Warriors learn lessons from 2010 NRL exit - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Warriors learn lessons from 2010 NRL exit

Robert Lowe 04/09/2011 01:33:32 PM Comments (0)

The Warriors' chastening early exit from the NRL playoffs last time around is providing plenty of motivation as they prepare to head across the Tasman this week.

The Warriors finished the 2011 regular season in sixth spot after grinding out an 18-6 win over North Queensland in Auckland on Saturday night - a result which dropped the Cowboys to seventh.

Last year, they went into in the playoffs as the fifth seed but lost their qualifying final to Gold Coast 28-16.

Normally, that wouldn't have been regarded as fatal, but other results that weekend went against them and by the Sunday they were getting ready for an unexpected Mad Monday.

"Pretty much every one here bar a couple of players was involved in the loss last year and I'm sure we've all learnt from that," utility Lance Hohaia said.

"We finished fifth and thought we might get a couple of bites at the cherry, but you have to win to progress."

The longest serving player in the Warriors' present squad, Hohaia will have extra reason for wanting the club to get beyond their first playoff hurdle.

Win next weekend and the 28-Test Kiwi will get one last chance to play at Mt Smart Stadium, his home ground for the past 10 years.

"Of course, I'd love to be out here again in two weeks," he said.

"It doesn't matter who we play or where we play, I still want to be playing in a month's time."

The match against the Cowboys was Hohaia's 181st appearance for his only club and and he also grabbed one of the side's three tries to take his career tally to 56.

Skipper Simon Mannering also hasn't forgotten how the Warriors' campaign ended last September.

Losing on the Friday night and then enduring an agonising wait before their fate was finally sealed was "a funny way to finish".

"Definitely we felt there was a lot more football in us, but we didn't get the chance to show it," he said.

"It's not something you want to repeat."

Mannering agreed with coach Ivan Cleary's assessment that the Warriors - who over the past five weeks have faced four finals-bound sides - were battle-harden and ready to go.

"It's been a good test and we've played some quality sides," he said.

"It was important for us to play well against the Cowboys and get the result to go into next week with something to build on."

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