'We can't change what's happened' - Warriors unfazed by Perth hoodoo ahead of NRL season opener




New Zealand Warriors coach Stephen Kearney doesn't think it's unfair his team have been scheduled to play in Perth yet again, despite their WA hoodoo.

Shaun Johnson

Source: Photosport

The Warriors have lost all nine of their matches in Perth - a horror stretch dating back to their first game there in 1996.

The five-hour time difference and 5340km flight to Perth have proven to be obstacles too big to overcome for the Warriors.

But they seem to be the team of choice to play when other NRL franchises have hosted games in Perth.

The Warriors have been forced to return to their hoodoo city for Saturday's clash with South Sydney at Perth's new $1.5 billion stadium.

The Melbourne Storm and Canterbury Bulldogs will play off in the other game of the double header.

NZ have had plenty of chances to break their Perth hoodoo - only to blow massive leads.

It was the same case last year, when they led Manly 16-0 at nib Stadium, before crashing to a heartbreaking 26-22 loss.

Kearney gave a flat out "no" when asked if it was unfair that his side are often the ones forced to travel to Perth.

"We don't read too much into it," Kearney said.

"We came over last year, we got beaten by Manly right at the bell.

"It was nothing about the preparation or how we did things. We just weren't quite good enough that day.

"We can't change what's happened in the past. But we've got a fair bit of control about what happens on Saturday."

The Warriors won just seven games last year, and have been widely tipped to finish near the bottom of the ladder this season.

But Kearney wasn't bothered by those outside perceptions.

"I'm not too fussed about the outside," he said.

"But internally, we know that if we play close to our potential every week, then we give ourselves a great opportunity to play ... what every club wants to play in - finals.

"That's certainly not beyond us."

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