Ball control pivotal for Warriors
After winning their last NRL Telstra Premiership match off the back of staunch goal-line defence, the Warriors are hopeful they can avoid putting themselves in those situations against the Penrith Panthers in Round 10.
In securing a last-minute 14-13 victory over the Sydney Roosters in Round 9, the Warriors had to repel numerous raids through a second half where they made over 200 tackles, and relied on a couple of last-ditch defensive plays to keep them in the match.
Second-rower Bodene Thompson told NRL.com that while it was pleasing to see they can defend their line so competently, his side needed to look after the ball better this week and ensure a similar effort wasn't required.
"It was good to see that but at the same time we don't want to put ourselves in those positions," Thompson said ahead of the Indigenous Round clash with the Panthers.
"Having to soak up that much pressure and stuff, you just don't want to put yourself in those spots.
"We loved the defensive effort, but we don't want to have to do that. We just make it hard for ourselves when we do that kind of stuff. "
So often the club's undoing in recent years, the Warriors' completion rate has been a feature of their new style under coach Stephen Kearney, and after nine matches they possess the NRL's seventh-best record in that category, completing 76.6 per cent of their sets per game on average.
On the other side of the equation, the Panthers have made more handling errors than any other side in the competition, at an average of 12.5 per game, with Thompson believing it's an area where his side can exploit Penrith at Pepper Stadium.
"We want to make sure we are right up there with our completions and then hopefully force some errors off them if they get tired," Thompson said.
"That's putting pressure on the opposition… if you can do that for the whole game then the pressure is on the other team and you will get the run of the flow.
"It's one of those games where we need to complete high."
So far the Panthers have struggled to get anywhere near their form of last year which saw them qualify through to the semi-finals, and they head into Round 10 sitting 15th on the ladder.
But despite this week's opponents being without a win since Round 4, Kearney said he expected them to be back at their best after a week off for the Representative Round.
"I am preparing the team for [Penrith's] best performance," Kearney said.
"They are certainly a dangerous team, they can certainly play some football on you when they want to.
"Our focus is on building on our last outing against the Roosters, where I thought there were some pretty good parts to that performance."