NRL: NZ Warriors boss Cam George wary of complacency with favourable run into playoffs

As the NRL ladder currently stands, the NZ Warriors won't play a top-eight side in their remaining fixtures in their hunt for the playoffs.

On paper, the third-placed Warriors have what appears to be a more-than favourable run into the finals, with just five matches remaining.

But Warriors CEO Cam George knows games aren't won on paper, and with only a few points separating the chasing pack, expects his team to be tested in their pursuit of the top four.

That starts with a trip to Gold Coast against the 12th-placed Titans on Friday, before next week's match against the bottom-ranked Wests Tigers.

The Warriors will then return to New Zealand to play the 10th-placed Manly Sea Eagles, and potential wooden spooners St George Illawarra Dragons.

While the Sea Eagles are currently their highest-ranked opposition side left to play, the Warriors' season-ender against The Dolphins could be the trickiest.

Despite the seemingly easy stretch of fixtures, George is wary of complacency, and believes it will put them in good stead for the playoffs.

"I think this is the toughest period of our season. It's the last five rounds to go, we're sitting third on the table, we just have to have a win-at-all-costs mentality through this period," he told AM.

"You touched on some of the teams we're playing, we disregard that, because you saw over the weekend how many results people wouldn't have picked.

"Every game is a hard game, and this truly is going to be tough for us. Webby [Andrew Webster] and the team will have to focus really hard on what we need to do to win every game.

"They're going to be tough to win, but that's good for us as well, because we need to be mentally tough for these sorts of scenarios that we're confronted with."

Under first-year coach Webster, the Warriors have hit heights not seen at Mt Smart for some time, which has been a welcomed relief for a fanbase starved because of COVID disruptions.

George repeated his belief the NRL hasn't done enough to repay the Warriors, or their supporters for years of sacrifice.

"It's for the fans in New Zealand, it's for the sport," he said. "I just want to see more content given to a market that offers so much to the rugby league game.

"There's over 40 percent of players in the NRL that are [from] New Zealand or the Pacific Islands.  We provide so much to the game, and I just want to see the NRL put back into the market that does that.

"For the last three years, we haven't had a game of rugby league until we played the Wests Tigers on return from COVID.

"The fans need it, the game needs it, and the country needs it. I'll keep marching that march until we get more content, and I believe we deserve it and I'm hoping it comes our way in the next 12 months or so.

We should have an ANZAC Day game. This isn't about the Warriors, this is purely about the people of New Zealand getting what I feel they deserve for missing out for so long.

"So, ANZAC Day games, State of Origins, and other new content, let's get it into this marketplace because we know the fans love it, we know the people of New Zealand love it, and we know New Zealand can handle it."