Warriors look to make statement against Titans
The Warriors come into Sunday's match with the Titans at Mt Smart Stadium, in Auckland, knowing they are just one loss away from being out of playoff contention and another failed season.
The Titans are already out of the playoffs, have been hit by a number of injuries to key players and changed coaches recently. A study of their recent form in trans-Tasman contests shows the Warriors getting it almost all their way.
The Auckland-based club's run against the Titans is better than it has been against almost any other team in the NRL, having won seven straight games, since 2010.
The Titans have won just twice away from home and the Warriors have lost just twice at Mt Smart Stadium this season.
But if the Warriors fail to show up like they did against the Roosters last weekend this encounter will be much closer.
Konrad Hurrell epitomised what went wrong with the Warriors in the 46-12 loss to the Roosters last weekend. Normally a blockbusting centre, he went missing for large parts of the game.
Hurrell, a hard worker, was more than disappointed with his effort, some of which he put down to reluctance to fully test the line, having just returned from a hamstring strain.
"It's all good now but I have still got it in my mind, running around, that I might pull it, so I am just trying to look after it and do all my recovery," Hurrell said earlier this week.
"It was my first game back after the injury and I was pretty disappointed with my performance, and in my head I was thinking about not wanting to do my injury again."
The loss had been a bitter pill to swallow, Hurrell said.
"The first two days we were still a bit down and disappointed . . . but we can't do much about it other than try and forget about it and try and learn a big lesson from it."
He, like the rest of the team, will have to considerably improve their defensive effort after the team missed 50 tackles against the Roosters.
The Titans were also completely outclassed last week looking all but out of the game against the Dragons and slumping to their 14th defeat of the year.
But the Gold Coast side has speed in its backs, particularly through James Roberts and William Zillman, and will probably look to throw the ball wide and test the Warriors' dodgy right flank.
Coach Andrew McFadden said his side still had the sparkle needed to get them through to the top eight.
"We have just got to find it again. It's not like it's not there. We just need to simplify our game and focus on some key things and certainly that intensity is going to be the main one.
"Our mindset is good. We know that we let ourselves down and we were very disappointed after the game but we know that we have still got an opportunity. We are still alive in the competition. We do need things to go our way but the focus is on our own performance, we need to finish the season well."