Warriors focus on plugging leaky defence

The Warriors might have drawn a blank against the Sydney Roosters, but it’s at the other end of the field where they hope to sharpen their play.

The 24-0 defeat to the Roosters dropped the Auckland-based club out of the NRL top four and down to seventh ahead of the visit of Manly this weekend.

Fullback Sam Tomkins’ reply to what the Warriors want to improve most against the Sea Eagles is straightforward.

“Defence – not letting 24 points in,” he said.

Tomkins’ energetic display at the back was one of the bright spots in the humbling by the Roosters.

The match was the first time in almost six years that the Warriors have failed to score and the England international put part of that down to the amount of time they spent on defence.

“We didn’t have a lot of chance at the other end,” he said.

“A few calls didn’t go our way and a few bounces of the ball, which in other games have gone our way and we’ve scored tries.

“I don’t think there’s a question over our attack because we didn’t score last week.”

Against Manly, the Warriors will again be without winger Manu Vatuvei, centre Konrad Hurrell and second rower Ryan Hoffman.

Vatuvei (shoulder) and Hoffman (back) remain in the casualty ward, while Hurrell, playing for the NSW Cup side against Illawarra in his comeback from a shoulder problem, copped a one-match ban for dangerous contact.

Tomkins said all three would be needed heading into the business end of the season but had praise for their replacements.

“The boys that have been in their place have done a really good job though,” he said.

“There’s no doubt about that. We’ve got some strength in those positions.”

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