NRL ban proves costly for Warrior Lodge

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Warriors prop Matthew Lodge admits he may have to alter his game after a costly two-match suspension forced him to miss a crucial period in the NRL club's season.

Lodge was a spectator last Sunday as the Warriors slipped to a 24-22 loss to his former club Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium.

That defeat effectively extinguished the Warriors' hopes of sneaking into the top eight, and even if they win their remaining two matches they'll need other results to go their way to make finals.

Lodge's ban came after being charged with a careless high tackle against Cronulla, having sat out the clash with the Wests Tigers the week before.

The 26-year-old felt the sanction was harsh for the offence committed but said with the NRL taking a tough stance on high contact, it's obvious he needs to adjust the way he plays.

"It's obviously hard because I kind of play on the line sometimes of being physical and aggressive and it just takes one tiny little incident like that to slip up a bit high and have a stint on the sideline for two weeks," Lodge said.

"They've definitely got a lot stricter with suspensions and stuff like that, might have to just alter the way some of us play or some technical things because it ended up being pretty costly missing those two weeks."

The Warriors head to Mackay on Friday to face Canberra knowing it's win-or-bust for their campaign.

Even if they beat the Raiders, the New Zealand club's finals hopes depend on a host of other results falling their way over the next fortnight.

Having lost seven games by six points or less in 2021, utility Kodi Nikorima - who also returns to the team after missing the Broncos game due to the birth of son Elijah - knows those results, more than the next two weeks, have sealed the team's fate.

"If we don't make finals, it'll be the one that got away," Nikorima said.

"There's still a good vibe amongst the group at the moment. Still very positive.

"Winning our next two games will give us a chance but if ain't to be, it ain't to be."

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