The Warriors know they need to improve if they are to beat Melbourne Storm but coach Stephen Kearney insists beating his former club holds little personal motivation for him.

The Warriors are looking to build on last week's patchy 26-22 round one NRL win over Newcastle and bring down last year's grand finalists at Mt Smart Stadium tonight.

Kearney spent six seasons playing at the Storm and after winning a premiership in 1999 was appointed captain when coach Craig Bellamy joined the club in 2003. The pair resumed their working relationship when Kearney entered the coaching ranks as Bellamy's assistant in 2006 and remain firm friends today.

Kearney acknowledges the huge influence Bellamy has had on his career and coaching style, but in a measure of their shared mutual respect, says he's not driven to get one over his former mentor.


"It wouldn't mean a great deal to me personally," said Kearney. "He's a wonderful man. If there's anyone from who I take a lot of my coaching way from, it's him.

"My focus is on making sure that I prepare the team and give them the belief and the confidence that we can go out there and really perform well.

"I'm pretty confident that if our team plays to our potential we'll give ourselves a great opportunity on Friday."

The Storm arrive without New Zealand test captain Jesse Bromwich (dislocated thumb) and fellow Kiwis international and 2018 Warriors signing Tohu Harris (foot fracture).

Tim Glasby and Bromwich's younger brother Kenny will again fill the breach but despite the changes, Kearney knows the Storm will be as formidable as ever.

"I don't think it matters for that club," he said. "They'll have someone who'll do a very good job so it's about making sure that we take our best performance to the stadium.

"You just know when you come up against Melbourne that you've got to play well to get the result.

"They're not going to give you a great deal so we definitely need to improve but I'm really excited about the contest."

There are aspects of Melbourne's culture that the Warriors could benefit from but Kearney believes the club has its own and positive qualities that can be further improved.

"Certainly the people help. They're wonderful people there who have a real eye for what success looks like.

"That's where it starts. Even before Craig, they had a wonderful culture, but he's only enhanced that and that's why they [Storm] are so successful.

"There's parts of it [that could help the Warriors], no doubts about it. But we're ourselves and we've got some real strengths here."

With a five-day turnaround the Warriors preparation has been limited to a light training run on Wednesday before yesterday's captain's run, but Kearney believes the circumstances could work in their favour.

"It is a bit challenging but sometimes that's a good thing, too. Sometimes when you've got too much time to think about the opposition and what you've got to do on the weekend in terms of your performance that can be a bit of a hindrance. So [we're] looking forward to it."