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26 May 2017 6:24
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Redemption high on Warriors agenda

    The Warriors will seek absolution for a horror second-half showing against Penrith last weekend when they take on the Dragons in Hamilton on Friday.

    - article from www.rugbyleague.co.nz

    Stephen Kearney
    Stephen Kearney

    Sombre. Disappointed. Embarrassed. Humiliated.

    The Warriors' second-half NRL capitulation against Penrith last weekend left squad members feeling very, very down.

    Overrun in defence and sterile in attack, the Warriors blew a 28-6 half-time lead to lose 36-28, the worst collapse in the club's history.

    But there's no changing the past, prop Jacob Lillyman says.

    There's only the future, and righting the wrongs of that performance - starting immediately, with Friday's clash against the fifth-placed Dragons in Hamilton.

    Putting in a full, consistent 80-minute performance was at the top of coach Stephen Kearney's wish list, according to Lillyman.

    In the Warriors' 10 games this season, only one - a late 14-13 win over the Roosters two weeks ago - came even close to that.

    "There's momentum swings, that's the big one in this game," Lillyman said.

    "You've got to be able to stay in the game when the other team has all the running, and defend really well - we showed that against the Roosters.

    "We're capable of it, but obviously a lot of good work was undone."

    While the Warriors have chopped and changed their forward pack throughout 2017, the Dragons have coasted through with in-form duo Russell Packer and Paul Vaughan.

    The pair have made more than 2500 running metres combined, as the Dragons defy pre-season expectations to sit firmly within the top eight.

    Lillyman, who will start alongside James Gavet in the Waikato, said the only way to nullify the burly pair's influence was to fight fire with fire.

    That would be made even more difficult by the absence of industrious veteran Simon Mannering, out until at least next week with a hamstring strain.

    The side had spent much of this week focusing on their defence in response.

    "Your intent, your physicality - you've got to meet those challenges head on and be ready for it, have an aggressive mindset," Lillyman said.

    "They've got some quality players, guys in real form, and they're certainly going to be a real handful, a real challenge for us."

    The Warriors have already played the Dragons once in 2017, losing 26-12 in Sydney after the late injury withdrawal of Kieran Foran.

    STATS THAT MATTER:

    - The Dragons are a genuine bogey side for the Warriors, having won 12 of their past 13 NRL clashes.

    - The Warriors have never won an NRL match in Hamilton, losing in all three of their attempts - the last against the Bulldogs in 2014.

    - The Dragons have not played outside New South Wales since their last clash against the Warriors, more than 12 months ago.

    (SOURCE: FOX SPORTS LAB)


    NZN




    © 2017 NZN, NZCity


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