Warriors keen for some 'Happy Days' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Warriors keen for some 'Happy Days'

By Nicky Park 11/05/2010 05:38:34 PM Comments (0)

Warriors coach Ivan Cleary reckons happy days are coming back with key players Simon Mannering, Manu Vatuvei and Brett Seymour set to rejoin his young NRL side.

"It's a bit like in Happy Days when the Fonz ain't around you know, and Ralph Malph and Potsie Weber can sort of keep it going for so long," Cleary said at training on Tuesday.

"They can hold the fort for a while but after a while it starts to become a little bit harder."

The Warriors head in to Saturday night's clash against North Queensland with three straight losses under their belt - all at home, a streak which Seymour described as "pitiful".

The Kiwi side have been counting on their young guns to perform after hamstring injuries ruled out newly-appointed skipper Mannering and 112kg winger Vatuvei early in the season.

The side have also been without new recruit Seymour after the halfback copped a broken thumb in round two and there's still no sign of former captain Steve Price returning from a string of injuries this season.

"We've got a few guys back in our team this week that will boost everybody's confidence and make everyone else look better," Cleary said.

"They won't change things by themselves but certainly if you stand next to some of those guys on the field you feel a bit bigger."

While Mannering, Vatuvei and Seymour boast more than 300 NRL appearances between them, the match against the Cowboys marks the debut at this level of Mataupu Poching.

The 22-year-old has been named to team up with Kiwis prop Sam Rapira in the front-row while the other change in the pack sees Mannering replace Lewis Brown, with Ben Matulino moving to the interchange bench.

"Finally he's got some football together and we feel like he's ready for a shot at the bigtime," Cleary said of Poching.

With Seymour restored at halfback, James Maloney replaces Joel Moon at standoff and Kevin Locke has been recalled to the right wing for Patrick Ah Van, who has a broken jaw and is expected to be out of action for four weeks.

Cleary, buoyed by the re-signing of Micheal Luck and the capture of Eels duo Feleti Mateo and Krisnan Inu for next season, picked a side with plenty of "steel", hoping to lift his side's poor first half performances.

"It's hard to win any NRL game let alone giving the opposition a head start," he said.

"It just sort of affects a whole lot of things in your game, but if you do it week in, week out it starts to affect confidence and especially with a young team, it's hard for them to look up at the scoreboard and think, `Oh gee, there's another big mountain to climb'."

The Cowboys notched up a shock 32-14 win over the Sydney Roosters on Monday night, ending a run of four consecutive defeats, and Cleary said he had an "inkling" NRL star, Jonathan Thurston would run out this weekend to face the Warriors.

"It does change things considerably if he does," he said.

"But at the end of the day they way we've been playing, we're much more focused on what we can deliver and that's what will be our main focus this week."

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