The Warriors look like a team.

That's the most important takeaway from this vital 32-20 victory over the Rabbitohs.

Forget the two points – though they will be savoured after a nine game losing streak to end 2017 – and disregard the free-wheeling attacking display against a loose Rabbitohs unit, though it was an obvious change in emphasis from the stodgy Warriors fare we saw last year.

The most eye catching aspect of Saturday night was that this Warriors team were a united bunch, with a common purpose, who wanted to play for each other. Even down to the new post-scoring huddle, where heads were up, eyes were focused and messages were heeded.


And all this without the injured Simon Mannering.

It's only round one, but it's heartening and something fans have wanted to see for years.

Indeed those long suffering Warriors supporters would have been rubbing their eyes in disbelief watching midway through the second half, with their side ahead by 16 points.

Playing like this in Perth, in the heat of the afternoon? In the opening round of the season? Against the Rabbitohs, who they were on a six game losing streak?

It just doesn't happen.

The Warriors certainly showed more steel than had been exhibited for most of 2017. For long periods of the first quarter they were camped in their own half, with penalties and momentum against them.

But they didn't falter, didn't flake, and found a way back into the contest.

Fitness helped. There were moments when the bigger Rabbitohs pack threaten to overrun the Warriors, but they discovered something, found a second wind just when they needed it most.

Tohu Harris delivered everything that was expected, and the underrated second rower could turn into one of the buys of the season, while second row partner Isaiah Papali'i showed his potential.

Issac Luke looked a different player – and athlete – to the struggling hooker of 2017, and gave a performance that offers hope for the rest of the year.

And the bench gave great impact, especially in the first half with Leivaha Pulu, Sam Lisone and Bunty Afoa helping to change the game.

The Blake Green-Shaun Johnson halves axis also showed promise, with Johnson enjoying the extra freedom as Green took organisational responsibilities, and came up with a vital 40-20 kick late in the second half.

The standard has been set.