Warriors hoping for backs to hurt Sharks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Warriors hoping for backs to hurt Sharks

By Xavier La Canna 15/08/2008 03:09:33 PM Comments (0)

The New Zealand Warriors are hoping a backline boost will help them overcome an in-form Cronulla in Saturday night's NRL game.

Buoyed by the promising return of star fullback Wade McKinnon in last weekend's win over Brisbane, Warriors assistant coach John Ackland predicted it was only a matter of time before his side's backline began to really fire.

"Last week we virtually had a new backline," Ackland said.

"We had a lot of boys that were playing together for the first time in a long time.

"You would expect them to be a little bit rusty. You would also expect them to be a little bit better this week.

"Sammy Rapira is getting that big right arm free and it is only a matter before McKinnon just steams onto one and runs under the posts.

Ackland was expecting a tough game against the Sharks, who are third on the table and eight points clear of the Warriors.

The Warriors are 10th, and one of five teams with 24 competition points, making a win vital if they hope to reach the play-offs.

Because of New Zealand's big losses early in the season they will likely need at least three wins from their final four matches to make the top eight.

"The season is in our hands," he said.

The Sharks have won three of their last four matches, and will be keen to cement their position in the top four for the finals with another victory on Saturday - while also keeping pressure on leaders Manly and Melbourne, who sit ahead of Cronulla only on for-and-against heading in to round 23.

"They have got a couple of big, hard running centres," Ackland said.

"They kick well. They will probably finish their sets well. All the things that we try and do really."

The Warriors will also be playing without second rower Micheal Luck, who has a shoulder injury.

Warriors captain Steve Price said he hoped his team would lift in front of a parochial home crowd.

"They have been one of the better sides all season and we lost to them last time. They are coming into it with some good form. The challenge is up to us," Price said.

Price said the Warriors had been concentrating on improving their combinations with the new talent back in the side.

"To try and get it working as well as we can is the most important thing. That is the focus this week," he said.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news