Warriors feel due for Wollongong NRL win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Warriors feel due for Wollongong NRL win

Robert Lowe 25/08/2011 04:36:09 PM Comments (0)

If all droughts have to come to an end some time, then the Warriors should be a fair bet to put a further dent in St George Illawarra's NRL title defence.

The Warriors have lifted themselves to fourth on the table on the back of six wins from their past seven matches.

But on Sunday they will head to a venue where they haven't tasted success for 15 years.

They have been to Wollongong nine times since they came into the NRL in 1995 and have won there just once - against the Illawarra Steelers in April 1996.

As coach Ivan Cleary quipped on Thursday, the Warriors' barren run on the NSW south coast must surely mean one thing.

"Sounds like we're due, right?"

The Warriors came close on their last visit to WIN Stadium in 2009.

They were pipped 12-11 in a thriller, with halfback Stacey Jones fumbling the ball as he lined up a field goal that would have taken the game to extra time.

"We probably came away from that day feeling like we should have won," Cleary said today.

"As a player, I really liked playing there. We're looking at going down there and testing ourselves against the premiers."

The seventh-placed Dragons are only a point behind the Warriors, but the clubs' respective fortunes have been going in opposite directions.

While the Warriors have got their campaign back on track after four successive losses in June, one-time competition leaders the Dragons have steadily fallen down the ladder after just two wins in their past 11 outings.

Their defeat to ladder leaders Melbourne last weekend was their fifth in a row, but they drew plenty of positives from the 8-6 scoreline, including their defensive effort.

Cleary was expecting a contest with plenty of intensity against the Dragons, given the stakes involved for both sides.

"But when you haven't won a match for a while, there also has to be a little bit of a confidence issue as well," he said.

"I expect it will be a really tough game. I guess how they play, we can have some say in that. If we play well, then I guess it takes away how well they may play."

Cleary has made one forced change to his squad, with Krisnan Inu coming in on the wing for Manu Vatuvei, who is set to miss the last two rounds of the regular season with a wrist injury.

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