’t mind saying that,” Webster said regarding the change up in the halves.

“We’re playing to our strengths, it’s about what Te Maire, Charnze and Taine like to do. I’m sure (Nicoll-Klokstad) would rather play at fullback, but he does what the team needs. He’s excited. We’re proud of the fact that whoever wears the jersey can do the job.”

Webster pinpointed a few key areas where things were going wrong, both on the field and in his players’ mentality.

“The last couple of weeks, thing have dropped. Our energy’s gone into the wrong things, I’ve said it for three weeks now. Our tackling, our kick chase, those types of things – they’re not where they were.”

While it will be a tall order to turn things around straight away against the second-placed Panthers, Webster was confident.

“It can 100 percent be achieved this weekend. The boys have got to take care of their own role, they’ve also got to look after the team’s role … we’ve got to look like a team again. It’s muscle memory, that’s what the feeling is like. We’ve got to get that feeling back.”

One bit of good news is that the Panthers will be without their own star halfback Nathan Cleary, who suffered a grade 2 hamstring tear against the Bulldogs on Friday, which has ruled him out for eight weeks.

However, Webster is still wary of the depth the Panthers possess with the likes of Jarome Luai and Dylan Walker more than capable of making life very difficult.

Warriors v Panthers

Kick-off: 3:50pm Sunday 19 March

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Live blog updates on RNZ Sport

Warriors (five to be omitted): 1. Taine Tuaupiki, 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, 3. Ali Leiataua, 4. Adam Pompey, 5. Marcelo Montoya, 6. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 7. Te Maire Martin, 8. Addin Fonua-Blake, 9. Wayde Egan, 10. Bunty Afoa, 11. Jackson Ford, 12. Mitch Barnett. 13. Tohu Harris.

Reserves: 14. Dylan Walker, 15. Tom Ale, 16. Jazz Tevaga, 17. Jacob Laban, 18. Zyon Maiu’u, 20. Ed Kosi, 21. Paul Roache 22. Tanner Stowers-Smith, 23. Ben Farr

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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