Tuesday 20 March 2018 / 01:55 AM


The Warriors believe they have discovered the blueprint for success following their resounding 36-18 victory over the Broncos last Saturday, but acknowledge it won’t come off that way every week.

The win at Mt Smart Stadium ended a two-game losing streak for the club, and marked a return to the free-flowing style of attack which many fans and rugby league identities had been calling for.

The Kiwi side’s 10 line-breaks was the most they have produced all season, while the 1589 metres gained and seven tries scored both sit among the club’s top efforts in 2016 as well.

But according to prop Ben Matulino the most satisfying point to take away from the victory was the fact that they were able to play that style without coming up with increased mistakes, with the Warriors finishing with just six errors and an 83 per cent completion rate.

“It was pleasing [to have the number of mistakes down], but at the same time we still played footy. Boys were offloading and even some of the boys that I haven’t seen offload before started doing it, and everything just stuck,” Matulino said ahead of Saturday’s clash with the Newcastle Knights.

“Our game-plan was pretty simple and we took some stuff out of our game that we hadn’t in the previous matches.

“I think [it was about] just understanding how simple it was for us and what we needed to do.

“I’m just happy we got the win and can get the monkey off the back and some pressure off.

“But it’s going to count for nothing if we don’t win this week.”

Watch the Warriors belt out their team song for the first time in a month

While coach Andrew McFadden confirmed he would be sticking with a similar approach for the rest of the season, centre Blake Ayshford said the playing group are fully aware it won’t work every week, and was confident they have the right plan to fall back on when required.

“It was fun footy, we took the pressure off ourselves and just played for fun,” Ayshford said.

“But it’s not going to be like that in every game obviously, and it could be totally different this week.

“We have still got a structure in place, it’s just if circumstances present themselves in the game – if someone is down on the ground or we see space – we pass to it now, whereas before we were just taking a hit-up.

“But we have still got a structure in hand and we study it and practice it, but we just know we can play natural footy when we see it now.

“It’s about that mix, and that’s probably what we have lacked all season.

“On the weekend it all sort of came off for us, but we know it’s not going to happen like that every week.”

On Saturday at Hunter Stadium the Warriors’ reborn attack will come up against the NRL’s worst defensive side, with Newcastle averaging 33.9 points conceded per game this year.

The last-placed Knights also miss the most tackles in the competition, last week coughing up 44 in a 46-16 thrashing at the hands of the Cowboys.

[YouTube – Sports Tube]

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Corey Rosser

One of CBS’s newest contributors, Te Aroha product Corey is the New Zealand correspondent for NRL.com, the editor for the excellent new site Kiwi League Central, and a guru of the local Auckland rugby league scene.

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