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Leuluai low-key after golden point loss

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 24/07/2016
Thomas Leuluai © Getty Images Thomas Leuluai

Utility Thomas Leuluai could take no joy from his two-try heroics as the Warriors fell to their third golden point loss in four matches, downed 26-22 by the Raiders in Canberra on Saturday.

Canberra had held a comfortable 22-4 lead with 10 minutes to go, but let in three late tries - two from Leuluai - to set up a grandstand finish in front of 9,741 fans at GIO Stadium.

Raiders skipper Jarrod Croker scored the match-winning try in extra time - his third of the game - to seal a fourth consecutive win.

A subdued Leuluai afterwards described the loss as very disappointing.

"It felt real good in the first half, pretty poor in the second, and then we managed to get our way back into it with a chance to win, but we weren't good enough."

It wasn't a change in mindset which brought the Warriors back into the game, he said, but an improvement in execution as they worked hard to cut back on handling errors.

Leuluai, who returns to Super League club Wigan in England next year, credited the hard work of his teammates for his two tries.

"Some of the ball-playing from the big men was pretty impressive today - they created, I just finished it off," he said.

"For us halves, maybe we could take a bit of a lesson from some of their ball-playing. They played nice and square, and straightened it up, and that's something we can take into next week."

The Warriors, now sitting ninth on the ladder, face the eighth-placed Penrith Panthers at Mt Smart on Saturday.

Leuluai says it's difficult to start thinking about that game after such a disappointing loss.

"I think we are playing some decent football but we're just not getting the results, maybe not finishing things off quite as well as we can.

"The belief is still there but there's areas we need to improve. If we can get that, and put it all together, we're not too far away from a win."

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