With the addition of Kodi Nikorima and the emergence of Patrick Herbert, the Warriors back line has found itself as the centre of attention in recent weeks.

Since Nikorima joined the side from the Brisbane Broncos, the Warriors have won back to back games for the first time this season. During that time, Herbert has been praised for his play at both ends of the pitch.

While that's kept their newest assets in the spotlight, the Warriors forwards have thrived working under the radar.

"We don't really like that kind of spotlight," forward Bunty Afoa said. "For us it's simple – do our job well and then the backs and the halves can finish it off.


"We can't just be happy with two wins, though. We had a pretty poor start to the season so for us it's about getting that chain effect of winning."

In the past two games, the forwards have done just that – laying the platform for those in the more glamorous positions to make the most of the opportunities. They've improved their tackling efficiency from the mark set in their two most recent losses and have been making their mark in the running game and on the scoreboard.

Bunty Afoa will start at prop for the Warriors this weekend. Photo / Getty Images
Bunty Afoa will start at prop for the Warriors this weekend. Photo / Getty Images

The recent surge has been led by prop Agnatius Paasi, who has scored two tries and made an average of 89 running metres in his last two outings. However, Paasi will be unavailable for the Warriors for this weekend's clash against the Brisbane Broncos as he serves a one-game suspension for a dangerous tackle. Afoa will start at prop in his place.

"Unfortunately we lose one of our alphas," Afoa said. "He's a leader in the middle and that's Agnatius Paasi. But we're all alphas in our own ways and it'll be pretty exciting for us to really step up and give it to them this weekend."

While working away from the glow of the spotlight in recent weeks, the pack won't be able to shy away from attention against the Broncos, who bring a formidable pack of their own to the turf at Mt Smart Stadium.

Brisbane has enjoyed the emergence of young stars Payne Haas, Joe Ofahengaue and Tevita Pangai Jr this season, with the trio having their way with opponents in a number of games this season.

Speaking about the match up of the forward packs this weekend, Afoa couldn't stop himself from grinning.

"For us nothing changes; run hard and tackle hard.

"It's two young packs going at each other. It's a great battle in the middle, it will be physical and I'm going to have fun."