NRL's Seymour hoping to stay injury free - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL's Seymour hoping to stay injury free

By Ben Horne and Robert Lowe 19/07/2010 03:35:42 PM Comments (0)

The resurgent Warriors, written off before a ball was even kicked this season, have overcome a mountain of injuries to be in the box seat for an NRL finals top four finish.

The Auckland-based side have proven wrong the many critics who tipped them for this year's wooden spoon, consistently doing so without some of their big guns and every week without inspirational prop, Steve Price, whose season and career was ended by a horror heel injury.

Ivan Cleary's men recorded their fourth straight win last week against Melbourne, and it was the first time this year they have fielded anything close to their full-strength side - and that's with New Zealand Test front rower Sam Rapira still out with a knee problem.

Stars Simon Mannering, Brent Tate, Manu Vatuvei, Brett Seymour, Lance Hohaia and Kevin Locke have all spent extended periods on the sidelines in 2010, but all took their place in an imposing starting-line up against the Storm.

The Warriors are now surging towards a home final, with their final seven matches all against teams placed lower than them on the competition ladder.

On current form they'll be hard to beat against the Rabbitohs and Cronulla in Sydney and the Titans and Knights at Mt Smart.

If they can continue their run through these games then they can probably afford to drop a game in a tough final three weeks at home to Brisbane and away to Manly and Parramatta.

Like they did in 2008 when they powered into the preliminary finals, the Warriors are playing for each other and defence has become a priority.

They've conceded just 12 points in their past two matches (almost bringing their points differential back into the positive), and have cut out the silly mistakes which have historically plagued New Zealand's team.

Returned halfback Seymour indicated that the evenness of the competition would guard against any complacency that might creep in from such a long winning streak.

"When you're winning, it's easy to come to training, when you're not, you feel the soreness, but we just have to take each game as it comes," he said.

"It's a cliche, but next week we play the Rabbitohs and they're off the bounce and hovering around the eight. It's a tough competition and we're just looking at each week as it comes.

"It was another terrific defensive effort (last week). It's great to be part of the boys and ticking over again."

Seymour is looking for a clear run without injury as the Warriors push towards the playoffs.

He has already had two spells in the casualty ward restricting him to just four appearances before he returned against Melbourne in Auckland at the weekend.

The former Shark settled nicely back into the No.7 jersey alongside five-eighth James Maloney, and said injuries have helped rather than hindered their mid-season run.

"The spirit in the place gets you through the tough times and when you're sucking in the big ones," he said.

"James has been great and I just want to blend in with him.

"If we are going to go anywhere, it's going to be on the back of us two. We have to stay on the paddock for one, and then build a good combination and then the team will feed off that."

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