Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck says his side are ignoring the hype around their strong start to the NRL season and will look to play 'Warrior ball' in Saturday's doubleheader clash against the Cowboys.
The Warriors are favourites to beat North Queensland and extend their unbeaten run to five straight wins in front of a bumper crowd at Mt Smart Stadium.
But Tuivasa-Sheck insists his side haven't been reading their own press and are not getting carried away as they search for their first win over the Cowboys since 2014.
"That's the first time I've heard that, that we're favourites, which shows that we're not focused on that," Tuivasa-Sheck said.
"We're just keeping our feet on the ground and (want to) make sure that we're playing Warrior ball and execute the plan that's been working for us."
Coach Stephen Kearney is mindful that his side enjoyed the rub of the green in last week's impressive 30-6 win over the Sydney Roosters, and says previous patchy performances against the Gold Coast and Canberra mean his side can't get ahead of themselves.
The home side are strengthened by the return from injury of halfback Shaun Johnson (groin) and veteran forward Simon Mannering (shoulder) with both players coming through yesterday's captain's run unscathed.
The visitors may be coming off three straight losses but with the likes of co-captain Jonathan Thurston directing play, and fellow leader Matt Scott and Tongan international Jason Taumalolo among a formidable forward pack, the Warriors remain wary of the Cowboys undoubted ability.
"We've got areas that we are continually looking to be better at and it's no different this week," Kearney said.
"We're coming up against a champion side with champion players and we know what's coming and we've prepared accordingly.
"The guys are looking forward to it, playing in front of pretty much a full house, against the grand finalists from last year.
"It's really good for our game to have the occasion and the lads are really looking forward to it."
Cowboys coach Paul Green says it's imperative they restrict the Warriors second-phase offloads and limit the opportunities given to their backline stars such as fullback Tuivasa-Sheck
"They got some big, strong, athletic guys that can carry the footy strong, so if you're not in the game physically you're not going to be in the contest," Green said.
"They've also got some fast guys with skill that can play off the back of that with that unstructured type footy, and there's probably none better at that than the guy sitting on the other end there, Rog.
"If you get into that style of game with them they're very hard to handle so that's going to be a challenge for us."
Green has unwavering faith in his player's ability and says it's vital that the Cowboys maintain belief in the wake of their past three defeats to the Broncos, Storm and Panthers.
"There are some very good players in our team," he said.
"They don't forget how to play, but the trouble is you get a couple of losses and sometimes as a team your confidence suffers a little bit.
"So it's important that we don't start doubting that our team's good enough and make sure we keep doing what we do but just do it a bit better than we have been doing it.
"Defensively we need to be better. There was definitely an improvement in our defence last week but is still probably not where it needs to be so that's probably the main area we're looking to improve on."
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