Warriors talent Harris-Tavita making ground
RUGBY LEAGUE: Warriors coach Stephen Kearney says two-gamer Chanel Harris-Tavita is showing some good signs early in his NRL career, after he shouldered much of the burden in their slim loss to the Rabbitohs.
The 20-year-old was pitched into the deep end after halves partner Blake Green suffered a groin injury just before their match at Sunshine Coast Stadium on Saturday. The late withdrawal of the 143-game stalwart was a significant blow to New Zealand.
"It's not ideal. He's your chief ball player,” Kearney said.
"Lose him during the warm-up and it's a challenge but...I thought the guys managed it pretty well.”
Five-eighth Harris-Tavita picked up most of the slack when it came to ball playing.
He passed on 44 occasions, which was twice as much as last week.
"He did pretty good. He had Sam (Burgess) running at him all day and for the most part he managed pretty well,” Kearney said.
"We've got guts around him who have played a lot more footy than him and I think they're probably the ones who need to help with managing the game a bit more effectively.”
Harris also kicked eight times, made 17 tackles and booted four conversions in the 28-24 round five loss.
"I thought it was good progress for him,” Kearney said. "He played his first game last week and I thought he was pretty good again. We've just got to keep making improvements.”
Harris-Tavita also had an attempt at a field goal from about 35m out, while under pressure, when the scores were locked at 24 apiece.
"I'm not 100 per cent sure if that was the right play at the time but he took it upon himself to go after it and I'm always going to back him for that,” Kearney said.
"If you miss it's a seven tackle set and all of a sudden you're down on your try line and trying to keep them out but it's what the game is about. He's a brave young kid ... I thought we could have made it a lot easier for him prior to getting to that stage.”
Kearney said he was unsure of the seriousness of Green's injury.
"He was a chance of getting back on before the game but we didn't want to take the risk with him.”