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Head coach Andrew Webster believes the One New Zealand Warriors have produced passages of football ranking among the best in the competition so far this season but concedes they are yet to consistently put it all together for a full game.

Despite the close losses to Cronulla Sutherland Melbourne in the opening two rounds he has seen plenty to be optimistic about.

“I think our best football is better than most in the NRL, which I’m really happy about, but … we all know it’s not there for 80,” he said.

“We did it for long periods and built a lot of pressure on the Melbourne Storm, who are a good footy side so, if we do it for longer, we’ll get what we want, but I think that 80-minute performance is closer.”

One New Zealand Warriors centre Roger Tuivasa-Sheck agreed with his coach’s assessment and said moments are hurting them.

“There were so many opportunities for us in that game to ice it,” said the former Dally M winner.

“We’ve been in it both games, round one and round two, we’re just not finishing them off the way we’d like to.”

Our best football is better than most in the NRL but we all know it’s not there for 80

Andrew Webster One New Zealand Warriors head coach

Webster is confident the Warriors have everything they need to be near the top of the NRL again in 2024 but has challenged the players to take the next step and show it regularly.

“I keep saying it, if we’re consistent and, the way we look at it, we’ve got to be honest with parts of our game and celebrate parts that were amazing,” he said.

“I genuinely think our best footy is some of the best footy in the NRL right now but we’re just not doing it well enough.”

The Warriors were on the wrong end of one of the greatest finishes to a match in NRL history last Saturday night, going down in the final seconds to a spectacular try from Melbourne Storm winger Xavier Coates.

While many involved in the game sympathised with the team for losing in such heartbreaking fashion, Webster kept things in perspective.

“It was a freakish try, but it’s hard to feel happy for them and appreciate how amazing that moment was,” he said.

“At the same time, we look at ourselves every week and we shouldn’t have put ourselves in that situation.”

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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.

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