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After a draining first five weeks which has included 30 hours of flying, almost all of the Warriors frontline players were rested from training on Wednesday in order to refresh ahead of the Round 6 clash against the Knights. 

The club's mid-week field session included just five players who are named to play this week, with captain Tohu Harris and five-eighth Te Maire Martin both taking part after missing last week through injury, and forwards Josh Curran, Bunty Afoa and Tom Ale also present. 

While a potential rest was already penciled into the schedule, coach Andrew Webster said watching the toll last week's comeback win over the Sharks took on his squad confirmed it was the right time.

"We looked at the boys, felt the situation and then decided to make the call," Webster said. 

"[The Sharks] had [54] percent possession, so if that's the case we were tackling a lot on the weekend, so we have got to take that into consideration.

There is going to be a time for that, where we have got to aim up at training and do it regardless, but that wasn't this week. 

Andrew Webster

"The travel does have an impact at times. I think you have got to be smart at different times on when to manage that.

"I couldn't see us doing this [resting the majority of the group] for another 5-6 weeks again.

Match Highlights: Sharks v Warriors

"There's a big part of us that knows how much work we have got to do, to get a lot of things right about our game, but we want to make sure we fix those things with energy, rather than fix them tired and battered."

While Martin is symptom-free following his Round 4 concussion and will be good to go against the Knights, Harris remains only a 50-50 chance right now, which Webster said could be the case for several weeks to come as he battles a knee injury.

As he prepares to face Newcastle for the second time in five weeks, Webster said he sees plenty of similarities between the two clubs so far in 2023, particularly after the Knights overcame scoreboard deficits twice to secure a draw with the Sea Eagles last week. 

"They went to the Tigers [in Round 2], had all their injuries, had one sent off, and still managed to find away," Webster said of his opponents. 

"They had another guy in the bin on the weekend, they found a way.

"We know how well they are going and how they are playing with lots of resilience also... Round 1 [against Newcastle] was one of the hardest games we've played.

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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