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Confidence abounds as Warriors seek to end Storm hoodoo

As his search for a win over the Storm enters its seventh year, Jazz Tevaga says he's more confident than ever that his side can get the job done this Anzac Day. 

No team has been a tougher opponent for the Warriors than Melbourne in recent times, and the Kiwi side head to AAMI Park this Tuesday having failed to beat Craig Bellamy's men in their last 13 attempts. 

Their record on Anzac Day meanwhile is even worse, with their last April 25 win coming way back in 2014. 

But Tevaga said the side's form to start the year, coupled with the belief that they are better equipped to handle the occasion this time around, has him feeling good about the match-up. 

"We are five from seven, so I can honestly say I haven't [ever] gone into this game as confident as I am right now," Tevaga said. 

"You look at the games we have played this year, we've showed a lot of resilience and we know can come back when we are behind...bring it on.

"Looking back in the past where we have tried to make [the Anzac Day game] a big deal, I don't think it's worked for us too well... so we are treating this as a normal game."

One player particularly excited for the match, after missing the last three editions of it, is Warriors skipper Tohu Harris, who previously played in three Anzac Day games as a member of the Storm. 

It [the Anzac Day game] has been a special part of my career and I have been pretty fortunate to play on both sides.

Tohu Harris

"I have been able to experience the build ups for both sides and the importance of it to each club. 

"Anytime that we've played Melbourne I have really enjoyed competing against those guys.

"Anytime that I have watched the team play them it's been a real hard watch, just not being out there with the boys and being able to compete with them."

While the Storm have lost three of their opening seven games, Harris believes they remain a much better side than popular opinion suggests. 

"People just seem to keep counting them out, year in, year out, and I honestly don't know why," Harris said. 

"They haven't had the success they have had without the systems that they have in place, the values the club has and the players just working hard for each other. 

"It doesn't matter who is wearing the jersey, that's what you are going to get out of the Melbourne Storm."

Munster: "There's going to be a lot of pressure and a lot of passion"

The Warriors welcome back forward Marata Niukore from suspension for the clash, while Dallin Watene-Zelezniak will play his second game of the year after being a late inclusion on the wing for last week's 22-14 win over the Cowboys. 

After having the misfortune of colliding with the knee of his hulking Kiwis teammate Nelson Asofa-Solomona minutes into the second period of last year's Anzac Day game, Watene-Zelezniak's last memory is of his side trailing 16-10 at half-time, in what turned into a club-record 70-10 defeat.

Match Highlights: Storm v Warriors

With eight players named to play on Tuesday who weren't there for the 2022 clash, 'DWZ" said there is no reason to even mention it within the team this week. 

"We are a different team, we have had a different pre-season, different combinations, everything is different," Watene-Zelezniak said. 

"One thing that won't change is how good of a team the Storm are."

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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