Warriors brace for emotional Christchurch

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney knows his side has plenty to work on before playing Manly.
Warriors coach Stephen Kearney knows his side has plenty to work on before playing Manly.

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney is anticipating another emotional week for his NRL side as they head to Christchurch to take on Manly on Saturday.

Less than two weeks after the terror attacks in the New Zealand city, the Sea Eagles will host the Warriors at AMI Stadium.

A heavy-hearted Warriors belted Canterbury in their season-opener in Auckland last week, but were fell back to earth when routed by Wests Tigers on Sunday.

"I thought it was a big week for the footy club last week as I said after that game, for a number of reasons," Kearney said after the loss to the Tigers.

"The lesson for this footy team is that the NRL, it's every week.

"You've got to turn up ready, regardless of who the opponent, what round it is and where they are on the table. It doesn't matter.

"I thought possibly there were some individuals tonight who were still on the cloud that they finished off with last week. But it's a good lesson for them."

But any disappointment will likely pale in comparison to the landscape that awaits for them when they travel to Christchurch this week.

After confirming the NRL fixture would still proceed, the Sea Eagles have already indicated heading over early to assist the community in any form possible.

Kearney predicted more emotion ahead for both teams.

"I reckon if last week's anything to go by, it's been a pretty sombre week back home for obvious reasons," he said.

"It's been wonderful to see the country and all communities rally behind the tragedy that's happened.

"I get a sense that Manly will see that firsthand this week. Our focus is making sure that we prepare correctly for a good performance next Saturday."

The Warriors will be aiming to bounce back after an insipid display against the Tigers, who poured on six tries in the final 45 minutes of the contest.

"There were parts where we tried in the first half, but I think some of us thought it was going to be an easier night than what they anticipated," Kearney said.

Australian Associated Press