Warriors ready for fired-up Broncos
Dutch football coach Louis van Gaal was quoted recently saying he would rather lose a game 7-1 than on penalties.
He may have been speaking at the height of emotion after his side's penalty shootout loss to Argentina in the World Cup semi-final, but van Gaal's thoughts reflect the mindset of professional athletes when it comes to losing at the death.
Nothing burns a team more than succumbing to defeat in the face of victory, a point the Warriors are well aware of as they prepare to tackle the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.
With Brisbane coming off a last-minute 35-34 loss to the Panthers on Monday night, the Warriors know they will encounter a team full of frustration and rage, in what shapes as a crucial game for the finals hopes of both clubs.
"They are going to be up for this game, they have had a tough loss on the week just gone. They are going to be looking to bounce back at home," Warriors prop Jacob Lillyman said.
"Back at home in front of their fans they will be looking to get their season back on track; they are going to be very tough to play this weekend.
"We played them not long ago and got the two points in that one [a 19-10 victory in Round 15] so there is plenty of motivation for them."
The Broncos showed impressive resilience to twice come back from a deficit of 12 points or more against the Panthers, including a final drive to almost force golden point which saw them score three times in 14 minutes.
Despite leaving Sportingbet Stadium with nothing but disappointment in the end, the loss confirmed that the Broncos – who currently sit directly behind the Warriors on the ladder in seventh position – have the talent to be a factor come finals time.
"Right across the park they have great strike," Lillyman said.
"They have some big names there with Origin and Test stars, but they have had other guys stand up this year like Ben Hunt and Daniel Vidot.
"They are a quality team and they are going to be very tough."
After running in eight tries in last week's 48-0 demolition of the Eels, the Warriors have established themselves as the best attacking unit in the NRL with a competition-high 70 tries in 16 games.
While ultimately impressive in all aspects against Parramatta, where they completed at 86% and restricted the Eels to just 758 metres gained, Warriors coach Andrew McFadden was wary of complacency creeping into his side.
"Those sorts of games happen from time to time and sometimes they are more of a distraction than they are a positive because you can be complacent after it," McFadden said.
"The real focus of our attention this week is going to be whether we can do that sort of stuff under pressure.
"It will be a different game this weekend at Suncorp in front of probably 40,000, against a full-strength Broncos side.
"This is what we need, we need to stand up this week."
Meanwhile McFadden has handed a debut to yet another home-grown Kiwi talent in utility Agnatius Paasi, who will come off the bench on Saturday.
A grand final winner with the Junior Warriors in 2011, Paasi, who can play second row, front row and centre, has been plying his trade in the club's NSW Cup side for the past three seasons.
"To be honest with you Agnatius picked himself. His form in our cup side has just been too good to ignore," McFadden said.