Addin Fonua-Blake has been labelled a "one man team", but the Warriors are confident they can still prosper without their marquee prop.
It was confirmed on Wednesday that Fonua-Blake will be sidelined for an extended period, due to a knee injury suffered in last Sunday's clash against the Roosters.
The 25-year-old has provided a vital point of difference in 2021, especially with his ability to make yards after contact and draw in additional defenders.
He'll leave a significant void, similar to when Roger Tuivasa-Sheck or Tohu Harris have been absent in recent seasons.
"He's sort of like a one-man team himself and he does a massive job for us," admitted interchange forward Kane Evans. "It's just going to be up to the players collectively to work together but we can do it. We just have to be on our game and work for each other."
As one of the more experienced forwards (117 NRL games over six seasons) the 29-year-old will shoulder plenty of responsibility over the coming weeks.
After signing from the Eels, his Warriors debut has been delayed by a knee problem ("chipped cartilage and a little tear") picked up in the penultimate game of 2020.
"I tried pushing through it in the pre-season, without properly looking after it," explained Evans. "I finally got to mid-January and I had to go and get a couple of needles in it. I had to have two weeks off running and that put me back another three or four weeks. But that's all good now."
One of the tallest players in the NRL, the 1.99m Fijian international had four seasons at the Roosters under Trent Robinson (74 games) and played in three finals series, before two playoff seasons at Parramatta.
He was mostly confined to a bench role – stuck behind some big names – and gets the chance for a career swansong at the Warriors. Aside from experience and being a "good communicator", Evans hopes to add some defensive glue to the occasionally porous Warriors.
"I love defence," said Evans. "I used to be an attacking based player, but I've really changed the way of thinking. I want to try to get the boys up in line speed and bring that energy in defence, that's what I'm going to bring."
"It's more of mindset thing. Everyone can attack but to change to a defensive mindset is really hard. You've got to be more selfless and worry about the hard things that people don't really realise, the hard work."
His preparation for Friday's match has been unusual, as he played last weekend in a Newcastle Knights jersey, representing their NSW Cup team in a match against the Dragons.
It was arranged by Warriors recruitment chief Peter O'Sullivan, after the Warriors' fringe players were unable to turn out for Redcliffe due to the Brisbane lockdown.
"I think Sully called them up, to see if their second grade needed any players," said Evans. "It was pretty cool, apparently they had lost both their games and we beat a good team by 40. A good way for them to get their first win and for me to get my minutes up. It was a bit awkward though."
The well-travelled Evans has gained a positive early impression of the Warriors environment.
"[They've] got a good crew here," said Evans. "The staff have been really balanced. I've been around a lot, all kinds of different systems, and the Warriors are on to something here.
"It wasn't the best start for me individually being injured but it's a long season. I can't wait to prove I'm a good investment for this club."