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Afoa demands more of himself vs Dragons

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 25/03/2017 Angelo Risso
Bunty Afoa. © Getty Images Bunty Afoa.

Bunty Afoa is very much the junior partner of the Warriors' back-row brigade, but that doesn't mean he's willing to slack off.

The 20-year-old says he struggled to get a foothold off the bench in last week's 24-12 loss to the Bulldogs and failed to give his side much-needed go-forward.

Having played most of his first-grade football in the second row, Afoa was sent on as a replacement prop by coach Stephen Kearney and told to win territory for his side.

Playing just over a half under the Forsyth-Barr Stadium roof, the frizzy-haired Aucklander responded by making a steady if unspectacular 25 tackles and 55 ball-running metres.

Yet Afoa was hard on himself after his side's second loss of the season, saying he hadn't done enough for them in their moment of need.

He's since spent the whole week pumping himself up for Sunday's clash with the Dragons in Sydney, where he is likely to again start from the pine.

"I just didn't really step up - we needed some go-forward in the middle and that was my job, to get that middle going," Afoa said.

"That go-forward, some quick play-the-ball for Issac Luke and then onto Shaun (Johnson) and all of them in the backs."

Afoa started the Warriors' first two NRL games in place of back-rower Bodene Thompson, who returned from an ankle injury for the match against Canterbury.

He said he was happy to move back onto the bench for Thompson, giving Kearney the opportunity to unleash him against the Dragons in the front or back row.

"I still have the mindset of going in there and doing my job, I just need to keep my performance up and be consistent," Afoa said.

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