Topic: Rugby League

Warriors secure finals spot

By Ruth Smith, Tamati Tiananga
  • Auckland

The Warriors have booked themselves a spot in the NRL finals playoffs after their 36-16 win against the Penrith Panthers last week. 

This is the first time the teAM have seen the finals round since 2011.

The Warriors are saying goodbye to years of misery AFTER finally booking their spot in the finals playoff.

"Looking at the season, and reflecting on the season, it's a real challenge to get yourself into that position so we acknowledged it but we just quickly move on to what's in front of us now," says Warriors coach Stephen Kearney.

Two of the Warriors biggest signings, Adam Blair and Tohu Harris have delivered on their promise, leading the struggling club into top eight NRL contention.

"The point that I've pushed to the group is just about focusing on preparation and to perform well," says Kearney.

Both Blair and Harris have tasted NRL success, winning premierships with the Melbourne Storm on different occasions- Blair in 2009 while Harris played a key role in the Storm's grand final victory 34-6 against the Cowboys.

"Looking at the competition, the way that it is, there's four teams on 30 points which is the same as us.  Three teams on 32 points and Melbourne are on 34.  So, I think when we talk about inconsistency, for us to be in that position we've had to be pretty consistent," says Kearney.

But Kearney says his focus is on Friday night's clash against the Raiders, who are looking to spoil Simon Mannering's 300th NRL appearance.

"It can't be under-sold, that fact that he's played 300 games for this footy club.  He epitomises what we're trying to build here in the footy club- there's no doubt about that.  He has all of the characteristics in what we're trying to achieve here as a whole footy club."

The game kicks off at Mount Smart Stadium at 8pm.