Vatuvei accepts some blame for loss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Vatuvei accepts some blame for loss

By Wayne Heming 10/09/2010 11:33:38 PM Comments (0)

Big-hearted winger Manu Vatuvei accepted some of the blame for the Warriors' 28-16 NRL qualifying final loss to an efficient Gold Coast Titans which left them sweating on results of other games to learn their finals fate.

Warriors coach Ivan Cleary identified an error by Vatuvei whose pushed pass under pressure near his own try-line led to Titans winger Kevin Gordon scoring a crucial try in the 65th minute.

The Warriors had fought their way back into the contest from 24-16 - on the back of a typical bulldozing Vatuvei try - before he made the mistake which led to Gordon scoring the match winner a minute later.

"It's hard to criticise Manu but there was a big error there when we were back to 24-16 and we had the running there and they scored, that was sort of crucial," said Cleary.

Cleary believed his side had started well enough but got flustered midway through the first half and lost their way a bit.

"Looking back though I think we thought we were going worse than what we really were," he said.

"We made too many errors and just pushed things too much. Whether that's the pressure of the finals, maybe, but it sort of hurt us."

Vatuvei didn't hide from his costly error and was hoping results would fall the Warriors' way over the weekend to give them another shot at the finals.

The Warriors must hope that two of three teams that finished in 6th (Sydney Roosters), 7th (Canberra) and 8th (Manly) lose their finals matches for the New Zealanders' season to continue.

"We're not out yet, it's 50-50," said Vatuvei.

"There were a few mistakes tonight that I think cost us the game and I was part of that.

"We just have to hope we get a second chance and we can make up for it.

"The Titans are a team who will take the easy points if you give them the chance and we did that too often with a number of mistakes."

Cleary said Vatuvei had not been on a mission to test out the suspect shoulder of Titans skipper Scott Prince, despite sending the much smaller halfback flying a number of times.

"Not really, but when you're Manu's size, you're going to run at someone like Prince," he said.

"He didn't go chasing him though."

Cleary said he would watch the other games which would decide his team's season.

"I'd like to think the Dragons will win (against Manly) and Penrith (v Canberra) or the Tigers (v Roosters) ... it's 50-50." he said.

"I'll watch it, it's not torture, it's life."

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