Warriors road to redemption starts vs Cowboys
Warriors second rower Ben Henry says the players deserve the criticism they're getting and that there's only one way to respond to it: beat the Cowboys tomorrow night.
After taking a step forward against the Roosters a fortnight ago, they took two backwards by losing 28-4 to the Sharks last weekend.
It is hard to remember a time in the Warriors' 18-year history when they have been in such doldrums. It is eight months since they have won a game.
But the journey to redemption could begin tomorrow at Mt Smart Stadium if they can beat the title-contending Cowboys and bring the losing streak to an end at 11 games.
Henry, who has played 25 games for the club, says it's been a tough week for all the players, but admits it's all their own doing.
"It has been down, but we did this to ourselves," he said of the mood last week.
"It doesn't help when you keep kicking yourself in the foot. But in saying that, we've got to focus on the Cowboys game.
"We can't change what has happened and the only way we can change things is by winning, so we need to do that this time."
Despite the despondency in the performance and result against the Sharks, Henry says there is confidence among the squad that they can beat the Cowboys, a team that possesses one of the game's greatest players, Johnathan Thurston.
"Losing the first three games of the season isn't the way you want to start, but we have got something to play for and in adversity we tend to get tighter," he said.
"Hopefully, coming from that aspect, if everyone jumps on board, hopefully we'll get the win."
One factor that hasn't been discussed during the Warriors' terrible start to the season is that they haven't yet played a "proper" home game.
Their previous fixture in Auckland was against the Roosters at Eden Park, a venue where the Warriors have never won. So at least tomorrow they'll be playing in an environment they know well.
"It is definitely something we can use to our advantage," he said. "We feel at home here, this is our home ground, so things this week are working in favour for us.
"It is just that on the day we've got to show up and we've all got to be accountable for our actions.
"We haven't been playing the footy that I know we can play over the last three weeks, but everything is in our favour, it's a home game, they've got a long way to travel over here, so hopefully we can win."
Although the Cowboys were regarded as one of the favourites to make it to the Grand Final before the season began, they find themselves with just one win in three games and were surprisingly thrashed 34-6 by the Knights last Monday night.
"In the Cowboys' game against Melbourne the week before they played a really good brand of footy and just seeing them go down to Newcastle Knights like that shocked me," said Henry. "But what's shocked me even more is that they've now got something to play for.
"They will be coming off that loss to the Knights as a desperate team, but we're desperate too, so I'm sure it will be a good contest between us."