Where was
Stacey Jones?

Canterbury 18 defeated the Warriors 12 on Friday night to end their three game losing streak.

The game was a nail-biter with the result not clear until the final minute. This is now occurring regularly in the NRL competition.

The fans and supporters are happy and it would be imagined that the NRL and Fox Sports and to a lesser extent, Channel 9, would be ecstatic over the closeness of the games.

Watching the Warriors v Bulldogs game, one thing stood out:

* Where was Stacey Jones?

The Warriors had every chance to win. After overcoming a lack of possession in the first half, they came back to be in front on the scoreboard late in the second half.

They only needed a key player to 'take the game by the scruff of the neck' and show them how to win.

Observers are entitled to ask 'where was Stacey' or 'why was he not dominant'? In the answer lies the key to how future teams may look to defeat the Warriors.

Stacey Jones had a couple of nice touches and that is expected of him but overall he did not take his runners to the line and he lacked creativity for the better part of the game.

If Stacy Jones wants to play catch and pass, the Warriors will suffer. More involvement is expected of him.

Maybe the long 2002-year, which included the Kiwi tour to the UK, is starting to have a burnout effect for the Warriors.

Daniel Anderson has recognised and stated that Stacey is the Warriors' key player and expects him to have the majority of ball carries from his position as first receiver. The opposition knows that also, but they have had to combat his brilliance with the ball in his hands and creating the plays.

From his creative plays and the leadership that he can inspire, develops the strength and confidence that is needed for the Warriors to win games.

It is not sufficient to be the key player and only catch and pass. Leadership and example was needed for the Warriors to win the game.

The union boy, Sharkey Robinson, may be helpful as a Warrior back up player during the year, but at age 27 it is hard to see him going much further in Rugby League. His dummy half play showed an effective long pass that would be expected from a union halfback, but his passing was slow off the ground as he rose with the ball and his overall performance was not up to the NRL elite level.

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