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Berry in bloom as Farnworth showdown awaits

With a healthy body and a consistent voice coming from the coaching box in 2023, Rocco Berry is beginning to show his true ability in the NRL arena. 

Since making his first-grade debut two years ago, Berry has worked under three different head coaches at the Warriors and had to overcome a range of injuries which have held him back.

As a convert from rugby union who only switched codes at the end of 2018, he was also among those most impacted by the club's inability to field their own reserve-grade side during the pandemic. 

It's meant this season has been his first opportunity to play more than four NRL games in succession and since Round 11 he's been coach Andrew Webster's first-choice right centre. 

After getting the better of Origin star Bradman Best in their Finals Week Two clash – which included scoring a try and nailing the majority of his defensive assignments against the lethal left-side of the Knights – the 22-year-old said he’s gaining confidence every week from playing alongside veteran edge partners Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Shaun Johnson and Marata Niukore.  

Warriors v Knights – Finals Week 2, 2023

“It’s just been good to play consistent footy, this is the most games I have played in a row by far and that plays a big part in form,” Berry told 

You build combos each week when you can play with the same players and that’s been huge. Each week I’m getting more reps and it builds confidence.

Rocco Berry

“Playing outside of Shaun and Marata has really allowed me to just do my job, which is to focus on kick chase and trying to give Dal the ball early and in good positions.”

While his impressive effort to score in the 40-10 win over the Knights last Saturday was just his third try in 15 games this year, Berry has been in the thick of the attack as one of the main providers for prolific wing Watene-Zelezniak, who got over for his 22nd four-pointer of the season last week.

But it’s on the defensive side that he’s been most impressive to date in 2023 and he will need to be at his very best again if he is to contain powerhouse Bronco Herbie Farnworth at Suncorp Stadium. 

Farnworth averages five tackle busts per game this year and has scored 13 tries in 24 appearances.

“He’s a great player, a dangerous player who has really good carries,” Berry said of his opposite number this week. 

“When we played them earlier in the year he was a handful, so I am going to have to prepare well and make sure I am on my game.

Herbie Farnworth sends a message

“But we think if we stay in our system our defence works against all attack.

“I just can’t take a backwards step or be having any lapses in concentration.”

The Warriors have a good recent record against the Broncos, with wins in two of their last four meetings, but have tasted victory at Suncorp Stadium just once in their past four visits.

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