Lillyman says Warriors a ‘different team’

ORIGIN CALL-UP: Jacob Lillyman of the Warriors on the charge against Corey Parker of the Broncos.
ORIGIN CALL-UP: Jacob Lillyman of the Warriors on the charge against Corey Parker of the Broncos. Anthony Au-Yeung

HARD-nosed Warriors forward Jacob Lillyman says his NRL club has been a massive under-achiever this season but has not given up hope of playing finals after recently turning things around with two big wins.

A candid Lillyman, who has been recalled to Queensland’s Origin team for next week’s second game in Brisbane, admitted that with the playing roster and personnel the club had, it should be in the top four.

Instead, after a slow start and six wins, they are just outside the top echelon as they prepare to play the Sydney Roosters in the NRL’s reduced round 15, which will feature only four games across the weekend.

“That’s all in the rear-view mirror now,” said the 32 year-old from Richmond in Queensland.

“You look at our roster and the most disappointing thing for us is we are heavily underachieving.

“We’re making some forward progress and I’m sure we will still have a good season.”

Like many commentators, Lillyman couldn’t put his finger on what the problem was at the Warriors, but he was confident they were finally on the right track after some player changes and two good wins against Brisbane and Newcastle.

“When I came back from camp (as 18th man) after the first Origin game it was nearly a totally different team,” he said.

“Whatever the coaching staff did while I away worked.

“I got back for the captain’s run before the Broncos game and the boys were happy, excited about playing, and that’s the way we’ve played the last few weeks.”

Warriors fans have been losing patience with their side, and Lillyman didn’t blame them.

“We’d been copping it from pillar to post, to be honest ... but we’ve come out the other side and will be a better team for it,” he said.

Topics:  jacob lillyman new zealand warriors nrl

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