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Warriors eschew targets, aim for growth

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/02/2017
Warriors © Getty Warriors

The Warriors heaped pressure on themselves with their bullish NRL predictions at the start of 2016, and were duly stung.

So 12 months on, the club has decided to keep its guns firmly holstered.

Warriors chief Jim Doyle publicly demanded a minimum top-eight finish last year, with the ideal objective of top-four.

But after watching his side suffer key injuries and the ignominy of 10th by season's end, Doyle declined to set a firm target at Wednesday's 2017 season launch.

Instead, he simply promised every person at the club, both on-field and off, would do their best to achieve success.

New coach Stephen Kearney had placed high standards at the centre of his work, while new skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was leading by example.

If the squad followed their lead, Doyle said, they would do well enough to qualify for a first finals berth in six years.

"It was disappointing not to make the finals series again, because as a club we have very high expectations," Doyle said.

"I guarantee you that we won't stop continuously pushing ourselves to get the club where it needs to be."

Doyle labelled Kearney a source of fresh thinking and authority at the club, having served as their inaugural co-captain in 1995.

Taking over from the demoted Andrew McFadden in the off-season, he'll also have the ex-coach, Stacey Jones and Steve McNamara alongside him for support.

Kearney said he demanded the strongest possible work ethic from his troops, whether on the training paddock, in the gym or in terms of match preparation.

"If you work that way and live that way, there's a good chance that, on Saturday afternoon, you're going to play that way," Kearney said.

"I'm a very process-driven individual and it starts with how you do things.

"For the most part, the boys are working really hard."

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