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Warriors wary of NRL last round clash

One team will have everything to play for, the other mainly pride.
Warriors wary of NRL last round clash
by AAP

By Robert Lowe

AUCKLAND, Sept 1 AAP - One team will have everything to play for, the other mainly pride.

For back-rower Elijah Taylor, the scenario is fraught with danger as the Warriors contemplate an away match against St George Illawarra next Saturday in the NRL's final round.

It's a contest the Warriors need to win after they kept their play-off ambitions alive by overwhelming Canberra 50-16 in Auckland on Saturday night.

The Dragons sit second bottom ahead of their Monday night fixture against wooden-spooners Parramatta, but that merely puts Taylor on alert.

"It's a dangerous game," he said.

"They'll be there to spoil the party. It makes it harder for us because they're going to throw it around with carefree footy."

While he might "sound like a scratched record", Taylor said preparation would be key.

"The Warriors of old beat the good sides and lost against the lesser ones," he said.

"It's important we have a good attitude and we build pressure. If we do that and we play for 80 minutes, we will go against any team."

It was Taylor who got the scoreboard ticking over against the Raiders, taking a Thomas Leuluai short ball to dot down inside two minutes.

The Warriors ended up notching nine tries to three in a match that featured a remarkable three hat-tricks - to Manu Vatuvei and Shaun Johnson, and to Canberra's Jarrod Croker.

Vatuvei also made eight tackle breaks on the way to eating up 239 metres, while Johnson added seven goals for a 26-point haul.

Down 12-6, the Warriors scored 44 points in a row to shut the door on the Raiders' own play-off hopes.

"It's a massive win - good for our confidence, good for our for-and-against, good for our team morale," Taylor said.

"If we had lost that game, the season was over. It was as simple as that."

The match was Taylor's last at Mt Smart Stadium before the 23-year-old's departure for Penrith.

Since his move to the Panthers was announced in March, he hasn't relented in his efforts for the Warriors, showing with his defensive work-rate and attacking ability the hole he will leave.

The four-Test Kiwi said he wouldn't be reflecting on his career at the Warriors, which includes 66 first-grade appearances during the past three seasons, until it was over.

"Hopefully, it's after the grand final," he said with a smile.




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