Matt Elliott: Warriors need more crisis talks

DAVID LONG
Last updated 05:00 05/07/2013
Matt Elliott
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THINGS LOOKING UP: Warriors coach Matt Elliott.

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The Warriors need to have a session similar to their crisis meeting six weeks ago, despite winning their last five games, coach Matt Elliott says.

After the team lost 62-6 to the Panthers in May an emergency meeting was called, at which the players spoke openly of what had been going wrong.

After those talks the Warriors were a different side and haven't been beaten since.

However, with a tough game against the Rabbitohs on Sunday in Perth coming up, Elliott is worried that standards are starting to slip and there needs to be another honesty session when the team arrives in West Australia.

"Everyone talks about the meeting we had after the Penrith performance, but what we need to do is make sure we have one now, because victories cover over cracks," Elliott said.

"We were lucky at the weekend [against the Broncos], let's be honest, there was a forward pass adjudicated and if I was the opposing coach I wouldn't be happy about it.

"Even Konrad [Hurrell's] match-winning play, it wasn't far off being a match-losing play.

"We get a chance to hang out here as a group which is exciting for us, but we really do need to examine the attitude question again.

"The thing about developing attitude and mentality is that it's never a static thing," Elliott added.

"The mentality that's going to win you the game this week, some of it will be the same for next week, but you need to adapt it and we've got to improve as a team."

Meanwhile, Elliott is hopeful his star wing Manu Vatuvei will be able to play on Sunday, even though he limped off the field last weekend with a knee injury.

Vatuvei sat out training yesterday and although he will definitely make the long trip, management will wait until Saturday before confirming whether he'll play or not. If he isn't, Ngani Laumape will come into the team.

The Warriors have already decided that prop Russell Packer won't be travelling as he still hasn't recovered from his hamstring injury, which means Charlie Gubb comes into the squad.

As the Warriors have been notching up wins each week, the hype and pressure about the next game has intensified.

But there is no bigger challenge in the NRL this season than facing the Rabbitohs.

While they have beaten the Sea Eagles and Roosters in recent weeks, defeating Souths will make everyone in Australia sit up and take notice of this side.

Regardless of this, Elliott doesn't want it to be regarded as a campaign-defining game.

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"We've got to be really careful that we don't make it the litmus test of the season," Elliott said.

"What we've done in the last five weeks is that we should have enough proof to ourselves that we're able to compete with the top teams in the comp.

"I've got a boring saying that knowledge is vastly overrated. What we know now is fine and it's created an awareness, but it's what we do with that knowledge that is most important.

"This weekend the team we're playing has almost got double the competition points that we have and there's a reason for that.

"So we've got to make sure what we've discovered about ourselves in the last five weeks gives us the opportunity to win this game."

- Fairfax Media

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