Warriors' Gubb eyeing healthy run
Warriors prop Charlie Gubb is hoping to finish Friday night's clash with the Bulldogs on his own terms, after a pair of injuries forced him from the field in the opening two games of the NRL Telstra Premiership season.
After suffering concussion late in the match against the Knights in Round 1, Gubb failed to finish his stint against the Storm last week after succumbing to a high ankle strain.
With veteran front-rower Ben Matulino out injured, the opening rounds presented Gubb with an ideal opportunity to impress new coach Stephen Kearney but the 26-year-old prop told NRL.com he remained optimistic despite the minor setbacks.
"The ankle problem has been with me for a few weeks and I just tweaked it again on the weekend," Gubb said ahead of the Bulldogs clash at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.
"It's alright, just lots of icing it, it has good days and bad days.
"I got a big head knock to start the year and then the ankle – I am two-from-two for injuries this year, but hopefully I can get through the Bulldogs game without getting taken off.
"I got through the pre-season pretty well, my achilles was bad but other than that I got through well.
"It is [frustrating] but then you see guys like Simon Mannering and Jacob Lillyman and they are injured all the time and don't complain about it, so you have got to just get on with it.
"It comes with the territory of playing in the middle."
The head knock and ankle problem are the latest in a long run of niggling injuries, which have contributed to Gubb playing just 31 games since making his first-grade debut back in Round 17 of the 2013 season.
He didn't play NRL beyond Round 19 last year after picking up a seven-game suspension for a shoulder charge, but was selected to start at prop in the first two games of this season.
While the Warriors have averaged 1567 running metres across their opening two games, a stat which places them as the fifth best in the competition for yardage gained heading into Round 3, Gubb said they had more in them.
"I think we have definitely got a lot to improve on, we are not where we want to be as a forward pack," Gubb said.
"I was happy with my Knights game but I was a bit loose in defence against the Storm, but I am improving.
"But the Bulldogs, I think they are one of the bigger packs in the NRL.
"They are a beast of a team who play until the final whistle, whether they are in front or behind, so we will have to play to our best."
Meanwhile Ryan Hoffman, who will captain the side in the absence of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (concussion), said the focus will be on defending well for longer periods after leaking 14 points in the second half of both matches this year.
"I think consistency throughout he 80 minutes [is where we need to improve], we defended really well I felt in that first half against Melbourne," Hoffman said.
"They scored two tries off kicks and we held them out three sets in a row, so it shows that we have got the right plays, we just need to be a lot more consistent with it."