Warriors peg hopes on Mateo against Saints - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Warriors peg hopes on Mateo against Saints

Tamara McLean 23/03/2011 07:58:42 PM Comments (0)

Staring down the barrel of a 0-3 start to the season, the Warriors hope glamour recruit Feleti Mateo will star when they take on St George Illawarra on Sunday.

Coming off an upset loss to Cronulla at Toyota Park on Monday, the Dragons will be doing all they can to avoid a repeat against the Warriors and coach Ivan Cleary knows it.

"The reason that they were the premiers and the minor premiers the year before that is that they're very consistent," Cleary said on Wednesday.

"After a win, after a loss, they seem to play pretty well every week. They'll be playing to win this time for sure."

With such a grim tally, the New Zealanders are ready to capitalise on their star second rower Mateo's famous running game and offloading abilities.

Cleary admits the versatile 26-year-old, who can also play as a loose forward and five-eighth, is yet to show his new side the full breadth of his skills.

Asked how he thought Mateo was settling in, the coach said: "He's alright."

"It's going to take some time. He's obviously a player that we've bought here to make a big impact and we're still really confident that that will happen."

"It's going to take a bit more time for him to get to know the team and the team to get to know him."

He said Sunday was "another opportunity", an inference not lost on Mateo.

"I'll be putting everything into it," he said of the home game.

He said the losses so far have been a "big disappointment", especially the raft of small errors in Saturday's 20-12 loss to the West Tigers in Sydney.

Cleary, for his part, said he was looking for a big improvement after a "rudderless" game filled with uncharacteristic mistakes that he admitted was "hard to watch".

The coach said he was doing his best to focus on good play and ignore the tally sheet and the draw to map out the Warriors' chances of climbing the points ladder.

"You can drive yourself nuts if you look through the draw or try to work out when you're going to win this one and that one," he said.

"The results have shown already that you wouldn't want to be a tipster."

"Our focus is on what we can deliver."

Vice-captain Micheal Luck was more forward about his fears, admitting that it would be terrible to be three games down with no wins.

"In my time we've never been three games down at the start of the year so we'll be doing everything we can to get a win," Luck said.

"We have to just get in there on Sunday and do what we've been coached to do, and that's play damn well."

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