You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Shaun Johnson celebrates with Warriors teammates against the Titans in Round 22.

The Warriors believe defensive confidence will be the key driver as they aim to keep the upper hand in their battle to make the NRL Telstra Premiership top eight.

The Kiwi side have kept teams to less than 20 points in eight of their last nine games dating back to Round 11, and across that period have averaged only 16.6 points leaked per match.


In a 24-14 victory over the Titans last week the Warriors gave up three tries, but continually repelled repeat sets camped against their own line, missing only 16 tackles across the 80 minutes.

Captain Ryan Hoffman said it was a result which displayed just how far the team had come in the way they handle defensive pressure.

"I think there has definitely been an attitude shift and I think the game [on the weekend] was a perfect example of that, especially our attitude to defend," Hoffman said ahead of Saturday night's clash against the Rabbitohs at Mt Smart Stadium.

"It's good to see us get some rewards from that.

"We want to make sure that we take the same defensive attitude into this game against the Bunnies."

The Warriors scored a pair of tries following long-range intercepts against the Titans, which coach Andrew McFadden believed were tries built purely off defence, as they frustrated their opposition into making errors.

Winger Ken Maumalo echoed those thoughts, admitting the side is feeling a confidence in defence which simply wasn't there at the start of the season.

"I felt it, I felt like they [the Titans] were frustrated and didn't know what to do so they tried to chuck the ball around," Maumalo said.

"Luckily for us it turned out for us and a couple of the boys intercepted and ran down the field, and we scored points off that.

"Our defence won us that game, I'd say that.

"It is [a nice feeling to have in defence], this last month we have built a lot of confidence off our defence and that is something we are trying to build on over this next month, heading to finals football."

Meanwhile Maumalo said it was that time of the year where any team can cause an upset result, meaning the fact that South Sydney head into the game on a nine-game losing streak would mean little come kick-off.

The Rabbitohs also come off one of their better performances of the year, taking ladder-leaders Melbourne to golden point in an eventual 15-14 loss, in a game where they made just four errors and completed at 81 per cent.

"No game is an easy game in the NRL, it's hard to predict and it's just who turns up on the day," Maumalo said.

"South Sydney are a good team, they have still got quality players and it just showed on the weekend against Melbourne that they can fight against anyone… they were just unlucky they lost.

"The back end of the season is when all these teams come good, they just have nothing to lose and we have everything to lose.

"The teams want it more because they want to perform well and end the season well."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Premier Partner

Media Partners

Major Partners

View All Partners