Unfocused Warriors throw it away 14.03.05 by Peter Jessup Manly 26 Warriors 20 It was deja vu at Ericsson Stadium yesterday as the Warriors crumbled to a Manly side that was nothing more than functional, the Warriors throwing away the ball and their chances. I had to keep checking the calendar to see it was 2005. There was all the dropped ball, the standing around waiting for the "name" players to do something, the usual brain explosions. They played down to a Manly side that didn't have nearly the talent, allowed themselves to get sucked into the stupid niggle from Terry Hill and John Hopoate and lost focus. The crowd lost interest and, as in previous years, left early. There was little to enthuse over bar the performance of new forwards Ruben Wiki, a game-high 184 metres and 23 tackles, Steve Price with 151m, 27 tackles and a charge-down and hooker Nathan Fien, who bled profusely from a head wound throughout but improved the dummy-half delivery. The best of the rest were Brent Webb and Wairangi Koopu, last season's best players, with good impact from Louis Anderson and enthusiasm from Lance Hohaia. Stacey Jones looked nervous and hesitant. When the Warriors got to the opposition red-zone they looked short on ideas, the attack was too deep and at times not too enthused. The kicking game was too short or too long, when they did manage to get to a fifth-tackle kick - 27 times out of 45 opportunities - too often the ball went dead or to the Manly fullback. Worryingly, coach Tony Kemp said afterwards that he believed the field kicking was good. Manly's was. They delivered two 40/20s and scored off the second one. They took first points with a chip from halfback Michael Monaghan, when he regathered and passed inside to captain Steve Menzies, then Anthony Watmough took advantage of the territorial gain from five-eighth Michael Witt's 40/20 to make it 12-2 at the break. Four times the Warriors had knocked on within the last 10m. Jones chipped to the Manly line and fullback Brett Stewart was caught, lost the ball and Koopu pounced to score. But almost immediately the Warriors conceded 60m through poor marker play, then Monaghan delivered a nice cross-kick for wing Scott Donald to get the first of a double. Warriors new wing Todd Byrne was not at home and the one-of-four buys who didn't prove his worth. The home team forced another goal-line drop out but knocked-on 2m out. As the game ran down Jones twice kicked too deep for the chasers - but he was kicking from too far off the try-line. Then Fien kicked too high and short, Manly snaffled it and Donald went 60m untouched. Kemp was pleased that everyone put their body on the line and that no one threw the towel in, which was true. Price said the only thing they did wrong was drop the ball, that that was easily fixed and they had the talent and ability to pick up. Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler thanked the Herald for Saturday's preview in which I said that a Warriors defeat was unthinkable and that man-for-man the visitors were out-skilled: That had provided serious motivation, Hasler stated. I told him I'd try a run-down on the Warriors next weekend to see if a newspaper article could inspire them to win in Brisbane. But seriously, if a newspaper article can inspire an ordinary side to beat the Warriors at home, then it's going to be another long season.