Vodafone Warriors coach Stephen Kearney will lean on the experience in his side to take some of the pressure of whichever young halfback he hands a start to in the opening round of the 2019 NRL premiership.
After the 12-6 trial win over Melbourne on Friday night, Kearney repeated it was a two-way battle between Adam Keighran and Chanel Harris-Tavita to be Blake Green's halves partner in the season-opener against the Bulldogs at Mount Smart Stadium on March 16.
Keighran and Harris-Tavita started the Storm trial together.
"They both applied themselves really well tonight," said Kearney..
"They have worked very hard during the preseason and put in a decent showing."
Kearney said using 22 players in the match made it hard for his young halfbacks to strike up combinations.
"They both had their moments, there is plenty to work with. It’s pretty hard when you bring over 23 players and use 22 (Jazz Tevaga was stripped but not used," he said.
"Its a bit of a challenge [in those circumstances], particularly for young halves."
The Vodafone Warriors know the youngster handed a starting spot in round one will be inexperienced but Kearney said the wealth of experience they have around them should make the task a little easier.
We forget that they are not going to be out there by themselvesStephen Kearney Vodafone Warriors head coach
"We forget that they are not going to be out there by themselves," he said.
"We have an experienced fullback [Roger Tuivasa-Sheck] who will be helping them, pretty experienced forwards, pretty experienced half (Blake Green), Tohu [Harris] and Adam Blair and the like.
"We worked really hard in the preseason to make sure we take a bit of pressure off them."
Aside from the question he has to answer regarding Green's partner, Kearney said any win over Melbourne is worth remembering.
"The guys did some good things," he said.
"Melbourne are a tough footy club to play against, regardless of who they have got out there. They probably didn't hang on to the ball as much as they would have liked."
The Vodafone Warriors will face the Wests Tigers in their final preseason match at the Northland Events Centre on Whangarei on March 2.