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After being one-hit wonders in the NRLW last year the Warriors are determined to back up their 16-12 victory over the Roosters in week one with a positive showing this Sunday against the Dragons.

The Warriors were first-up winners in the Holden Women's Premiership in 2018, before suffering heavy defeats to the Dragons and Brisbane Broncos to fall short of qualifying for the grand final.

After being part of that wasted chance 12 months ago, Warriors hooker Krystal Rota took it upon herself this week to remind her teammates the win will mean nothing if they don't show up against the Dragons in the historic stand-alone match at Mount Smart Stadium.

"We were in this situation last year where we had a win and then a big loss [in round two]," Rota said.

"I have spoken about that with a few of the girls because it wasn't a nice feeling last year to come off the hype of a big win and then have a big loss.

"We are well aware we need to step our game up this weekend."

The club's coaching staff have also worked to bring everyone back to reality, with assistant coach Justin Morgan laying bare the shortcomings of both the team and individuals in Tuesday's review session, according to experienced back-rower Kathleen Wharton.

Every NRLW try from Round 1

"Eighty to ninety per cent of the session was frank words and a lot of things we need to work on, and five to seven per cent of it was positive," Wharton told

"What I really liked after the game was that the girls weren't satisfied, they weren't celebrating and happy just with the win, they knew we could do better.

"To me that is reassuring and says that we are going into this week looking to build on it."

The Warriors have named an unchanged team for Sunday, but Wharton will need to pass a fitness test on Friday to determine whether or not she will take the field, having suffered a flare-up of an existing calf injury against the Roosters.

"I trained Tuesday night ... it's the type of tear where I need to actually use my calf, it's not one I can rest," Wharton told

"I was cleared to play last week but then when I was out there it gave out on me."

The Dragons will be without a key forward themselves after Teuila Fotu-Moala was unsuccessful in seeking a downgrade for a crusher tackle on Broncos hooker Lavinia Gould.

The Kiwi Fern was suspended for three games and will miss the remainder of the NRLW season, becoming the first player in the competition's history to be charged by the match review committee.

Fotu-Moala banned for the season

A number of Warriors players expressed sympathy for Fotu-Moala this week and captain Georgia Hale suggested a monetary fine could be used to reduce the number of games missed, given the NRLW season only goes for a maximum of four games.

"Maybe a fine [would be the answer]. At this stage of our game, with having only three or four games for clubs, it is really hard to see players pulled from the competition basically," Hale said.

"It's really tricky because the season is so short ... if we were playing double rounds or there were more teams in the competition then yes, throw those penalties our way because that's all part of the game.

"I really feel for Teuila, that's not in her nature, she is an aggressive player on the field but never with the intention to put someone in a dangerous position."

Acknowledgement of Country

The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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