Warriors expect Trbojevic brothers to back up
A "refreshed and ready" Warriors side is preparing for a full-strength Manly Sea Eagles when the two meet in Christchurch on Saturday.
The fourth-placed Warriors are coming off the bye and have the luxury of having no players being involved in Wednesday's State of Origin.
Manly on the other hand were handled 26-12 by the Cowboys last week and will be sweating on the fitness of their Origin stars Jake and Tom Trbojevic for what is almost a must-win clash.
While the pair looked to have escaped Melbourne unscathed, the three-day turnaround – plus travel – will still be a big ask.
However Warriors coach Stephen Kearney said his side would prepare as if both Jake and Tom are taking the field and was focused on stopping the talented Sea Eagles forward pack.
"I've been involved in teams with Origin players before and they don't like missing any footy so we assume both those boys will play," Kearney said.
"We have to meet the challenge (of the Manly pack) as a whole, that's a big part of us getting the performance we are after. It's not just Jake and Marty (Taupau); Api (Koroisau) does a very god job out of dummy half so our focus is on making sure we get what we need to get right."
Warriors forward Tohu Harris anticipated both Jake and Tom Trbojevic to back up and said his side was well aware of the dangers Manly posed – with or without their Origin stars.
"They have some hard-running forwards and classy backs across the park. If you let those forwards get going they can tear sides a part and they have shown that, they have beaten some pretty good sides this year," Harris said.
"Jake and Tom are extremely competitive players and for sure they will be wanting to back up so we will prepare as such, but it's about focussing on us and getting back some consistency in our performances first and foremost."
Harris said the bye came at the right time of the year for the Warriors, who were refreshed and re-focussed after their last-start los to to South Sydney.
Isaac Luke said he was now nearing full fitness after the break, and the week off also gave playmaker Shaun Johnson the chance to fully heal his niggling leg injury.
Both have been named to start in front of an anticipated sell-out crowd in Christchurch.