Warriors second rower Adam Blair said the team needed to pump up the volume in the changing shed on Saturday to help everyone try to briefly forget about the Christchurch terrorist attack.
The Warriors defeated the Bulldogs 40-6 at Mt Smart Stadium, to get their 2019 campaign off to a spectacular start.
But Blair admitted it was tough for all the team to get switched on to play a footy game.
It was with a heavy heart that the players took to the field and that was a feeling shared by the 19,000 spectators at the stadium.
Blair said he could sense the players were feeling flat in the changing shed before the game, so the decision was made to try to get everyone's spirit's up, even if it was just briefly.
"It was a weird one, we had to turn the music up a bit louder, just to try to get that feeling going a bit," Blair said.
"We do have music on in the dressing room, just to get everyone going when we start, to loosen everyone up and bring everyone together.
"But it was quiet and even the warm up was a bit different.
"Everyone realised we do have a job to do, but over the top of that there was the bigger picture with what happened."
Warriors winger David Fusitu'a led the team in a prayer on Friday night when the team were in camp and the 32-year-old Blair said it was clear some of the players were shaken up.
"We've got a couple of boys who have family in Christchurch, so we addressed that in camp, to make sure the group was in the right place," he said.
"Obviously it's horrific and we did some prayers for the lives that have been lost.
"You just wouldn't think it would happen in New Zealand," Blair added.
"That's the thing because it's so close to home for a lot of us. To see the things that happened, it's crazy to see it happen anywhere in the world, but especially in New Zealand and Christchurch."
As for the footy, Blair knows the Warriors won't have victories like the 40-6 win every week, but says Saturday showed the team's potential.
The Warriors sit at the top of the NRL ladder, although admittedly with there being a long way to go this year.
But their emphatic win in emotional circumstances, a day after the terrorist attack in Christchurch, was one where their fans could come together and witness a great footy performance.
Blair was a game where the forwards that completely dominated the Bulldogs up the middle, but said the praise should go to the backs.
"Our halves managed the game really well and our back five boys were outstanding," Blair said.
"When they bring the ball back they do a lot of good work for our team and get us on the front foot.
"They're hard boys to stop, I wasn't really worried about what the Bulldogs were coming with, I just wanted to make sure that we did our jobs really well and build on top of that."
The Warriors came close to shutting out the Bulldogs and would have but for Christian Crichton's try in the 54th minute.
That was the only blot in an otherwise perfect performance for the Warriors and it's a mark of the quality of this team that letting in a solitary try in a thrashing irked Blair.
"The try they got was disappointing, because I thought we defended really well throughout most of the game," Blair said.
"For us, it's round one, it's important to get all of our connections going well, our talk, working together as a group and building confidence as a team and I think we did that well."