Sharks forward Luke Lewis has seen it all before from the Warriors. The dashing brilliance, the fast footwork, and the impossible offloads that only they could find a way to deliver.
But aside from the razzle-dazzle style that the enigmatic New Zealand-outfit has in their kit bag, it was a gritty, grinding 2-point win over the Roosters last weekend that has Lewis and the Sharks on notice ahead of the sides meeting this Saturday.
“We always expect all teams to come here and to want to be at their best,” Lewis told www.sharks.com.au
“For us though, preparing is about focussing on ‘us’. What we’ve done this year, I’d say 85 to 90% of all of our prep, has been about getting ourselves right without worrying too much about the opposition.
“We need to focus on what we do best, and to put all of our energy into that. Hopefully if we do that, we can put the pressure back on to them.”
Finding their feet over the Origin period – as they so often do – the Warriors will arrive at Southern Cross Group Stadium on Saturday, on the back of three-straight wins.
Lewis and the Sharks will be out to equal a Club record 11-consecutive wins themselves this Saturday, though the 32-year-old backrower says that’s not a focus within the camp.
“I don’t think about how many wins we’ve had, I just like to keep winning,” he laughed.
“We forget about last week, because that doesn’t shape this week. Every game is a new challenge, and with every game we win, the next opposition have us up on the chopping block.
“But being at the top of the competition, that’s what happens. It’s a good challenge for us, and it’s a good thing for us heading into the semi-finals that every team is trying to come out to play their best footy against us.”
A Premiership winner with the Panthers in 2003, Lewis knows the external hype that finds its way to a team as success on the park rolls on.
In singing the praises of the proud Members and fans that turn out in their numbers, ‘Lewy’ said it’s important to tame and temper the emotions, with some ten rounds still in front the Sharks.
“Running out here in front of the home fans, and knowing they’re behind you in everything that we do … it’s for them as well. It’s pretty special, and it definitely plays a big part,” Lewis said.
“We want to make it a fortress feel here; we spoke about that at the start of the year. When team’s come here, they’re going to have to play at their best to beat us.
“I’ve been lucky enough to have been in this position a couple of times before (with the Panthers) … that said, the coaching staff are doing a good job of reminding us that there’s a long way to go still.”