Champagne goes flat for Warriors new boys

DAVID LONG
Last updated 05:00 31/03/2013
Dane Nielsen
Photosport
DANE NIELSEN: The centre will make a welcome return from injury for the Warriors clash with the Knights.

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When Dane Nielsen and Todd Lowrie downed their last glass of Champagne and said goodbye to their pals at the Melbourne Storm last year after winning the grand final, they would never have anticipated jumping from one of the most successful teams in the NRL's history, to one who are still winless.

While their old club sit atop this year's ladder with four wins, Nielsen and Lowrie's Warriors are rooted to the bottom, and have the daunting task of hosting the North Queensland Cowboys tomorrow.

So here's the obvious question to ask the affable Lowrie, do you wish you hadn't come to the Warriors?

"I have got no regrets," he said.

"I made the decision in round 10 last year. I made the decision early so I knew where I was going and I could focus on that year.

"Obviously this isn't ideal and no-one wants to have no wins after three games, but that's where we are.

"We've got ourselves into this situation and now we've got to get ourselves out of it."

When the Warriors were going through tough times at the end of last season while Brian McClennan was the coach, in-fighting within the team broke out and player power came to the fore.

So far, there haven't been any signs of that this season, or at least any of it leaking out.

If the Warriors are going to snap their 11-game losing streak tomorrow, they need to stay committed to the game plan and believe in each other.

"You have to stay tight in situations like this," Nielsen said.

"We've lost three from three and we've got a big game against the Cowboys coming up.

"Obviously there are things at training and in games that we're not doing.

"So we need to improve and learn, but we also need to help each other. It's not about yelling and screaming at each other, or playing the blame game. We've all got to be accountable in doing our jobs and at the moment we're not doing that."

"This weekend we really need to fire as individuals and as a team, help each other get better, because we've got a big game coming up and they copped a hiding last weekend too."

Warriors coach Matt Elliott has been equally open when discussing what went wrong after each of this year's losses, and following the 28-4 defeat to the Sharks last weekend, he suggested that the team's preparation was wrong.

"The Sharks played some good footy, but we put ourselves under a lot of pressure," said Nielsen.

"It's all well and good doing stuff at training when there's no pressure on you and you're fresh, but we're having difficulties in taking that from the training paddock and putting it into a game.

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"It's something we've all got to improve on, the coaching staff and playing group."

- Sunday Star Times

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