Injury piles on Warriors’ woes amid winless run

Jacob Shteyman |

Wounded Warrior Kurt Capewell will watch their next three matches from the sidelines.
Wounded Warrior Kurt Capewell will watch their next three matches from the sidelines.

The Warriors have been dealt a blow in their bid to snap a NRL losing streak against the red-hot Sydney Roosters as forward Kurt Capewell looks set to miss a crucial three-game run with injury.

The second-rower hobbled off with a calf complaint in the New Zealanders’ 14-8 loss against Newcastle on Sunday and will likely remain unavailable for four weeks, coach Andrew Webster revealed on Wednesday.

It couldn’t come at a worse time for the Warriors who, after a flying start to the season, are winless in their last four games and face a string of tough tests against the Roosters, reigning champions Penrith and the fourth-placed Dolphins.

The Warriors will need to address their ill-discipline if they are any chance of inflicting a surprise defeat against the free-scoring Tricolours, who have posted 100 points combined on their last two opponents.

“I think it’s smacking everyone straight in the face at the moment,” Webster said.

“I don’t think you’ve got to be a genius to work out that we’re not giving ourselves the opportunity.”

Knights players celebrate a Daniel Saifiti try.
Knights players celebrate a Daniel Saifiti try in the tight win at home to the Warriors. (Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS)

The Warriors conceded nine penalties against the Knights and Webster said overeagerness was behind the raft of offside calls in recent weeks.

“The boys are keen to get line speed and be aggressive,” he said.

“They’re not checking in with the ref and they’re making it harder on themselves. I think we’ve created a lot of fatigue.

“We’re trying to swing punches at the end of the game … and I just feel like our attack is very clunky and slow and lethargic because we’re putting ourselves under so much pressure.”

The Warriors come into the match having lost their last seven encounters against the Roosters, but hooker Wayde Egan believes they are still in with a shot.

“We can beat any side on our day,” he said.

“We’ve definitely got to watch their attack. They’re a very good team and they’ve got great players across their whole line-up.

“But it’s probably more of a week to get our game on and focus on ourselves. We’ve probably been letting ourselves down in key areas.”

Talisman Shaun Johnson is still not in full training with the rest of the squad as he is nursed back from an achilles injury.

But his fitness issues were no excuse for the team’s lacklustre performances, teammate Egan said, with a 40-metre try against Manly proof the veteran is still at his best.

“He’s feeling fine coming into games, it’s just obviously he’s getting on the old boy. I think he’s 42 this year so you’ve just got to watch his load during the week,” he quipped.