Warriors aim for Mt Smart to become fortress

For some teams, they are able to gain a stronghold on their stadium, and do what is necessary to win, and maintain a good record there. For the New Zealand Warriors, they plan to do the same at Mt Smart Stadium.

The Warriors, who traditionally struggle when playing away, managed to curb that to an extent, as they finished 5th in 2010, with the team across the Tasman aiming to do the same in 2011.

With their record on the road having improved gradually over the last few years, it is at home where the Warriors really want to shine.

“Last year was our best season ever in terms of away games, so probably our home record could be a little bit better,” Warriors coach Ivan Cleary said.

“I think if we’re playing well it always has that feel about it (as an intimidating place to visit), we’ve always played well at home over time but probably the last couple of years we haven’t got the results we really wanted to.

“It’s something we’ve always banked on in the past and the last couple of years it hasn’t been as good as we need it to be.

“Playing more consistently across the season at home should certainly help.

“But I think those results will come on the back of just getting everything in place. That’s all we’re concentrating on, working hard each day and the results will show on the field.”

Warriors Captain Simon Mannering also believes that getting off to a solid start at home is critical to the Warriors having a good season overall in 2011.

“I think if we get (the consistency) going at the start of the year it won’t put as much pressure on us to win eight out of nine games towards the back half of the year,” he said.

“It will give us a little bit more breathing space coming into the finals if we have that opportunity.”

“I think if we get (the consistency) going at the start of the year it won’t put as much pressure on us to win eight out of nine games towards the back half of the year,” he said.

“It will give us a little bit more breathing space coming into the finals if we have that opportunity.”

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