Warriors pack to make amends in Townsville
The Warriors' forward pack believes a dressing down from coaching staff following last Saturday's 41-22 drubbing at the hands of South Sydney will set them straight for the remainder of the season.
After heading into the match as heavy favourites, the top-eight contenders were steamrolled through the middle of the park by a Rabbitohs' pack who powered their way to 1,476 run metres.
The Kiwi club's video review session this week made for tough viewing for every member of their forward pack, and veteran bookend Jacob Lillyman said he expected it to have a telling effect.
"We have addressed it through our video session, it wasn't pretty," Lillyman said ahead of Saturday's clash against North Queensland at 1300SMILES Stadium.
"We just lost the physical battle, quite frankly... they [Souths] were just up for that physicality a bit more than we were.
"We need to bounce back after that performance, we were very disappointed in what we tossed up there, so we are really looking to bounce back against the Cowboys."
Captain Ryan Hoffman was the only Warriors' forward to run for over 100 metres in the Round 23 clash, while Albert Vete (90 metres) was the only front-rower to get through for more than 70 with ball in hand.
This week Vete echoed the thoughts of Lillyman, admitting it had been an embarrassing 80 minutes to relive.
"I know when the boys were doing the review [Tuesday] we were pretty gutted about how we performed," Vete said.
"Especially here at Mt Smart where we pride ourselves on turning up and having a crack, and I thought on the weekend we didn't really do that.
"It was [hard] and there was no way around it.
"I thought that our coaches handled it pretty well, showing us that if we are five per cent out on our game that these are the things that can happen in the NRL.
"If we really want to play in the finals then we have to show up against a top-four team and the Cowboys have proven to be one of the best in the competition with one of the best forward packs."
This week Warriors coach Andrew McFadden responded with his actions, re-jigging his bench to include James Gavet as one of three interchange props, going against his recent trend of opting for a second utility or outside back as injury cover.
While he didn't shy away from criticising the most-recent performance of his forwards, McFadden also backed them to turn it around against the representative-laden North Queensland pack.
"Most definitely [we can match them], it has been [the case] in all other packs in the last couple of months," McFadden said.
"We got beat up a little bit on the weekend but that happens from time to time so we are not overreacting.
"Obviously it (the interchange structure) is a bit of a different dynamic which has its risks, but we obviously have got to roll the dice and try to go up there and get the win."