July 21, 2024

By the time the ball is kicked off at Go Media Stadium on Saturday afternoon it will have been 3,261 days since the Warriors last beat the Storm, marking the longest active head-to-head losing streak in the NRL. NRL Warriors v Knights: What you need to know | RNZ News

Halfback Shaun Johnson is the lone Warrior who remains from that 2015 side which won 28-14 – a game best remembered for a remarkable feat of athleticism by hooker Nathan Friend – while the Kiwi side’s current captain Tohu Harris was also present on the day, albeit in a Melbourne jersey.

Fifteen encounters between the two clubs have followed since, all going the way of the Storm, which most recently included a miraculous comeback win in which they scored 12 points in the final two minutes.

To rub even more salt into the wound, the Warriors weren’t even the last team to beat Craig Bellamy’s men in Auckland, with that honour instead belonging to the Wests Tigers, who were 11-10 winners over Melbourne in a double-header played there back in 2018.

But with three-straight wins to their name, a squad that is almost back to full strength and the recent experience of having all but beaten the Storm in Melbourne, the Warriors are perhaps better placed than ever to finally end the drought.

“Someone gave me a history lesson around some other team this year [who we hadn’t beaten in a long time] and we beat them,” coach Andrew Webster said matter-of-factly.

“We respect who we play every week, we know they [the Storm] are a great side.

“I thought we were very good against them last time, but that doesn’t guarantee we are going to be good again. We have got to go after it.”

Hooker Wayde Egan joked this week that footage of Xavier Coates’ gravity defying match-winner from Round 2 had been censored in New Zealand, admitting “I think it scarred a few boys”.

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