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Sharks game ‘season defining’ say Warriors

As the television camera panned across the distraught Warriors following their latest NRL implosion, one player caught the eye.

 
 

Warrior's Lock Elijah Taylor

AS the television camera panned across the distraught Warriors following their latest NRL implosion, one player caught the eye.

Lock  was down on one knee following their 24-22 loss to Manly in Perth, a look of desolation on his face that reflected the pain of blowing an 18-0 lead for the second straight week.

“Personally I’ve taken it very hard. I’d rather get thrashed by 60 points than lose a game like that,” Taylor told NZ Newswire.

“Those games hurt and it’s happened twice in a row at a crucial time in our season.

“This week is going to define our team, it’ll define the rest of our season.”

Taylor said the build-up to Sunday’s match against seventh-placed Cronulla in Auckland had been one of introspection. The Sharks are also in a slump and desperate to stop the rot against the 12th-placed New Zealanders.

The Warriors had gone over their Perth meltdown and the near-identical failure against Newcastle a week earlier with a fine-tooth comb.

Their planning is even more pertinent as the Sharks pipped them 20-19 courtesy of two late tries by halfback Jeff Robson in their last meeting seven weeks ago.

“Our confidence has taken a hit, no doubt,” Taylor said.

“The first thing we did this week was have a great contact session, the boys got their shoulders in.”

Then came a video session which exposed how Manly had scored through short kicks which the Warriors failed to counter.

There was a collective focus to stay alert late in the tackle count and particularly at the end of both halves.

“(Manly’s) Kieran Foran caught us out three times with a grubber kick, a chip kick and a crossfield kick,” Taylor said.

“They all led to tries and that was in the last minutes of both halves. We can’t afford to let that to happen again.”

Hard-working forward Taylor said the Warriors’ current problems were ironic given it was their slow starts that held them back earlier this season. It forced them into playing catch-up rugby league.

“Now we’re starting really well and falling off the back end. If we can combine the start of the season form with form right now, we’ll be able to beat any team.”

 
 

 
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