NZ Warriors coach Nathan Brown admits he's still trying to work out where to play teen sensation Reece Walsh, after their 38-32 loss to Manly Sea Eagles.
Despite shining in his first two NRL outings against Melbourne Storm and North Queensland Cowboys, Walsh was relegated to the bench with the return of Chanel Harris-Tavita from injury.
As a result, Walsh spent 53 minutes on the Warriors bench, only entering the fray as Manly took a 22-20 lead, an advantage they wouldn't relinquish.
But even in the heartbreaking defeat, which saw the Warriors throw away a 20-12 halftime lead, Walsh continued to show why he's among the competition's most exciting prospects.
The 18-year-old scored the Warriors' final try, indirectly assisted on Harris-Tavita's second try, and produced one linebreak and two tackle breaks, trying in vain to spark a late comeback.
The defeat also saw Walsh utilised in a third different role in three matches. Against Melbourne, Walsh was deployed at fullback, before shifting into five-eighth against the Cowboys and finally used as an interchange playmaker against Manly.
Brown concedes he's not sure where Walsh belongs for the rest of 2021.
"I don't know if I'm using Reece properly," he says. "He's only been with us for three weeks.
"Manly had a plan for when he was on the field and they're the things that will be great to learn for Reece. Obviously, they didn't go there by fluke.
"They'd obviously worked out, from when we played him at fullback to where we put him last week, when the Cowboys didn't know where he was going to be.
"This week, Manly probably had a fair idea and that's a part of learning how to play first grade."
But while uncertainty surrounds Walsh's best use for the rest of 2021, the teen sensation is almost certain to take the fullback spot, when captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck returns to rugby union next year.
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