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Hapless Warriors determined to bounce back

JOE BARTON
Last updated 14:45 19/05/2013
Nathan Friend
Getty Images
NATHAN FRIEND: "I think as a group we've just got to regather our thoughts and turn around for next week."

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Having hit rock bottom, the Warriors are convinced that next week can only be better.

Suffering the heaviest defeat in their history in Saturday night's 62-6 NRL thrashing by Penrith, the last thing the Warriors will be excited about is watching replays.

And yet, that's all they would speak about after the shellacking which left the Auckland-based club with an awful 2-8 season record matched only by the hapless Wests Tigers.

This week's video review session is likely to be the most illuminating of many Warriors' careers, with winger Manu Vatuvei and bench forward Elijah Taylor the only players to not miss a tackle.

Tireless hooker Nathan Friend was alarmed at the ease with which the Panthers punched their way through the Warriors defensive line en route to a 10-tries-to-one thrashing.

"It didn't feel that good out there. It felt like there was a lot of spaces around you," he said.

"I think as a group we've just got to regather our thoughts and turn around for next week."

Their next opposition comes in the form of Wayne Bennett's up-and-down Newcastle outfit, a proposition Friend said was "as big a challenge as anyone in the comp".

But he still feels it is possible to rebound.

"We're certainly capable," he said.

"We've really got to gather our thoughts and have a look at our video this week.

"Just have a shift in attitude you know? It was just out of character.

"We've been so competitive all year.

"Just to throw it in ... it was very disappointing."

Halfback Shaun Johnson said the Knights clash offered an opportunity to players to regain some of the pride they lost in the dispiriting defeat at Centrebet Stadium.

"It's a good opportunity for us to really bounce back and really put some pride back in the jersey and back within the group," he said.

"I know whoever takes the field next week is going to be looking to do that.

"We're going to have to (learn from the loss).

"It's pretty hard to get your head around at the moment. Certainly I'll break down the game and we'll just have to take it all on the chin."

Johnson said the morale of the group was rattled by the loss, admitting the mood in the sheds afterwards was as bad as he'd seen.

"As you can imagine, anytime you lose it's not a good mood," he said.

"But when you perform like that and get pumped like that, it's pretty crap at the moment.

"We've just got to review the game and put it behind us."

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