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Chanel No.7 eager to keep things smelling rosy

When Blake Green was ushered out the side exit of the Warriors team room a month ago, the club was hoping it would free up Chanel Harris-Tavita.

Coach Todd Payten went as far as to say Harris-Tavita was the future of the club.

No pressure right there for the young No.7, who had only played halfback three times in his 19 games before the Warriors sent him out to control things.

Against the Knights and the Eels – over 600 metres in kicks, three forced drop-outs, four line-break assists and tackle busts – Harris-Tavita hit the ground running.

Then there were the two tries against the Eels within three hectic minutes.

Harris-Tavita kicked and handled the ball twice in the movement involving nine players before he chased a Kodi Nikorima kick to score. His second try also came about by gathering a Nikorima kick after a Roger Tuivasa-Sheck bust.

Harris-Tavita scores a try you have to see to believe

"I haven't got a favourite out of those two," he told of the eye-popping tries.

"It was just good to get off the 'nudie' [run]. I've still got a lot of things I need to work on in my game. The tries are a nice aside."

Harris-Tavita's involvement in attack is helping to bring back "The Entertainers" label to the Warriors.

"We're playing with a lot of confidence and it was the last tackle near their try-line, so we backed ourselves to get execute well and get something," he said of the first try, which will be front and centre in 2020 highlights reels.

'Ogre' proud to play small role in Warriors' story

Last Sunday's loss to the Eels kept the Warriors in 10th spot – still two wins from the top-eight with only three games left.

They can close that gap to one game if they beat the eighth-placed Sharks at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on Sunday.

"We're not looking too far ahead but we want to fight for it," Harris-Tavita said of his side's finals hopes.

"We just need to keep that belief. It's been a good month of footy for us," he said of the four wins from five games before the Eels loss.

"We've been pretty consistent in some areas but have a few that need improvement."

Coach Todd Payten agrees. But if you're looking for someone to hold their nerve in the squeeze for a place in the finals, then he's found his man in Harris-Tavita.

Payten won’t tame Tevaga

"He was calm and he certainly nailed a couple of kicks that were really important if we were going to go on to win that [Eels] game," Payten said.

"So in terms of handling pressure he's certainly got that in him. There is still some detail there we can improve."

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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