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Warriors brace for do-or-die Tigers tussle

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 25/08/2016 Angelo Risso

The Warriors were put under the cosh by a resurgent Cowboys outfit in Townsville last weekend. © Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images The Warriors were put under the cosh by a resurgent Cowboys outfit in Townsville last weekend. Warriors players admit they'll be huddling around their television sets on Saturday in anticipation of NRL results from the Gold Coast.

A Titans win over the Panthers in Queensland will rule the ninth-placed Warriors out of the finals before even a minute of Sunday's must-win Tigers clash.

Departing five-eighth Thomas Leuluai rued the situation his side had placed themselves in through consecutive losses to the Rabbitohs and Cowboys, but hoped there was enough time to make amends.

The Warriors will round out the regular season with home matches against the Tigers and Eels, and must win both to retain an outside shot at finals football.

The Titans must also lose to both Penrith and the Cowboys.

"It's unfortunate that it's out of our hands but we haven't got time to dwell on it," Leuluai told reporters on Thursday.

"I still feel like if we can focus on playing well, we still have a chance."

Skipper Ryan Hoffman said his teammates knew the scenario - win or bust.

They would keep abreast of the Titans' result but hoped to put in an improved performance regardless.

"That's not going to detract from what we do on Sunday, we want a positive finish to the year," Hoffman said.

The Warriors were put under the cosh by a resurgent Cowboys outfit in Townsville last weekend, straining under wave after wave of attack in their 34-6 loss.

Head coach Andrew McFadden couldn't fault his side's spirit but said they had failed to carry out their gameplan.

Their fate was now out of their control.

"We never stopped trying, that was really clear," McFadden said.

"I don't know if we've had to do that much defence in any game we've played.

"Our execution was poor and you can't do that against a pretty good side that was well up for it."

McFadden said that he was confident for next season despite an inconsistent NRL campaign in 2016.

A number of younger players had been blooded into first grade football and fewer senior players would be on the move in the off-season.

"Probably for the first time we're not going to have a big turnover of squad at the end of the year," McFadden said.

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