Warriors coach Stephen Kearney is placing absolutely no weight on the outcome of his NRL side’s first trial match of 2018 against the Melbourne Storm.
He said the result will not change his plans.
Kearney’s troops will face last year’s NRL premiers in a Rotorua trial match next weekend before a clash with the Gold Coast Titans on the Sunshine Coast.
He said his squad was champing at the bit to play some football after three months of pre-season – but that the hard yards weren’t yet over.
Win or loss, he’d continue to flog the players in training as they gear up for round one of the NRL season against South Sydney on March 10.
The sprints and shuttle runs would continue apace.
“Not a great deal (will change), unfortunately for the players” Kearney said.
“They’re thinking pre-season is over because we’re moving into trials but the reality is that we’re preparing for round one and that’s our focus.”
With Melbourne set to travel with a second-string squad due to their World Club Challenge commitments, the Warriors are odds-on for victory.
But Kearney said he’d also avoid playing all his top players at once.
Success in his eyes would be nailing the team’s combinations, particularly through the spine with five-eighth recruit Blake Green.
The side’s new-look forward pack would also need to find cohesion.
“It gives us an opportunity to look at guys right on the fringe,” Kearney said.
“Getting some time into those guys, particularly the forward group, seven or eight guys challenging for not-that-many spots – it’s an opportunity for them.”
Kearney said halfback Shaun Johnson, who recently underwent minor eye surgery, should be fine to take part in the Rotorua match.
Sorry we are not currently accepting comments on this article.