Warriors On A Get Square Mission: Tate
Brisbane Test star Brent Tate fears New Zealand are on a "get square" mission after being handicapped in 2006 and missing out on the finals.
The Warriors started last season four points behind their rivals after being stripped of premiership points for salary cap breaches, ultimately keeping them out of the top eight.
This season they've flown out of the barriers and the efficiency with which they disposed of Parramatta last weekend has sent a warning to their rivals that 2007 could be payback time.
Tate has a private hotline to the Warriors through his brother-in-law and captain Steve Price, but the lines of communication have been down this week and will stay down until after Sunday's clash.
"I think last year they would have finished top five if they hadn't had those points taken off of them," said the Queensland and Australian three-quarter after training on Thursday.
"I think they're an even better side this year and things like what happened last year can drive you on."
The Warriors' pacey backs and smaller men stood out last week from their big forwards who generally take most of the kudos.
"Nothing much changes with the Warriors, they're always a tough side to beat," said Tate.
"It'll be a huge challenge for us with no Locky (Darren Lockyer) and them coming off such a big win against Parramatta."
Tate expects new halfback Karmichael Hunt, who was born in New Zealand, to rise to the challenge along with new five-eighth Shane Perry.
"K is the type of guy the more responsibility he's given the better he plays," said Tate.
"I know personally he'd be really looking forward to this game, especially over there."
"Shane is pretty experienced. He had that year with us last year and Karmichael is improving with every game.
"We'll will miss Locky, but it shouldn't be too much of a drama for us."
Perry, who played halfback in Brisbane's grand final win over Melbourne last October, has a huge job on his hands filling in for Lockyer who's reportedly making such a swift recovery from his ankle injury he could be back in two weeks time.
"It's a big loss not having Darren there and we'll all have to lift a bit," said Perry who missed selection for the opening round loss to the Cowboys.
"I've got to take a bit of responsibility this weekend and I'm looking forward to the challenge.
"I'll just play a similar role to what I've been doing in the past and try and compliment Karmichael.
"He (Hunt) is a great player. He's an exciting player and whatever position he plays he'd be good at, whether that's fullback or halfback, he can play anywhere on the field."
Lock Tonie Carroll missed training with a stomach virus but is expected to fly out with the 17-man squad on Friday.
Last edited by a moderator: