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Warriors players look during their loss to the Rabbitohs in Round 23.

After suffering a major setback in their journey towards an NRL Telstra Premiership finals berth, the New Zealand Warriors put up a brave front post-match and insisted they remain in control of their own destiny.

The 41-22 loss against the 13th-placed Rabbitohs saw the Kiwi side drop out of top eight, losing ground on nearest rivals the Titans and Panthers as the final three games approach.


Warriors lock Simon Mannering said there was no hiding from the negatives to come out of the performance on Saturday night at Mt Smart Stadium, but believed his side couldn't afford to dwell on it.

"It's very disappointing but we have got to get over it pretty quickly, we have got some pretty important games coming up," Mannering said.

"I thought we had been playing very consistently for a fair while and this is sort of a few steps backwards.

"I guess we can dwell on it or we can make it a real good reality check for us and show what we can do from here.

"It's disappointing but we can't kick stones for too long."

After going through their last nine games without a loss in regular time, the Warriors' uninspired showing came somewhat out of the blue, particularly given they were coming up against a side who hadn't won a match since Round 11.

Coach Andrew McFadden's side were clumsy with the ball, making nine errors for a final completion rate of just 69 per cent, while on the defensive front their failure to defuse kicks in behind their line cost them three tries in the first half.

Centre Blake Ayshford, who came off the interchange against South Sydney, told he was confident the issues could be easily addressed.

"They are not major things we have to fix, it was more just physical and they wanted it more," Ayshford said.

"We have been up for the last 10 weeks, even though we have lost games we have lost them in golden point, we have been up for every game physically.

"Tonight was a let down in that department, but it's nothing major, just mentality.

"It is surprising, we thought we were on a role with our performances, obviously tonight we got our butt kicked in our performance and on the scoreboard.

"We can't dwell on that one too much, it's done and dusted now."

The poor showing from the Warriors was untimely for another reason as well, with the 17,409 strong crowd being the club's largest Auckland attendance since Round 23, 2014.

"[It was] a great turnout tonight which just makes it even more disappointing back here at home, we got good support and we couldn't repay their support with the performance," Mannering said.



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