NRL: Warriors' coach upbeat on chances

By David Skipwith

McFadden confident his team heading in right direction as they prepare for must-win clash against Titans

Warriors match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Sydney Roosters. Photo / Getty Images
Warriors match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Sydney Roosters. Photo / Getty Images

Warriors coach Andrew McFadden is not panicking leading into their must-win clash against the struggling Gold Coast Titans at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday.

Despite coming off their biggest defeat of the season, with Sunday's 46-12 belting at the hands of reigning premiers the Sydney Roosters, McFadden is confident the Warriors are heading in the right direction.

"I'm really comfortable with where we need to get to. The performance on the weekend was disappointing but we've made some real ground in some key areas this year so we're not going to get bogged down on that," McFadden told the Warriors' website.

"Every team has those sorts of games, we just saved it until the wrong time of year, so we've just got to look forward to this week and I know we're going to go in the right direction."

McFadden is realistic about their 10th position on the NRL ladder which leaves them two points outside the eight on 26 points, level with the ninth-placed Broncos and 11th-ranked Dragons.

The Warriors would prefer the Dragons, who have a -21 points differential, to upset the Broncos tomorrow, and will be hoping the Knights can prevail at home in their Saturday night clash against the eighth-placed Eels.

"We need to win both games if we're any chance and then we're still going to have to worry about results but that's out of our control. We've just got to worry about our next two performances."

The injury-hit Titans, who have lost their past five games to fall out of the finals race, will field a depleted line-up missing big-name forwards Dave Taylor, Nate Myles and Ashley Harrison. McFadden insists they cannot be taken lightly and is looking for improvement across the board from his side for what is their last home game of the season, with the club's annual old boy's day adding further significance to the occasion.

"It's a tough competition and any team can turn up on the day and we need to prepare around that. A lot of the focus will be on us this weekend."

Newly installed Titans coach Neil Henry expects the Warriors to bounce back strongly but is optimistic about his team's chances.

"They'll be hurting from that loss ... It's going to be tough for us but we're up to the challenge," Henry told the Titans' website.

Fighting for survival
• The Warriors must beat the Gold Coast Titans on Sunday to keep their finals hopes alive and need other results to go their way.
• St George-Illawarra need to topple Brisbane tomorrow night and Newcastle get past Parramatta on Saturday.

- NZ Herald

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