Warriors coach Todd Payten after the win over the Newcastle Knights. Photo/NRL.com
Warriors coach Todd Payten is pointing to the whānau feeling between the group and the freedom to express themselves on the park as big contributors to their 36-6 success over the Newcastle Knights yesterday. However, he is reluctant to talk up the team's chances of making the playoffs, even as they sit in ninth place, four points outside the eight.
"There's just a good feeling around the place at the moment. There's certainly some confidence and some belief and that's a pretty lethal combination," Payten told media after the Warriors 30-point thumping of the Knights.
He says the opportunity for the players to connect with each other and the wider whānau group is really making a difference.
"All the families are spending a lot of time together. The young ones that don't have any family here, they're in each others pockets.
"They're cooking dinner, sharing the load and just spending a lot of time together, and you can see the way that they're playing and the enjoyment they're having with each other."
Payten says he will stifle the team's success if he puts a lid on their creativity.
"They're a group that enjoy freedom, so if I come down on them and try and rein them in so to speak that can hurt their footie. At the moment, I'm just going to let them go and run with what we're doing and see where it takes us."
Whether that is to the playoffs was not something he was overly keen to discuss though.
"We haven't had a conversation like that. It's probably going to start in the media at the moment, but for us it's pretty simple. My message is just about everyone getting their job done and when that happens we get results like that or at the very least we come away with the win."
For Payten, the big test will come next week when the Warriors line up against the Parramatta Eels.
"We play a Parramatta team who are going to be desperate and they're physical and they're big and I reckon that will be our biggest test coming up this week and see where we're really at."