Peta Hiku's last game against Penrith was one to forget but the Warriors centre hopes an improved focus will ensure tomorrow night's rematch at Mt Smart Stadium is a happier occasion.
The former Panther returns to the Warriors starting side for the first time in six weeks as a replacement for injured centre Gerard Beale (hamstring) and will celebrate his 100th NRL appearance against his old club.
After overcoming a broken finger and spending two weeks on the bench the Kiwi international is excited to be back although he needed to be reminded that he was on the cusp of his milestone match.
"I had lost count and I got injured and forgot I was on my way there but when I came in this morning they reminded me," said Hiku.
"I've been sitting on the bench with itchy feet but am looking forward to it if it comes.
"I'm pretty happy about it but it's just another game and another game we need to win. I just need to stay focused and settled for what I need to do."
Tomorrow night's match also presents a chance for Hiku to redeem himself after he was heavily criticised for a poor defensive display in the round 17 loss at Penrith.
The 25-year-old admits he was too relaxed in the build-up and paid the price after costly missed tackles on Panthers rookie halfback Jarome Luai, powerful back-rower Viliame Kikau and his opposite Waqa Blake.
That experience served as a wake-up call leaving Hiku determined to make amends in a match crucial to the Warriors' finals hopes.
"I just went in to that game with the wrong mindset," he said.
"I took my focus away from a lot of things. Being one of my old clubs I took the wrong approach into the game.
"I didn't prepare well and kept to myself and didn't do what we normally do as a team.
"I knew after the game what was wrong and what I could have done better."
Hiku says three seasons with Manly (2013-2015) early in his career helped him learn to cope with the rollercoaster ride of first grade football.
He won plenty of praise earlier this season while starring on the right edge and played in each of the first 18 games, but insists he has learned to block out criticism from fans and media.
"That's just part of the business. In footy that happens.
"Being at Manly, they copped a lot and they helped me with all of that and pushing social media aside."
Coach Stephen Kearney has been impressed with Hiku's response over the last fortnight and the extra work he's put in to improve his tackling.
"He's constantly been working on it during the period he's been off," said Kearney.
"He's been around a while and he knows that it's a wave of form and being in and out of the team.
"He's really applied himself and gone about his business the way that he should. An opportunity presents itself this weekend and I'm pretty confident he'll take it with both hands."
Hiku laughed when asked if he expects the Panthers to again target his side of the field but says it will take a collective effort to shut them down.
"It will be the same thing. I don't think there's any secret, we've just got to do it as a team and hopefully we can get one over them."
Warriors v Panthers at Mt Smart Stadium, Friday, 8pm
UPDATED TEAM LISTS:
Warriors: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c) 2. David Fusitu'a 17. Peta Hiku 4. Solomone Kata 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Mason Lino 7. Shaun Johnson 8. James Gavet 9. Issac Luke 10. Agnatius Paasi 11. Isaiah Papali'i 12. Adam Blair 13. Simon Mannering
Interchange: 14. Jazz Tevaga 15. Tohu Harris 16. Bunty Afoa 18. Leivaha Pulu 20. Anthony Gelling 21. Chris Satae
Panthers: 1. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 2. Josh Mansour 3. Waqa Blake 4. Dean Whare 5. Christian Crichton 6. Tyrone Peachey 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Trent Merrin 9. Wayde Egan 10. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Isaah Yeo (c) 13. James Fisher-Harris
Interchange: 14. Tyrone May 15. Moses Leota 16. Corey Harawira-Naera 17. James Tamou 18. Sione Katoa 19. Kaide Ellis
Referees: Ashley Klein, Chris Sutton