Foran commitment defended

Coach Steve Kearney has defended Kieran Foran against accusations he isn't 100 per cent focused on the Warriors.

Former Kiwis coach Frank Endacott said on Tuesday he didn't think Foran had played well recently because he was already thinking about the Bulldogs, who he will join next year.

However, Kearney was not impressed with the implication.

"I think there's been stages where everyone hasn't been at their best and to single out Kieran is pretty ordinary," he said.

"Has he been at his best? Absolutely not. But he's not by himself there, so I don't think he's clocked out early.

"I think he did some OK things early in the contest and I'm not going to be really critical because it's a team performance.

"My expectation is you will see a better performance this week."

While Foran was only in his second game back from a quad injury, the Kiwis playmaker had an uncharacteristically quiet performance during last week's defeat to the Panthers.

With halfback Shaun Johnson ruled out for six to eight weeks with a knee injury, much of the burden will fall on Foran to step up in his absence.

But Johnson, who has been replaced by reserve grade halfback Mason Lino for Saturday's crunch clash against the Cowboys, believed that was unfair on his teammate who he praised for his work organising the attack.

"'Foz' (Foran) will continue to do what he's been doing," Johnson said. "He's the voice of our team and he does a terrific job at getting boys into position. 

"I don't expect 'Foz' to step up, I think he's been doing a great job and we just need him to keep building on his performance."


Photo by: SCOTT BARBOUR/GETTY IMAGES (Kieran Foran hasn't clocked out early, says coach Steve Kearney).