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After each serving apprenticeships under Ivan Cleary and helping the Panthers to back-to-back Premierships, Andrew Webster and Cameron Ciraldo meet this Sunday for the first time as NRL head coaches. 

After leaving the Panthers following last year's Grand Final victory over the Eels, the pair have made positive starts at their new clubs, with both the Warriors and Bulldogs looking to end the first month of the competition with 3-1 records.  

This week ahead of facing his former colleague at Mt Smart Stadium, Webster praised Ciraldo for the work he has done through the opening three rounds with Canterbury-Bankstown. 

"I learned a lot off Cameron watching the way he operated at Penrith," Webster said. 

"He has got them going really well, they are full of energy and excitement and I'm really happy for him and the Dogs the way they are going.

"He really knows how to get the players' buy in to his messages and he is all about the fundamentals and getting those things right.

You can see fundamentally how good they are at the moment, so we are going to have to be on our toes for sure.

Andrew Webster

While Webster was happy to discuss Ciraldo and their relationship, the Bulldogs' mentor did his best to steer away from the topic, but said the Warriors presented a formidable challenge. 

"This job is pretty busy, so I haven’t been speaking to many people lately," Ciraldo said when asked if they'd been in contact. 

"It’s Round 4, I’m not worried too much about the other team right now, I am honestly worried about our team and us getting better every week.

"[The Warriors] have been brilliant... they are a much-improved team. They have had three strong performances."

Last time they met: Warriors v Bulldogs

The Bulldogs head to Auckland having won back-to-back games against the Storm and Wests Tigers, but with plenty to work on after collapsing in the final 15 minutes last week while up 26-6, to win by just four points in the end. 

Ciraldo hoped changes implemented at training this week would encourage a more well-rounded performance on Sunday. 

"We have won two games, we haven't put in a complete performance [yet]," Ciraldo said. 

Burton on building to be an 80 minute side

"We didn't play for the 80 minutes like we wanted to [against Wests Tigers], but we are a young team, we are learning. I feel like we are getting better every week, but we have still got a long way to go. 

"We have looked at a few things that we could have done better in that period and we have worked hard on them this week.

"Hopefully we are going to see a performance towards building that 80 performance we have been looking for." 

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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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