Rugby League

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Harris-Tavita needs to find voice: Payten

Warriors coach Todd Payten wants Chanel Harris-Tavita to develop a stronger voice as he adjusts to his new role as starting NRL half for the club.

The 21-year-old has played the past two games at halfback after first choice No.7 Blake Green left abruptly to join Newcastle.

Undoubtedly skilled, Harris-Tavita burst into the NRL scene in 2019 and has since played 20 first grade games but is yet to find his sweet spot in controlling a match.

In Friday night's 18-12 loss to Penrith he was again solid, setting up a try with a perfectly weighted kick for Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and putting his body on the line with some energetic defence.

But Payten believes his biggest improvement will come in his communication.

"Chanel has played a couple of decent games, he actually goes after the game as you saw with the tackle late in the game," Payten said.

"When it's pretty tightly contested he's actually tried to turn this team.

"He's going to develop into a really good first-grader.

"His direction and talk probably needs to, not get better, but it's a week by week thing. It's about him feeling confident and comfortable with his role in the team.

"He needs to be able to feel comfortable telling the players around him what to do, if he has to swear, whatever it takes, that's where he's got to get to."

After two straight wins the Warriors were disappointed with their loss to Penrith - no matter how gutsy it was.

Somehow, in the midst of a strange season and with plenty of excuses at the ready, the Warriors continue to turn up fighting.

"I just think over time we haven't given them an out now that they're (in Australia)," Payten said.

"We want to do everyone proud back home.

"We've said it a few times, everyone is pretty happy, we're in each other's pockets, but it has a benefit.

"The families are really enjoying their time in Australia, it's almost like a working holiday.

"There's a good spirit and I think that plays a big part in it and helps them. My message always relates back to doing it for New Zealand."

--End of article--

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