At this time of the season confidence can so often be the making or breaking of teams in a competition as close as the NRL.
With most sides possessing similarly talented squads, confidence is a valuable commodity which can make all the difference, and it’s one which the Warriors insist they possess in spades ahead of their final four games.
Sitting in eighth position, tied on points with the Panthers and Tigers, the Warriors are in must-win territory right now, and rookie utility Jazz Tevaga said the vibe among the playing group is fostering new belief in their ability.
“That’s all we are thriving on; confidence,” Tevaga said ahead of Saturday’s clash with the Rabbitohs at Mt Smart Stadium.
“I remember after we first played the Raiders (in a 38-12 loss back in Round 11) we sat down and had a talk about confidence because that was what we were lacking, but now I think we are thriving off that.
“It’s just committing without fear really, committing to each play, if it pulls off it does but if it doesn’t then [that’s OK].
“We know we are capable of coming over the top of any team, we just have to do what we can and worry about what we can control.”
Undefeated in regular time in their last nine games, the Kiwi club have every reason to be riding a positive wave as they aim for their first NRL finals appearance since 2011.
Since Round 11 Andrew McFadden’s side have averaged only 16.6 points conceded per match, while on the other side of the ball have averaged 24.7 scored.
Departing five-eighth Thomas Leuluai said it comes down to improved trust in each other, following a turbulent opening half of the season where they struggled to put together consistent performances and endured some off-field issues.
“I think there are periods of the game where it is tough and we are hanging in there and maybe coming over the top of teams, which we most probably haven’t been known for in the past,” Leuluai said.
“We can be confident about that and take a lot of good stuff out of that because we have worked hard on it and are doing pretty well at it.
“I think it happened through going through a bit of adversity…we focussed on ourselves a bit more and from that we build confidence.
“I think this season we have had a lot adversity as a group, we have been through some tough periods at the start of the year and most probably just grown in that respect, and there is some self belief in what we have done.”
Defence on song again #WarriorNation
— Vodafone Warriors (@NZWarriors) August 8, 2016
South Sydney will arrive in Auckland sitting in 14th position and on a nine-game losing streak, but having taken plenty of confidence from footing it with ladder-leaders Melbourne in a 15-14 golden point loss last week.