Warriors caught in the eye of the Storm once again

By Mana Wikaire-Lewis

In their first game of the Stephen Kearney-less era, the New Zealand Warriors were no match for the dominant Melbourne Storm.

The NRL matchup saw the Storm thump the Warriors 50-6 in Melbourne Friday night. 

It was the Warriors that had most to prove following last week's axing of coach Stephen Kearney. They began well with winger Ken Maumalo and then centre Patrick Herbert missing try attempts in the first 10 minutes of the game.

However, not long after the Storm got their first points on the board through a try to new player Paul Momirovski to begin the Warriors' collapse.

The Storm switched up gears and by half-time led 22-nil, with tries to Suliasi Vunivalu, Ryan Papenhuyzen and Paul Momirovski. 

It was not until the second half that the Warriors got on the scoresheet, with their only points of the game coming by way of a Patrick Herbert try and conversion by captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.

By then, it was too late for a comeback.

In the post-game press conference, interim Warriors coach Todd Payten said, "Tonight's performance was an indication of exactly where we're at.

"I question whether we had players that were willing to put their body on the line and fight hard for their teammate."

The Warriors play the Broncos next Saturday on the Central Coast.