12 hours ago
NZ Warrior's Witt pays tribute to Taylor
Witt kicked at a phenomenal rate of almost 93 per cent last season, the league's best, landing 62 goals from 67 attempts after taking over the Warriors' kicking duties from Tony Martin.
He has started 2008 in the same fashion, slotting eight from eight this year including two from the sideline in the Warriors' 30-16 win over Parramatta last Sunday.
Witt, 24, now boasts a career strike rate of 80.9 per cent, moving him to second on the all-time accuracy list, a fraction behind Bulldogs winger Hazem El Masri.
The former Parramatta and Manly player revealed the time he spent with then kicking-coach Taylor at the Eels in 2003-04 was the key point in his development as a kicker.
Taylor, who played with Western Suburbs, North Sydney, the Northern Eagles and Parramatta, holds the all-time record of 942 for the most career goals kicked.
"I've been very lucky in my time to come across some really good kicking coaches," Witt told AAP.
"With Jason Taylor, when I was really young and he pretty much modelled my whole technique and I've just sort of critiqued it since then.
"He's someone I've always looked up to in terms of goal kicking."
Witt said he had also spent time with former Bulldogs winger Daryl Halligan, who finished his career with 855 goals at 79.2 per cent.
"I had the privilege to work with both those guys and I've just tried to put my own little twist on what they've tried to teach me," he said.
Witt came within seven goals of El Masri's freakish record of kicking 35 consecutive goals last year when he landed 28 straight for the Warriors.
But he is not focussed on giving the record another nudge this year.
"It's not something I think about, and not something I even knew about last year until it came up in the media," Witt said.
"I don't think it's something that should worry me, hopefully if I kick well it will help win us some games."
The five-eighth boasted healthy strike rates in his stints with the Eels and Eagles but said his further improvement in New Zealand was down to more practice and confidence.
"Once you start hitting a few nice and you're confident in the way you're hitting the ball then it sort of seems to flow on," Witt said.
The Warriors travel to Brookvale Oval on Monday to face 2007 grand finalists Manly, who are winless after two rounds.
"They're still chasing the first win of the year so they're going to come out all guns blazing, especially at Brookie so we'll have to be on our game," Witt said.