Salary cap scandals mars Warriors match - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Salary cap scandals mars Warriors match

By Robert Lowe 16/07/2010 04:56:32 PM Comments (0)

If the New Zealand Warriors are feeling a sense of deja vu, it would be entirely understandable.

As they prepared this week to face Melbourne in Auckland on Saturday night, the Storm's NRL salary cap scandal flared up again.

Melbourne's cap rort first came to light in late April and back then the Warriors were also the Storm's next opponents.

The Kiwi side suffered the backlash from fired-up opponents, who ran in seven tries to one in a 40-6 drubbing at Etihad Stadium.

Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah can see the irony in the two sides meeting again.

"We've talked about it and it's just a coincidence, to be honest," he said on Friday.

"I guess whether this ends up being a better result for us is up to us to determine."

Earlier this week, coach Ivan Cleary said it was anyone's guess how the Storm would respond to the latest revelations that the club's salary cap breaches were significantly higher than previously estimated.

"We just have to prepare to face a Melbourne Storm side who have been the best side in the last five years," he said.

"That's all we'll be doing. As usual, most of our preparations will be focused around what we can do."

The Warriors go into the contest on the back of four straight wins, a run that has revived their campaign and lifted them to sixth on the table.

They have also been boosted by their big defensive effort last weekend in a 12-6 win over high-flying Penrith, who boast the best attack in the competition.

They ended up having to pull off an energy-sapping 374 tackles, with lock Micheal Luck topping the individual count with 56.

The tally isn't Luck's highest for a game. Last year, he produced an NRL record 74 tackles in the extra-time 14-14 draw with the Storm, and followed up with 65 in another tied contest, the 32-32 draw with the Panthers.

Luck said the team's defensive showing last Sunday ranked among the best during his four-and-a-half seasons with the Warriors.

"They were throwing every at us and we hung on," Luck said.

"We probably didn't help ourselves with some of the attacking decisions we made in the second half, but to the credit of every bloke that took the field, the boys kept turning up in defence."

He said the Warriors' defence would face a different sort of challenge from Melbourne.

"It's a different kettle of fish with Melbourne, they have a lot of strike on the edges," he said.

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