10 Jun 2009

Warriors say they can still make top eight

12:39 pm on 10 June 2009

The Warriors coach Ivan Cleary is relying on the "cold comfort" knowledge that they have recovered before from a mid-season slump to reach the National Rugby League's top eight and can do it again.

They are a shaky 12th after their loss at Cronulla on Sunday and have to win at least seven of their next 13 games to make the top eight cut.

Their next opponents are Newcastle in Auckland and Cleary says Friday night's home game feels like a Grand Final.

Last year the Warriors were outside the top eight for all but three rounds before winning nine of their last 11 matches to snatch eighth in the final regular season match.

Then they upset minor premiers Melbourne and beat the Sydney Roosters the following week, before a preliminary final loss to Manly.

The absence of Steve Price has disrupted preparations but Cleary says the captain will be out of swine flu quarantine by Friday night for halfback Stacey Jones's 250th NRL match.