Warriors winger Manu Vatuvei celebrates his side's opening try against the Raiders.

Warriors work on edge defence

Over the past few seasons the New Zealand Warriors' edge defence could have been described as a turnstile.

Defensive frailties out wide meant that the fringes of the field have long been a target for opposing teams, and subsequently a regular downfall for the Kiwi side.

But after just three games this year they have already shown enough to suggest that's not the case any longer.

Despite missing first-choice centres Konrad Hurrell and Ngani Laumape through injury, and being forced to blood youngsters Tuimoala Lolohea and Solomone Kata in their places, the Warriors have looked solid on both flanks.

Coach Andrew McFadden's defensive structure and focus on off-the-ball efforts has been a big factor in that improvement.

But according to the players, it's mainly down to the way new recruits Ryan Hoffman and Bodene Thompson have been performing.

Between them the pair have brought a level of defensive execution which the Warriors haven't had consistently for years.

In 2015 Thompson is averaging 38 tackles and only two misses per game, while Hoffman averages 20 with just one miss.

"It's good to have the calibre of players that they [Hoffman and Thompson] are, they bring the winning mentally, that's first and foremost," hooker Nathan Friend said ahead of the clash with the Broncos at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday.

"They have the will to win and the desire that our team has been searching for.

"They can create stuff out there on the edges, and it's nice to have Simon Mannering in the middle with you because he is just such a dominant player."

The impressive performances haven't been restricted to the defensive side of the game either.

In last Saturday's 29-16 win over Parramatta the Warriors scored four of their five tries down the left corridor, running for a combined 485 metres as Hoffman, Kata and veteran Manu Vatuvei ran rampant.

It wasn't a pre-determined ploy to go that way, but could become a more regular occurrence as sides dedicate more of their defensive attention to shutting down Shaun Johnson on the right.

"I thought last weekend they [Parramatta] loaded up my side, we were eyes up the whole time and they stacked numbers there," Johnson said.

"That's why we executed some great skill on the left-edge, they went there for a reason.

"It's so good to see that we have strike right across the park, if they shut one of us down then we know the other edge is ready to go and everyone is contributing." 

While Vatuvei, who now requires just four more tries to become the highest scoring New Zealander in NRL history, said he was just happy to see his part of the field finishing their plays on attack.

"We always call ourselves 'left-side, strong-side' and there is always competition with the left and right side," Vatuvei said.

"But we are just happy we are doing our job and scoring the tries.

"That's what counts and that's what we have been working on."