NRL 2019: Greg Alexander slams Warriors for making Adam Keighran 'scapegoat'

NRL commentator Greg Alexander has slammed Warriors coaching staff for making five-eighth Adam Keighran the "scapegoat" for their poor start to the season.

Coach Stephen Kearney has dropped Keighran for Friday's clash against the winless Gold Coast Titans, with fellow rookie Chanel Harris-Tavita promoted for his NRL debut.

The 21-year-old's demotion from the team is the only non-injury change to the starting line-up, with Karl Lawton replacing hooker Issac Luke, who is out with a hamstring strain.

Keighran shone in his debut against the Bulldogs in round one, scoring 22 points, but he failed to make the same impact against Wests Tigers and Manly Sea Eagles.

But that wasn't the reason why the club lost back-to-back games and Alexander, who played 37 games for the Warriors, says it's unfair to blame Keighran, who will turn out for the club's reserve-grade side this week.

"I was shocked Adam Keighran was dropped after three rounds," he said on Fox Sport's NRL 360 show. "You don't make a 20-year-old rookie the scapegoat for the rubbish the Warriors tossed up.

"It wouldn’t have mattered who was the five-eighth, because the rest of the side didn't play well."

Greg Alexander.
Greg Alexander. Photo credit: AAP

Alexander insisted the forwards were to blame, saying he was "stunned with their lack of physical presence on the field".

He added that they would have to be much better or they would struggle against a big Titans pack, which included Queensland representative Jai Arrow and Kiwis international Kevin Proctor.

Warriors assistant coach Tony Iro agrees that the Warriors forwards must lift their game too.

"I hope they come out firing," said Iro. "The Titans are a big mobile side and have plenty to play for.

"We have plenty of disappointed players here - especially the forwards - and there is only one way to go and that is up.

"We're all accountable for performance and on both sides - coaches and players. We didn't get our jobs done, so the pressure is on us."

Iro expects Harris-Tavita to hold his own against the Titans, whom the Warriors have beaten in 14 of their last 16 encounters.

NRL 2019: Greg Alexander slams Warriors for making Adam Keighran 'scapegoat'
Photo credit: Newshub

"He backs himself and ultimately, if you're making your debut, that's all you can ask of him.  

"Right through the U20s, he had to learn how to play consistent and robust, but he's always putting his hand up and ready to grab the game.

"I'm sure the Titans will be running their plays at him, but I'm sure he'll do a good job. He's played some good footy for our reserve grade and he'll be ready to go.

"We know what Chanel is good at and we are confident he'll show what he can do on Friday night."

Harris-Tavita is expected to take over the goal-kicking duties against the Titans, with Tohu Harris also an option off the tee.

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