The New Zealand Warriors season has gone from bad to worse, in Canberra today, where they suffered their second heavy defeat in seven days.
Having lost by eighteen points to the Cowboys last week, this time they went down 38-12 to the Canberra Raiders. Apart from a ten minute period mid way through the first half, they were never in the match.
Canberra looked too be playing at a different speed to the Warriors. Their attack was crisp and they looked like they could break the Warriors defence at will. The complete opposite to the warriors team.
The misery, for the Warriors, started in the first set of the match, when Simon Mannering knocked-on twenty out from his own line.
This led to the Raiders enjoying 70 percent of possession over the first ten minutes. And they made good use of it, running in two tries, to be 10-0 up.
The Warriors hit back in the 22nd and 28th minutes, with tries to Steve Price and Mannering. This period of play was the only bright spot of the day for the Warriors.
It only took Canberra four minutes to hit back with a converted try to Terry Campese, giving Canberra a 16-12 lead. This is where the score stayed until half-time, which the Warriors would have been pleased with considering the weight of possession against them.
Having been on the receiving end of a 5-1 penalty count in the first half, it was close to reversed in the second half,5-2 in favour of the Warriors. This didn't help them though, as the continually coughed up possession to the Raiders, who gleefully used it to their own advantage.
This took the shape of four second half tries, three of which were converted by Campese.
The Warriors looked lacklustre throughout the match, and while far from being out of finals contention, will need to recapture their form quickly if they are not too lose touch with the top eight.
Not many positives too come out of the match for the Warriors, but they do look less cluttered in the halves with Stacey Jones been given full control to organise the team around the field, now that Nathan Fien has been dropped.
They host the West Tigers next week and there doesn't appear to be anywhere for the coaching staff to go in terms of changes, as they have close to a full strength team on the park currently.
Perhaps Kevin Locke is close to selection but wholesale changes would mean bringing in inexperienced players at a difficult time. Not a likely option.