Prop Jacob Lillyman says the Warriors remain NRL finals contenders, but they will need to front up against the Gold Coast Titans in Auckland.
Senior prop Jacob Lillyman is determined to help the Warriors exorcise some demons and keep alive their hopes of sneaking into the NRL finals.
Top-four contenders not so long ago, the Warriors sit two points outside the top eight ahead of the visit of the Gold Coast Titans on Sunday.
Their slip down the ladder follows back-to-back defeats to Newcastle and the Sydney Roosters and just two wins in their past six outings.
Their 46-12 loss to the premiers was their biggest of 2014 and came in front of more than 19,600 fans, the biggest crowd at Mt Smart Stadium this season.
Their match against the Titans is their last at home this year.
“That’s a big motivation, but also just to make up for last weekend,” Lillyman said.
“A win would put a few of those demons to bed.”
Although the Warriors no longer have their finals fate in their own hands, Lillyman believes there are more twists and turns to come over the final fortnight.
“It’s something we’ve spoken as a team – we’re not done and dusted,” he said.
“It’s a little bit out of our control, but we’re still a chance of sneaking in there.”
The Queensland Origin representative has been a consistent performer for the Warriors this season.
He was one of the few to come away with credit against the Roosters, making a team-high 145 metres and 20 tackles in his 48 minutes on the park.
He acknowledges that a key area the Warriors have to improve on is defence, which was a strength earlier in the season.
“On the weekend, it wasn’t first-grade standard,” he said.
“We weren’t prepared to hang in there and wait for the swing in momentum to come around. We have to take some lessons from that and turn up.”
The Warriors will go in as favourites against Gold Coast, who are on a five-match losing run and out of finals contentions.
The Titans also have recent history against them, having lost their last seven encounters against the Warriors going back to 2011, and they have a host of casualties in the forwards.
Among those sidelined are co-skipper Nate Myles, Ashley Harrison, Luke Bailey and Dave Taylor, who scored a hat-trick in the 24-16 loss to the Warriors in Robina in May.
“They’ve got nothing to lose and those teams are sometimes more dangerous,” Lillyman said.
“They’ll be throwing caution to the wind. After the last few weeks, we have to get into the arm wrestle early and rely on our structures to get us home.”