Warriors drop Luke after defeat

10 August 2017 20:59:58 GMTPlus11

Coach Stephen Kearney has opted not to make big changes for the Warriors' home clash with Canberra, despite last weekend's loss to the Knights.

Kearney has axed Kiwis hooker Issac Luke, but says a number of other players are lucky to have kept their places after the poor display in Newcastle.

If I thought there were better options I would certainly make those changes - there are a couple of lads who are lucky.

Stephen Kearney

Nathaniel Roache, who was one of the few shining lights in the 26-10 loss, has replaced Luke in the starting side for the Mt Smart Stadium meeting.

Kearney's options are limited as there is little depth in the squad that is already missing Shaun Johnson and Bodene Thompson.

"If I thought there were better options I would certainly make those changes - there are a couple of lads who are lucky," said the coach.

Luke was vulnerable in the side as the Warriors have a number of options at hooker including Roache, Jazz Tevaga and Manaia Cherrington.

Kearney said he didn't feel Luke reached the level expected of him against Newcastle, and Roache was a good replacement.

"Nathaniel played really well before he got injured and he came on and provided the group with a spark, which is why he gets an opportunity this week," he added.

The Warriors are determined to turn their form around in the final three games of the season, after slipping out of finals contention with their recent poor run of results.

Kearney said the club had had an honest review of the Knights game on Tuesday, which was the only way the team were going to move forward from the defeat.

"With the confidence being down in the group, it's about making sure that I give them some confidence that there has been some positive progress in areas during the course of the year," Kearney added.

The Warriors are 5/2 to beat Canberra, who are 1/3.

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