Warriors have to get A-game back asap - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Warriors have to get A-game back asap

By Nicky Park 28/07/2010 04:37:40 PM Comments (0)

The Warriors don't have time to lick their wounds if they want to make the NRL's top eight, coach Ivan Cleary says.

A Warriors winning streak was snapped last Sunday when a desperate South Sydney managed to beat the New Zealand side 38-28 at ANZ Stadium, as the Bunnies claimed their first win in three games.

Cleary admits his lads didn't perform to the same standard that had seen them bag five on the trot and become serious finals contenders, but the Warriors need to dust themselves off before Sunday's home game against the Gold Coast.

"After our performance on the weekend we're probably below our standard of the last couple of months," Cleary said.

"(We) need to get it back pretty quickly.

"It's not like we didn't want to win but we were just a cog down from where (the Rabbitohs) were and that's often enough to determine who wins and who loses so hopefully we can get that edge back this weekend."

Cleary has his sights set on accumulating 30 points which he thinks will be enough to secure a spot in the top eight.

The Warriors are currently sitting sixth and are one of three sides on 24 points, alongside the Titans.

It will be a double blow for Gold Coast if the Warriors manage to come away with a win at Mt Smart. Not only will the Titans make it harder for themselves to finish up at the top of a cluttered table, they'll gift their playoff rivals two points.

After Sunday, the Warriors will be keen to get a couple of early wins away in the coming weeks against strugglers Cronulla and Newcastle before facing tough games against Manly, Brisbane and Parramatta at the pointy end of the regular season.

But in-form Warriors second-rower Lewis Brown isn't getting complacent.

"People are saying we've got Manly and the Knights in the next couple of weeks and they're going to be easy wins for us but you look at them, in the NRL anyone can beat anyone on the day," he said.

"We've got six weeks before the finals, there's such a big log jam amongst the top eight there, so we're still not trying to get ahead of ourselves."

Brown, who scored a double against the Rabbitohs last weekend, will step in for injured centre Jerome Ropati - out for three weeks with a groin injury - meaning he could mark up against robust centre, and former Warrior, Clinton Toopi.

Young gun Bill Tupou will return to the wing for his ninth first-grade match, replacing Kevin Locke who's out for a fortnight with a hamstring complaint.

With Brown reverting to the centres, Ukuma Ta'ai will start in the second row and, in another change, Ben Matulino comes into the run-on combination in the front row.

A five-man bench includes Jacob Lillyman, who was 18th man against the Rabbitohs, and Joel Moon.

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