Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson against the Sharks in Round 16.

Warriors: Just competing isn't enough

Despite footing it with the NRL Telstra Premiership's top side for 87 minutes, the Warriors insist they aren't feeling content with where they are at on their journey towards the top eight.

A James Maloney field goal was the only difference in the end between the Warriors and the Cronulla Sharks in Round 16, but halfback Shaun Johnson said they won't be happy until they turn those performances into victories.

"We don't want to go and hang with sides, we believe in our abilities and we want to beat sides," Johnson said ahead of Saturday's clash with the Titans at Mt Smart Stadium.

"We had done that the previous three weeks and that 'Sharkies' game was a different challenge.

"Those are the games you really want to win, no one gave us a chance and we really prepared well and trained well all week, and we had been building.

"I thought the performance overall was pretty solid but obviously still not good enough.

"You put in a lot of effort and to come up short hurts."

 


The Warriors completed the same number of sets as Cronulla in the Round 16 fixture and ran for more metres, but were made to pay for a poor 10 minutes either side of half-time which saw them concede 18 points. 

"There are areas of our game that we are really happy with, and obviously areas that we recognised we need to get better in," Johnson said

"I thought the overtime part especially [we could have been better in], and there were key moments in the game – obviously that period before half-time where we just sort of fell off a little bit – and you do that against quality sides and they make you pay.

"Game management [needs to be better] from myself and the rest of the spine, just controlling things there, we looked at the tape and we know now."

Meanwhile prop Jacob Lillyman said he is expecting a torrid battle in the middle of the park against a Titans side led by the in-form Ryan James.

In 15 games this season James averages 132.7 metres and 38 tackles, which has helped him to become the second-highest scoring NRL Fantasy player this season as well.

"They [the Titans] are a bit of an unsung pack I guess you could say, they have matched it with most sides they have played this year, they really turn up and play a fairly good brand of footy," Lillyman said.

"They are going to provide a big challenge for us and we are aware of that, so it's just about stepping up again and getting a bit of momentum for the pretty boys out wide.

"As a team we have come a long way in the last month, we have come through some pretty tough times, but we are back to an entertaining, enjoyable and tough brand of footy, so we have got to keep that going."

Fans attending the game can also join in on the celebrations for Simon Mannering's 250th first-grade match by picking up a free giant Mannering head at the gates.