Stephen Kearney with Kieran Foran at Warriors pre-season training.

Warriors won't take Knights lightly

Ahead of meeting the last-placed Newcastle Knights this Saturday afternoon, the Warriors say they can't afford to take any team lightly in the NRL Telstra Premiership right now.

Sitting in 11th position themselves and currently on a four-game losing run, the Kiwi club head to McDonald Jones Stadium six points outside of the top eight following a 26-12 loss to the Cronulla Sharks last Friday.


Coach Stephen Kearney said there had been no need to remind his squad of the challenge at hand this week, especially after the Knights upset St George Illawarra 21-14 in Round 21. 

"We are not in a positon to take anyone lightly," Kearney said.

"Absolutely not [there's been no need to motivate them], I think Newcastle are playing pretty good football at the minute. 

"I think the week before [last week's win over the Dragons] they had a really tough and tight game against the Roosters.

"Our focus, and we have been pretty consistent with it all year, is making sure that we improve on our last performance. It's no different this week regardless of who we are playing."

Newcastle have won just three games this season, and at this stage are odds on to collect a third-consecutive wooden spoon, but went toe-to-toe with the Warriors in an eventual 26-22 loss back in Round 1.

The Novocastrians can also lean on a record of nine wins from 16 matches against the New Zealand outfit at this week's venue.

Warriors centre David Fusitu'a told NRL.com the Knights were a much-improved team to the one they faced in the season opener in Auckland, highlighting their back five as a threat.

"Their team has grown since we last played them and they are playing some good footy, so that is going to be a challenge for us," Fusitu'a said.

"We have been doing review on them and they have been racking up the metres their back five. We have got a big job to match them and get one over them.

"Shaun Kenny-Dowall is there now and adds a different style with the way he plays, but it's effective. It will be good to see him back out on the field and good to go against him again.

"It's a broken record but it all starts with the forwards, and if they are winning their battles up front it makes it so much easier for us on the edge.

"Hopefully that keeps going."