Heartfelt messages from back home played a key role in ensuring the Warriors had all the motivation they needed for their near-perfect NRL display against St George Illawarra.
The Warriors made light of an injury crisis and having been away from home for the past four weeks to defeat the Dragons 18-0 at Central Coast Stadium on Saturday.
During the win the Warriors became the first team in the NRL era to complete 40 consecutive sets – not making their first error until their 45th set of the game.
With the New Zealand team basing itself in Australia indefinitely to ensure the 2020 NRL season could resume, the squad was shown a video featuring messages of support from back home on the eve of the match.
“It sort of touched base with everyone on the reason why we’re over here and what the sacrifices were made and what we’re doing it for,” utility Karl Lawton said.
“It’s a touching thing when all the families get on there and say how much they’re missing us.
“We’re doing it for them … that was an emotional little segment but it was good. Definitely got the feelings going.”
The Warriors have been based in Australia for the past four weeks.
After completing their quarantine period training in the northern NSW town of Tamworth, the team is now based in Terrigal on the Central Coast.
Gold Coast product Lawton is rooming with another ex-Titan in Lachlan Burr and Adam Keighran, and says the team’s situation has paid dividends when it comes to their spirit and cohesion.
“The bonding definitely helps on and off the field,” he said.
“You’ve got each other’s backs and you look at the game on the weekend and it just shows that it works.
“We’re a tight bunch as it is but you can’t get much tighter than living together … we are probably as tight as we’ll get yeah.”