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Warriors vow to express themselves

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 8/06/2016

Solving the Warriors' consistency woes is an ongoing head-scratcher for coach Andrew McFadden.

But he's sure of one thing: they can't go into their collective shell, including in Saturday's visit to last-placed Newcastle.

McFadden says last weekend's high-octane 36-18 home win over the Brisbane Broncos is the blueprint for how the Warriors need to play if they are to fulfil their potential and, at the very least, reach the play-offs.

It was their fifth success in 12 games this season and at last showed what the 12th-placed club can do attack-wise when everything clicks, the embattled coach said.

"It's certainly the kind of football we want to play. We're not a conservative team," he said.

"Good footy suits our style but there's always a balance in that. It starts in that middle third and I thought our forwards did a great job."

Halfback Shaun Johnson was also back to his sparkling best, playing with a freedom McFadden would dearly love to see every week.

He has named the same side to start at Hunter Stadium and hopes they can generate the same chemistry as a week earlier or from another sizeable win, when they thumped the struggling Knights 40-18 in Auckland in round four.

"Any continuity at the moment is a bonus," he said.

"Last week it was just nice that they could smile about their footy. It's most definitely the best performance we've had this season over the 80 minutes."

Successive games against the lowly Knights and the Sydney Roosters gives the Warriors a chance to clamber towards the top-eight.

It also gives them further opportunities to fend off media speculation they lack harmony, a rumour which flared up over the last five weeks following heavy losses to the Melbourne, Penrith and Canberra.

"There's no factions in the squad, we were just playing poorly," McFadden said.

"The performance at the weekend shows they're tight and want to do well."

McFadden says five-eighth Thomas Leuluai has shaken off an ankle injury and is clear to play in what will be hooker Issac Luke's 200th NRL game.

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