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Warriors play down Eden Park curse

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Update: 11:26AM CURSE, voodoo, call it what you like, but the Warriors are adamant there's a simple answer to ending their barren NRL run at Eden Park - put out their A game.

The Warriors host St George Illawarra on Saturday at a venue where they have lost each of their previous three matches.

But centre Jerome Ropati rules out any thoughts of outside influences being at play.

"I don't believe there's a curse there," he said.

"I just believe we haven't played well enough to win there. If we can do that this week, stick to the game plan, take it up a level on defence, then we've got a chance."

The Warriors have appeared once at Eden Park in each of their previous three seasons. This year, they will play three times there.

Having been a Warrior since 2003, Ropati says Mt Smart will always feel most like home for him, but he likes Eden Park and the atmosphere there.

Coach Matthew Elliott has plenty of belief that the streak can be snapped against the Dragons.

He says he has a lot of faith in his squad, despite their disappointing 36-16 defeat to Parramatta in round one.

"I know if we play our best footy, it doesn't matter where we play or what voodoos exist," he said.

"I like Eden Park. It's got great facilities and it's a place I'm looking forward to going to."

It's not just the Warriors who have struck out at what is a fortress for the All Blacks.

The Kiwis have also lost their three Tests there, all against Australia and beginning with the 1988 World Cup final.

Second rower Ben Matulino, who has tasted defeat at the ground at NRL and Test level, says it's not really an issue that players talk about.

Like Ropati, he says success will come from sticking to the game plan. 

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