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Warriors credited for playing on through coronavirus pandemic

They may appear to be struggling but the Warriors may yet emerge as the benchmark on NRL self-isolation in the coronavirus pandemic, Canberra coach Ricky Stuart says.

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The Kiwi side have committed to remaining across the Tasman and playing in the NRL. Source: 1 NEWS

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney tried to put on a brave front after their gutsy 20-6 loss to the Raiders in their "home" Gold Coast clash.

However, there were clear signs the New Zealand outfit were already battling barely 24 hours after bravely opting to continue playing amid the pandemic after travel restrictions were placed on New Zealand and Australian borders.

Kearney said his players were in a good space after agreeing to stay in Australia and help keep the 2020 NRL competition running despite facing the prospect of being away from their families indefinitely.

But anyone watching yesterday's clash would beg to differ after the Warriors at times looked distracted with even senior players like Adam Blair making uncharacteristic errors.

Stuart said he felt for the Warriors who will be based in Kingscliff in northern NSW for the foreseeable future away from their families after opting to remain in Australia.

But he reckoned the New Zealand outfit may yet emerge as NRL self isolation trail blazers amid the health crisis.

"They might be the leaders in regards to how to handle a situation where they've got to bunker down in hotels because who's saying that we're not all going to be in hotels over the next month," he said.

"Some days we've got to go through tough times and it might get to a stage where it's not only the Warriors, so they might be the benchmark in regards to how to handle this."

While Stuart saluted the Warriors for making the huge call to play on, he didn't have much time for journalists who asked if he empathised with the New Zealand outfit spending so much time away from family.

"It's our job. Don't get me wrong, I applaud the Warriors for their decision," he said.

"It's very tough for them, but they're getting paid good money, the club's are getting very paid good money, we're very fortunate to be able to wake up every morning and do something we absolutely love."

Certainly Kearney wasn't looking for sympathy after his side started the season with a second straight loss for the first time since 2016.

However, he momentarily dropped his guard when asked if their tough predicament was already affecting on field form.

"Potentially, potentially," he said.

"Adam (Blair) will be the first one to say that he doesn't normally make those sorts of errors.

"But we've been checking in with the boys every day. We have to try and keep ourselves in the frame of mind that we want to get better."

Asked how long the Warriors could keep up their Kingscliff campaign, Kearney said: "How many weeks is in the season?"