The Warriors' Adam Keighran passes the ball during his team's NRL trial match against the Melbourne Storm at GMHBA Stadium, Geelong on Friday night.
The Warriors' Adam Keighran passes the ball during his team's NRL trial match against the Melbourne Storm at GMHBA Stadium, Geelong on Friday night.

Halves options please Warriors coach in trial

WARRIORS coach Stephen Kearney has given emerging halves Adam Keighran and Chanel Harris-Tavita a pass mark as his NRL team prepares for life without Shaun Johnson.

The youngsters played in the Warriors' 12-6 NRL trial victory over Melbourne in Geelong on Friday night.

Kearney is auditioning the pair to partner five-eighth Blake Green after New Zealand half Johnson's off-season departure to Cronulla.

Both teams fielded large squads and plenty of untested combinations but Kearney was happy with what he saw from Keighran and Harris-Tavita.

"They both applied themselves real well," Kearney said.

"They have worked very hard during the pre-season and put in a decent showing.

"It's pretty hard when you bring over 23 players and use 22, particularly for young halves."

Kearney said the return of their senior talent would make the job easier for whoever got the nod at No.7 for their NRL opener against Canterbury on March 16.

"We forget that they are not going to be out there by themselves," Kearney said.

"We have the team with an experienced fullback (Roger Tuivasa-Sheck), who will be helping them and, pretty experienced forwards and half.

"We worked really hard in the pre-season to make sure we take a bit of pressure off them."

Experience hooker Issac Luke, who didn't play in the trial, could leave the Warriors by utilising a get-out clause should rival clubs top his current contract.

Kearney said he wasn't aware of Luke's contract situation but he was a required player.

"I haven't been privy to that. I will sort it out when I get back home," he said.

Nathaniel Roach and Sam Cook shared the No.9 duties against the Storm.

The match was Roach's first in 16 months after back surgery.

"It was a nervous night for him but he got through it really well," Kearney said.

"They both had really good games."

The Warriors will take on the Wests Tigers in their final preseason match on March 2.

- AAP

News Corp Australia

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