You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Warriors prop Leeson Ah Mau.

Warriors players expect to work on changing their tackling technique after coach Nathan Brown made a point of ensuring they were aware all five matches before their game against Parramatta last weekend had been impacted by the loss of a man to the sin bin.

The Warriors-Eels clash on Sunday was the sixth match of Magic Round at Suncorp Stadium and it was the only game in which no player was sin-binned or sent off after the NRL announced a crackdown on any contact with the head of an opponent.

Star Warriors players Ken Maumalo, Leeson Ah Mau and Bayley Sironen backed the tough action on Tuesday and said it was up to teams to practice tackling lower before next weekend's round of matches or risk playing with less than 13 players.

"It will take a bit of time for the point to get across," Maumalo said. "I know that the way we train is going to have to change, in terms of our tackle technique and where we want to hit.

"For pre-season we normally try to lock up the ball, hence why we go high. But I guess we're going to have to change our tackle technique and we're probably going to have to try to aim lower."

Ah Mau also expected tackling to be a focus at training this week as the Warriors prepare to play Wests Tigers at Central Coast Stadium on Friday night.

Murdoch-Masila keeps Warriors in the contest

"I think that the coaching staff will talk about it and they might start to introduce that low tackling into some of our training session," the Kiwis Test prop said.

Sironen said that the Warriors had seen watched the matches on Frirday night and Saturday so knew that the referees were enforcing a zero tolerance policy for high contact after Canberra prop Josh Papalii was sent off and 12 other players sent to the sin bin.

St George Illawarra centre Tyrell Fuimaono and Gold Coast forward Herman Ese'ese were sent off in later matches, while Dragons enforcer Josh McGuire and Penrith prop Moses Leota were sin-binned.

"The rules haven't really changed, it is just the punishment that has," said Sironen, who will miss the clash with his former club and close friend Luke Brooks after suffering a knee injury in the 34-18 loss to the Eels.

"As players we are all really conscious that you are not allowed to touch the head and the coaching staff spoke about how the NRL is cracking down hard on it.

"We saw from the other games where teams were really hindered by having that person in the sin bin, so it is something that we are conscious of. It is good that the NRL are taking a stance on it and trying to knock it out of the game."

Ah Mau said: "It was spoken about before the game so all the boys were aware of it and we definitely didn't want to be a man down, so we were really cautious about the head area and it was really good that no one got sent off".

Walsh steps, dummies and scores

As a winger who often has to run the ball into the teeth of the defence after fielding a kick near his own line, Maumalo welcomed the crackdown.

"I can bring the ball back knowing that the top six inches are alright, and I have just got to worry about the rest of the body," Maumalo said.

"I reckon it's a good rule, especially for the well-being of the players.

I think [ARLC chairman] Peter V'Landys has hit it on the head when he said they wanted the players to go back to their families after footy. If anything, he's just trying to look after the welfare of the players first and foremost.

"Browny spoke to the group about it before the game, it was pretty obvious what they [the referees] wanted to work on and knuckle down on.

"With the head knocks and the sin bins now someone leaving our team could leave a massive hole. It could be a close game and once someone is off the margin could blow out.

"I guess it's a rule that they want to be strong on and I don't blame them. I reckon it is an awesome move for us moving forward and the younger generation coming through."

Acknowledgement of Country

The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

Principal Partner

Major Partners

Official Sponsors

View All Partners