NRL 1 year ago

Warriors' big roadie doesn't faze Hoffman

  • Warriors' big roadie doesn't faze Hoffman

    CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND - MAY 14: Ryan Hoffman of the Warriors looks dejected after the defeat in the round 10 NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the New Zealand Warriors at AMI Stadium on May 14, 2016 in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

It's the longest road trip in the NRL and one that has so far been fruitless for the Warriors.

But skipper Ryan Hoffman is playing down the journey from Auckland to Perth to face hosts Manly, with both clubs coming off a bye.

"Fortunately, quite a few of us have done it before and I don't think it's going to be a surprise," he said.

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"There are challenges involved - it's a five-hour flight for Manly too. It is what it is. It's still a game of footy with just a longer flight put in."

Since 1996, the Warriors have played four different opponents at three different grounds in Perth for a combined record of 0-7.

They have faced the Sea Eagles there once before, losing 24-22 at Subiaco Oval in 2012 after blowing a 16-point lead.

Hoffman made the trek last year in his first season with the Warriors, playing in a 36-4 defeat to South Sydney at nib Stadium, the venue for Saturday's match.

The second rower doesn't envisage doing anything different to counter the effects of the travel.

"We get prepared well physically," he said. "It's just making sure the individuals prepare mentally."

Hoffman returns to the side after missing the Warriors' last match with a virus.

After a run of four wins in five games, the club have moved up to seventh on the ladder.

"We always knew it was there," Hoffman said of the team's change in fortunes.

"It was just chipping away at the rock to find what was going to work for us. We feel we've found that, but we're always looking to evolve.

"We're not satisfied with what we're doing. We're not satisfied with how we're playing. We're pleased, but we know there's improvement in us."

The Sea Eagles are down in 13th place, but they have a formidable record against the Warriors, having won 10 of the last 11 meetings, including the past four.

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