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Warriors facing mid-season NRL woes

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/06/2017 Scott Bailey

Ken Maumalo of the Warriors celebrates with his team mates after scoring a try during the round 13 NRL match © Mark Kolbe/Getty Images Ken Maumalo of the Warriors celebrates with his team mates after scoring a try during the round 13 NRL match Even the State of Origin period may not save the Warriors' NRL season this year.

Armed with arguably the best roster in the history of the club, the Auckland-based outfit slumped to a 5-8 record on Friday night when they went down 32-24 to an injury-depleted Parramatta at ANZ Stadium.

The Warriors have one of the best spines in the competition. Last month they provided the Kiwis' Test fullback, five-eighth, halfback and hooker in the same match for the first time in the history of the club.

So strong is their roster that former player Clinton Toopi told AAP at the start of the year that it was a case of now or never for the club - a deadline emphasised by the fact Kieran Foran has already signed with Canterbury for 2018.

But on Friday night it again meant little, aside from two 10-minute periods in both the first and second halves as they twice threatened to mount comebacks against an Eels team that was left with just one man on the bench.

"I know we have the capability to put some points on if we stick to what we do - the process," Kearney said.

"What I was disappointed with was to give up too many points to start the halves to begin with."

A sixth-straight loss in Australia has the Warriors in 13th on the ladder.

They have now won just four games in the past 24 months outside of New Zealand, no doubt a worrying trend given they return for a match on the Gold Coast next Saturday.

More concerning though is the fact they have already used their only pre-Origin trump card.

Because while the Warriors are renowned for making a run through the middle of the season against Origin-affected teams, they have byes before each of the next two Origin matches after beating an undermanned Brisbane last week.

They also face the unaffected Panthers after the third interstate clash, meaning the Round 16 fixture against the Bulldogs could be their only chance to capitalise against a tired side.

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