Warriors coach Stephen Kearney denies his side struggles to find their focus for big games after their slow start in Saturday's 32-0 NRL loss to the Sydney Roosters.
The Warriors were off the pace from the kickoff after a change in routine saw them take the field before the visitors as part of the lengthy Indigenous Round pre-game ceremony celebrating Maori and Australian Aboriginal cultures.
The lethargic nature of the defeat comes after a similarly sluggish 27-18 loss at home in round six against the Broncos, which was supposed to mark celebrations for the club's annual Old Boy's Day. Less than two weeks later they also failed to match the Storm's intensity when they were blown away 50-10 in the Anzac Day clash in Melbourne.
The poor performance at AAMI Park also followed a delayed kick-off that allowed for both the New Zealand and Australian national anthems and the Last Post to be performed, before a minute's silence was observed.
But Kearney brushed off suggestions his side might have issues maintaining their concentration when their routine is disrupted and denied the pre-game ceremony contributed to his side's slow start at Mt Smart Stadium.
Kearney has previously conceded some of his players are still learning how to cope with the weekly demands of the NRL, and question marks remain over the team's ability to handle the big occasions.
"Jeez we're bloody looking for everything aren't we," said Kearney.
"Well, that's a part of the competition. I watched games last night with the Australian national anthem in aboriginal language and English, so there's a time frame there. No, those are excuses."
However, veteran Warriors forward Simon Mannering admitted after the five-tries-to-none thrashing that he had concerns about the side's tendency to drop their guard during the delayed start to both the Storm and Roosters defeats.
"I was actually thinking about it afterwards, it was a similar situation with the Melbourne game," said Mannering.
"I'm not too sure, it's definitely no excuse to perform like that but maybe it's something we need to look at. If it's a game coming up with something like that beforehand, we need to make sure we're aware that we've got to get going from the start.
"It is a bit of a lull but it's no excuse. The Roosters went through the same thing and they started well and the same with Melbourne."
First-choice hooker Issac Luke missed the match with a shoulder injury but participated in the pre-game festivities when he and Roosters centre Latrell Mitchell, who is of Indigenous Australian heritage, exchanged gifts and hongi.
Luke also played in the eight-tries-to-two thrashing at the hands of Melbourne, but was at a loss to explain why his teammates lacked energy this time around in front of 14,095 fans.
Luke is expected to return to the side for Friday's away match against the Eels in Sydney, while fill-in halfback Mason Lino is awaiting the results of scans on an ankle injury that forced him off 13 minutes from fulltime.
"That's something you have to embrace," said Luke.
"Because in Melbourne, it was tough because it felt like it was all about Melbourne, whereas here it was all about us.
"So it goes both ways, but in saying that, the Roosters turned up to play and soaked up the atmosphere before the game.
"The boys will get back on the horse. It's a long competition and we get a chance to play a desperate side next week in Parra so I'm just looking forward to that."