Warriors prop: Losses are 'embarrassing'Save
By Michael Burgess
Warriors prop James Gavet admits the last two defeats have been "pretty embarrassing" but insists there is a way out of the current malaise.
Friday night's 30-14 loss to the Dragons was another step backwards, with the Warriors completely outgunned by a St George team coming off a three-match losing streak.
It was a worse performance than the debacle in Penrith, where the Warriors at least produced a compelling first half.
This team is in a serious hole, with no obvious way out. Players are down on confidence and belief, and looking for places to hide.
That was shown post-match on Friday, when most of the senior players dodged the media, showing the kind of urgency that was missing during the game as they scampered from the dressing room to the team bus.
But Gavet - who is not a big name but is becoming an unsung hero of this team - fronted, as he had done during the match, as one of the best forwards on the park.
"We all know what we are capable of," Gavet said. "After quite a few semi-good performances and then tossing in those two games [Penrith and St George], it's pretty embarrassing for all of us."
Gavet offered some welcome insight into what is going wrong with the team, who have won only one of their last five matches.
"It's not feeling really connected at the moment," he said. "It might be a bit of belief.
Everybody is trying to find a solution themselves but if we just calm down and trust in
what we have been doing from a month ago and back even further.
"We were making huge strides [but] it feels like everything is a bit frantic at the moment. Everyone is trying to do things that are a bit out of character. We trained well [last week] so it's hard to explain tossing up that performance."
The Dragons were missing two of their most influential players - in Gareth Widdop and Josh Dugan - but didn't miss a beat in Hamilton.
They clicked into gear almost immediately, and rolled up the field all night like a Panzer Tank Division, with the Warriors seemingly unable to do anything to prevent their progress.
The Dragons have one of the most balanced packs in the NRL - with size, power, pace and ball-playing ability - and there was a considerable gulf on Friday night, though the Warriors constantly put themselves under pressure.
"If you are doing back to back 'D' sets, or making errors . . . my seven-year-old son would be able to run through," said Gavet. "You can only make so many tackles and afford to give away that much ball and let that many offloads go before it ends up biting you in the butt."
"It all goes hand in hand. If we can knuckle down on those simple small details, things you learn in junior footy like locking up the ball [we can] stay in the contest."
The absence of Simon Mannering has also been a huge factor, with many in the Warriors team looking like lost children in a supermarket without their tireless former skipper on the field.
"He has been a big loss but more so his leadership than his stats," Gavet said. "And he has been the glue of our forward pack. It would be good to get him back."