NRL 2019: Graham Lowe feels NZ Warriors have 'big problems' after Raiders defeat

Kiwi rugby league legend Graham Lowe feels the controversies over NRL referees has taken attention away from the real problems at the NZ Warriors, after their embarrassing 46-12 defeat to the Canberra Raiders.

The Warriors arguably produced their worst performance of the season against 'The Green Machine', slumping to a record-equalling sixth consecutive defeat at their Penrose home.

The match was their first since the Warriors' highly controversial 24-22 defeat to the Parramatta Eels, where officials made three crucial errors that went against Stephen Kearney's side.

The three calls are among several that have gone against the Warriors this season, only for NRL head of football elite competitions Graham Annesley to later confirm the onfield decisions were incorrect. 

Speaking on the AM Show, Lowe felt the dramas had overshadowed the real problems at the cub, as they showed their true colours against the Raiders. 

"They have had good moments over the last few weeks and they've had difficult times with the referees," said Lowe. 

Warriors coaching staff watch on against the Canberra Raiders.
Warriors coaching staff watch on against the Canberra Raiders. Photo credit: Photosport

"The referees have been performing far better than the Warriors and that's taken the focus off what's been happening [on the field]. 

"It appears they're non-thinkers at times. The big problem needs to be fixed, and you just need to go in there and fix it." 

While Lowe didn't go in-depth about what the "big problems" were, he hinted that attitude was a real issue at the club. 

"The teams back in the day - in the 60s-80s - those teams playing in the Fox Memorial Shield in Auckland played better football than these Warriors. Those players had determination. 

"It is a number of things and we all have different views, but as far as Graham Lowe is concerned, my views are far greater and I will not compromise what I believe in to fit in with mediocrity." 

Along with the refereeing dramas, the Warriors have also been struggling with depth, with Issac Luke suspended, and Tohu Harris (foot), David Fusitu'a, Patrick Herbert (hamstring) Nathaniel Roache (knee) all on the sidelines.

On top of that, Kodi Nikorima (ankle) and Karl Lawton (shoulder) both re-aggravated their respective injures against the Raiders. 

With five games remaining, the Warriors sit outside the top eight and face a tough run home, with all their opponents currently inside the NRL playoff cut.

On Friday night, they host the Manly Sea Eagles, who have won nine of the last 10 meetings between the two teams. The Warriors last beat the Sea Eagles in Auckland in 2013. 

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