Johnson steps in to fill boots of absent captain
Warriors have blown most expectations out of the water so far but the Warriors coach knows his side must improve to stay in the top four heading into the finals.
‘‘The last half a dozen weeks we’ve sort of been up and down and a bit inconsistent in terms of our performance,’’ Kearney said.
Blair said defence was a critical area if the Warriors are to control Manly’s bulky pack led by Kiwis test star Marty Taupau.
‘‘We’ve been working really hard defensively as a group, especially for our middle, I guess those are our jobs and our work ons,’’ Blair said.
He said the Warriors middle must bring communication, energy and trust their defensive structures and processes to control the likes of Taupau and Addin Fonua-Blake.
Today’s contest is crucial for both teams. The Warriors need to win to stay in the top four and Manly need a win to stay in touch with the top eight.
As the Warriors were dealing with the loss of Tuivasa-Sheck, Manly have been given a lift with the news that Jake and Tom Trbojevic will back up after playing in New South Wales’ 22-12 State of Origin victory over Queensland on Wednesday night.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck rests his ankle during the loss to the Rabbitohs.