Warriors out to end their Eden Park hoodoo

DAVID LONG
Last updated 05:00 13/03/2014
Matt Elliott
PHIL WALTER/ Getty
WARRIORS COACH: Matt Elliott.

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Matt Elliott's words may come back to haunt him, but the Warriors coach says he's convinced the club's Eden Park hoodoo will end on Saturday.

The Warriors played their first game at Eden Park in 2011 and have gone back every year since and not once have they managed to win a game there.

This year they're taking three games to the home of rugby in Auckland, with the first being against the Dragons this weekend.

While it's a far more popular venue for spectators to go to than the run down Mt Smart Stadium, it hasn't been a place that's brought much joy for the team.

But Elliott said with no uncertain terms yesterday that he's sure they'll finally get a win at Eden Park this weekend.

''We've played there once since I've been there and I guess we lived up to the curse,'' Elliott said. 

''I fully expect that run to finish this weekend, I'm not being cocky about that or not showing humility.

''I've got a lot of belief in these guys and I know that we play our best footy no matter where we play or what hoodoo exists.

''I like Eden Park, it's a good venue, has got great facilities and it's a place I'm looking forward to going to and winning a game of footy.''

In order to get the elusive win Elliott needs to pick the team up from a deflating 36-16 loss to the Eels last weekend.

After an impressive preseason and going up against the team that's collected the wooden spoon the past two years, it was a shock to see them get taken apart in Parramatta.

''The first response we wanted was disappointment and we all shared in that,'' Elliott said. 

''People compared it to the beginning of last year and I can guess why, the same opposition and a disappointing result, but for me there was plenty of effort there. 

''All of our data proves that we had effort there, but we just didn't play collectively and we hadn't seen that all preseason.

''So I was pretty shocked about last week to be honest. Disappointment has been one of the things we've had to deal with over the last couple of days but we can't allow it to be anything other than a driving force, rather than a distracting force.

''So today at training it looked like it was manifesting from one to the other, a lot of people wanting to contribute, a lot of talk but not quite nailing it down like we would have liked to have seen.''

Meanwhile, there were reports in the Australian media yesterday that the Bulldogs want to bring Warriors' Glen Fisiiahi to the club as soon as possible, to play him at fullback.

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However, they could be in for a considerably long wait as Fisiiahi is signed to the Warriors until the end of next season and there is zero chance of the club ever agreeing to give him an early release. 

Fairfax Media understands that it's the Sea Eagles' Gisborne born Peta Hiku that the Bulldogs are actually after.

Hiku comes off contract at the end of this season and would be a player far easier to lure to the Bulldogs than Fisiiahi.

- Stuff

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