6 Apr 2019

Pass mark for Harris-Tavita

9:35 am on 6 April 2019

Taking the heat off Blake Green was Chanel Harris-Tavita's primary task on NRL debut for the Warriors.

Warriors playmaker Chanel Harris-Tavita.

Warriors playmaker Chanel Harris-Tavita. Photo: Andrew Cornaga/Photosport

He earned a pass mark in the 26-10 win over Gold Coast in Auckland but can expect the same message to resonate even louder when the Kiwi outfit face South Sydney next week.

Veteran halfback Green was constantly pressured when kicking on Friday, including one late dive at the legs from Moeaki Fotuaika which will be assessed by the match review committee.

Coach Stephen Kearney said the NRL needs to ensure playmakers are protected, encouraged that similar incidents in earlier rounds had resulted in bans for Brisbane's Matt Lodge and Manly's Addin Fonua-Blake.

However, Kearney conceded the Warriors could do more themselves to protect their influential No.7 by mixing up kicking options.

Green kicked for 350m while Harris-Tavita accounted for 146m, the latter looking composed when called on.

"It's probably something that we need to do a bit better," Kearney said.

"Greeny, obviously a lot of the teams are going after him (so) we'll make a couple of adjustments. Particularly early in the game, we can take a bit of heat off Greeny."

Kearney had dropped five-eighth Adam Keighran primarily because he wasn't involved enough.

Harris-Tavita's greater contribution freed up Green, who laid on two of the Warriors four tries through clever passes and pulled the strings on most attacking raids.

Elsewhere, Harris-Tavita impressed in a debut that fell two days after his 20th birthday.

He couldn't suppress a smile that betrayed his youth, revealing the rare sight in first grade of braces on his teeth.

Nerves needed to be kept at bay in the hours leading up to kick-off.

"I played a bit of Fortnite to take my mind off it, watched a bit of Netflix,. That kept me a bit chilled," he said.

"I can't believe how long that was. It was the longest 80 minutes of my life."