Senior forward Adam Blair understands expectations of the Warriors have grown and admits they are still learning how to be consistent after their 30-10 NRL loss to South Sydney.
Three months ago, few people would have backed the Warriors to be in the top four with an eight-and-four record at the competition's halfway point, but alarm bells are ringing after the Rabbitohs inflicted their fourth defeat in seven games with a five-tries-to-two win at Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday night.
Blair realises they are now being judged against the form that saw them go unbeaten through the opening five rounds, and concedes they are battling to live up to their high standing and front up mentally and physically each week.
The Rabbitohs followed the lead of the Broncos, Storm and Roosters, in looking to dominate the Warriors physically, and the Stephen Kearney-coached side are still searching for a way to counter that aggression and intensity.
"We were disappointed after the game and we spoke all week about [how] teams are coming over and bringing a physical mindset," Blair told Newstalk ZB.
"The Bunnies did it and the Roosters did it really well and we've just got to learn from those things and be better.
"It's a mental mindset both individually and as a group that we've got to be better in tough situations.
"We've got to understand that we're in the top part of the competition and everyone is fighting for spots and we've got to be better."
The Warriors are yet to lose consecutive games, but Blair says their patchy form is unacceptable.
Like fans and critics, the players have higher standards of themselves after posting impressive early-season away wins over the Rabbitohs, Raiders and Roosters, before handing the Dragons their first defeat of the season.
"It's not good that we have a bad loss and then come back and have a good win, we've got to learn," he said.
"Our standards are high now too because of what we've done this year and that's why we get so disappointed with these losses and we want to be better.
"It's a different pressure now and people are being pretty critical and the expectation for us is to win and when we don't we get put under pressure again.
"The thing that we can control is how we turn up prepared for tough games and that's an individual and a collective thing."
Storm captain Cameron Smith observed after his side smashed the Warriors 50-10 on Anzac Day that the Kiwi side were still coming to grips with the added pressure that comes from winning.
Blair agreed, saying it remains a work in progress for the Warriors younger players.
"It's a learning thing for us as a club, winning a lot of games and then turning up and making sure that you're prepared every week to play against a physical team."
This week's bye round will give the side a good chance to regroup ahead of their next clash against Manly in Christchurch on June 9.
"We can look back over our first half of the year and see what we did really well and the things that we need to work and go back to how we started and make sure that we do it again but better."
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