McClennan defends Vatuvei NRL error

Robert Lowe, NZ Newswire June 3, 2012, 8:12 pm

Coach Brian McClennan says winger Manu Vatuvei was simply trying too hard when he gave up the error that ended the Warriors' hopes of upsetting NRL frontrunners Melbourne.

A first-half try-scorer as the Warriors raced out to an early 12-0 lead in Auckland on Sunday, Vatuvei went on to produce a crucial late turnover while trying to bust up the touchline.

Melbourne took full advantage with skipper Cameron Smith scoring a try he converted to seal a 22-12 victory.

McClennan said Vatuvei was doing it tough after the match.

"He's distraught at the moment because he tries so hard for our team and that's why everybody is protective of him, myself included, big time," he said.

"It's just that he was trying to ignite something to help the team and just trying too hard and overplayed it."

McClennan said it was a mistake, but one he could forgive.

"If I can say this - someone that's trying too hard and overplays and makes a mistake - I prefer those mistakes than the other one where blokes aren't having a proper dig," he said.

"He's trying his heart out out there. Let's just make sure we remember that.

A 20-Test Kiwi and a Warriors' icon, Vatuvei has extended his club try-scoring record to 95.

But the 26-year-old also copped criticism for his errors in the Warriors' 24-22 defeat to Wests Tigers before their bye last week.

Vatuvei said mid-week that he expected the Melbourne kickers to target him but, interestingly, the Storm sent most of their attacks down the other flank.

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  1. JBmurc07:04pm Thursday 07th June 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    should have keep Inu never really given much of a chance I don't think we'll make the top 8 this year prob 9-10 position

  2. Tarmack5410:11am Monday 04th June 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Be honest, Bluey. If his name was Inu he'd be gone by now. Be brave, take some kind of action to improve the guy. He's too good to lose (like Inu has proved to be) but he needs something to get him thinking

  3. JIMMY10:11am Monday 04th June 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Are the Warriors management regretting to let Cleary go he had 1 year contract left.

  4. thundercat10:00am Monday 04th June 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Nothing wrong with Manu ,where was his back up both times he was running down sideline there was no one there to back him ,yep hes slow down so still gives it a go legs get tired

    1 Reply
  5. Tame Tame Tutai09:25am Monday 04th June 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    I`d say Larry is exactly right, where was the support ? The " Fish ", is reputedly the fastest in the game, he was absent. We are badly missing Kevin Locke

    1 Reply
  6. Peter08:53am Monday 04th June 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    if you want to keep him playing, then its time to play him in the forwards, mind you, you need to coach him into holding on to the ball in the tackles. hes just far to slow now to be a winger, and quite frankly he chooses bad options as well.

  7. wayne.B05:33am Monday 04th June 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Bluey pull your head out of the sand and start acting like a coach give the liablity a rest and get some of the younger players a run in the 1st grade team or go back to pomey land were they play at a slower pace than the nrl .

  8. ceejayy02:12am Monday 04th June 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    I think he's way past his best, far too many mistakes

  9. larry12:02am Monday 04th June 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    had billy slater been our fullback, he wouldve been right on his shoulder as vatuvei made his break,...the warriors are sadly missing a top fullback

  10. larry11:58pm Sunday 03rd June 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    id say its more the fault of the other quick players who never bothered to go with vatuvai,..where was the back up??? i saw players walking watching him make a great break,...i can see locke would probably have been there with him to take that pass, the warriors are guilty of not backing up,..the storm are NOT!


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