Several Warriors face a do-or-be-dropped scenario this weekend against the Broncos, with Todd Payten sharpening the selection axe after some forthright conversations with individuals this week.
The Warriors let in nine tries in a 50-6 shellacking against the Melbourne Storm in Payten’s first game in charge, making it 16 tries and 90 points that the team has conceded in the past fortnight.
Those dire defensive statistics prompted some one-on-one feedback to players from Payten.
“I’ve got around to some individuals who I wasn’t happy with, let them know what I thought and what’s expected of them,” Payten said.
“I think everyone is on the same page now in terms of effort and diving into our defensive efforts.”
Payten said the team had made a structural change in defence and while some slip ups would be accommodated, effort was non-negotiable.
“They [the players in question] responded well. 'This effort here,' I showed them video, 'This is not good enough, I need you to do this,'” Payten said.
"I didn’t ask them why. Moving forward if you give me that effort again, I will go with someone else, plain as day.
“If it happens again then we won’t be picking them. They know that. It’s very, very clear.
“We’ve made some changes to our defensive structures. There will be some teething problems with that early on.”
Peta Hiku would be moved to fullback to replace suspended captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck while Gerard Beale would come into the centres, Payten said.
Payten also addressed suggestions that the Warriors should loan Kiwis captain Benji Marshall from the Tigers.
“I think he would add value to our squad but we’re not short on halves,” Payten said.