Tohu Harris says the Warriors have worked hard to change. Picture: Richard Dobson
Tohu Harris says the Warriors have worked hard to change. Picture: Richard Dobson

How the Warriors banished their road woes

NEW ZEALAND'S away record in 2018 perfectly epitomises the shift in attitude and professionalism at the club.

The Warriors managed a single away win last year but that has improved to eight victories on the road this season.

Edge backrower Tohu Harris has revealed increased planning around their time across the ditch has been the difference.

"We've really used the away times to get to know each other and build a chemistry with each other which has really helped us on the field," he said.

"There has been more planning and more professionalism around scheduling, around food and things like that that the coaching and training staff handle."

The Warriors, who haven't taken part in a finals series since 2011, will have their formula for success away from home tested when Stephen Kearney's men line up against the Penrith Panthers late on Saturday afternoon (5.30pm) for their most important game on Australian soil in seven years.

But Harris says their new routine while travelling has his side prepared as they'll ever be for their elimination final against Penrith in Sydney.

The Warriors are a much tighter group these days and it shows. Picture: Getty Images
The Warriors are a much tighter group these days and it shows. Picture: Getty Images

"It has also been a focus for the players to try and improve that record and we know if you want to do well in the competition you've got to win away from home," he said.

"It's the position we find ourselves in the moment, we have to prepare well and we've spoke all year about preparing well from home and that's what we will do tonight."

Harris left Melbourne, a club whose reputation is built on professionalism, to join the Warriors, a club often derided as perennial underachievers and criticised for their laid-back approach.

But Harris revealed his new teammates had made a commitment to change the "direction of the club".

Get your Dragons finals poster in the Sunday Telegraph.
Get your Dragons finals poster in the Sunday Telegraph.

To ensure players upheld their promise, Alex Corvo was hired as the club's strength and conditioning coach

The Kiwi international says Corvo, who is known for his unrelenting fitness programs, ran the pre-season in the same way he had while he was a trainer at the Storm.

"What he brings is holding the standards and not letting that slip," he said.

"No matter what club you go to pre-season is going to be hard. It's about how much players can get away with or whether they can hold the standard every day.

"He makes sure we do that every day of the pre-season. That's what makes training under him so hard, there are no days off."