The Warriors made club history on Saturday when they beat Canberra to stay unbeaten through the opening three rounds of the NRL for the first time in their 23-year history. Christopher Reive looks at whether winning the opening three is a recipe for success.
The Warriors bandwagon is filling up fast for the 2018 season, and for good reason. Winger David Fusitu'a is scoring tries at will, halfback Shaun Johnson is dancing around the pitch with ball in hand, and they're keeping their heads in the game for the full 80 minutes.
Winning their first three games of the season, the Warriors have enjoyed the second largest rise in membership numbers since the end of January. NRL.com shows the club gained 5409 members between January 30 and March 26, second only to the Brisbane Broncos' rise of 7570.
They look to be a refreshed, determined side intent on putting their dismal 2017 season in the rear-view mirror and get involved in playoffs football – something they haven't experienced since making the Grand Final in 2011.
The Warriors might not reach the Grand Final, but starting the season on a 3-0 run has proven to be a good omen.
Since the start of the 2009 season, not including 2018, 16 teams have started the season without a loss in the first three round. The Melbourne Storm have accounted for six of those 16 cases. Craig Bellamy's men missed the top eight in 2010 (due to a salary cap breach), won the title in 2012 and 2017, fell in the Grand Final in 2016, and were ousted inside the first two rounds in 2013 and 2014.
The 2010 Storm weren't alone in missing the playoffs after a 3-0 start. Three other sides found out an opening trifecta can't be taken for granted, while the other 12 found themselves in the top eight after 26 rounds of football.
Of those 12, only five have gone on to reach the Grand Final – three of those five being Melbourne (2012, 2016, 2017) - and three have won the Premiership (St George Illawarra Dragons 2010, Melbourne 2012 and 2017).
While jumping out to a 3-0 start puts your regular season campaign on the right track, the higher level of intensity in the playoffs has gotten the better of teams the jump out to a hot start in the early weeks of the season.
The Warriors will know three games don't make a season, especially with their first three coming against teams many tipped to only just make the eight or miss it entirely.
But, heading into a difficult and telling five-week stretch where they'll meet the Sydney Roosters (away), North Queensland Cowboys, Brisbane Broncos, St George Illawarra Dragons and Melbourne Storm (away), they can be happy with how they're tracking.
NRL.com has Fusitu'a leading the league in try-scoring with four, second rower Bunty Afoa among the top five in meters gained after contact (174) and fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck second in running metres (542). As a team, the Warriors are first-equal in linebreaks (18), first in offloads (55) and have made the second-fewest errors.
However, like every team, the Warriors have plenty of room for improvement.
The New Zealand side are among the most penalised sides in the competition, with only the Newcastle Knights, South Sydney Rabbitohs and Wests Tigers having given away more. They'll also need to shore up their effectiveness when tackling. Fox Sports Lab has them as the third worst side in the league when it comes to bringing opposition ball carries down – missing 9.7 per cent of their attempted tackles. They were the third worst in the league behind the North Queensland Cowboys (10.3) and the Gold Coast Titans (12.8).
Every streak comes to an end. Poor discipline and missed tackles aren't keys to winning, and when the side face a stern test from the likes of Melbourne or St. George Illawarra, they might just be found out. However, if the side continue to improve, the playoffs beckon.
Let the rollercoaster continue.