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New Zealand Warriors vs Canberra Raiders: Lineups, Preview and Prediction

Mt Smart Stadium, New Zealand, Sunday 13 August, 2pm AEST.


Overview

The New Zealand Warriors’ season may be over as yet another year of expectation and hope has faded away into obscurity and desolation. However, after handing the 16th-placed Knights their second win in a row last week, the Warriors have something to play for again; even if it is only their own pride. A will to win has been missing from the Warriors, with coach Stephen Kearney questioning whether his players still care. They may be out of top eight contention but the Warriors owe their fans a strong home performance. 

Canberra, meanwhile, are still on a high after toppling the Premiers last week. The win continued the momentum train the Raiders are on, with destination finals just four wins away should results go their way.  It’s vital that the Raiders don’t underestimate their opponents, even if this would’ve been a game on the run-in that they may have earmarked as a potential win. Josh Hodgson returned to the form that had his name thrown around as a Dally M contender last year. He’s certainly been quieter in 2017 but if the Englishman has truly got his mojo back, then the Warriors will have to be alert to him. If not, the Green Machine’s number nine could run riot.

Recent Meetings

2017 – Rd 7 Canberra 20 def. New Zealand 8 at GIO Stadium

2016 – Rd 20 Canberra 26 def. New Zealand 22 at GIO Stadium

2016 – Rd 11 Canberra 38 def New Zealand 12 at Yarrow Stadium

2015 – Rd 16 New Zealand 30 def Canberra 8 Mt Smart Stadium

2015 – Rd 2 New Zealand 18 def Canberra 6 at GIO Stadium 

The Warriors have won two of the last five meetings between the sides however Canberra have ran out victorious on the last three occasions. The last two games between these teams have been played at the Raiders’ GIO Stadium with New Zealand’s last win coming at the Mt Smart Stadium back in 2015.

NEW ZEALAND
 
CANBERRA
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck11Jack Wighton
David Fusitua22Nick Cotric
Blake Ayshford33Jarrod Croker
Solomone Kata44Joseph Leilua
Ken Maumalo55Jordan Rapana
Kieran Foran66Blake Austin
Mason Lino77Aidan Sezer
Jacob Lillyman88Junior Paulo
Nathaniel Roache99Josh Hodgson
Ben Matulino1010Shannon Boyd
Bunty Afoa1111Josh Papalii
Ryan Hoffman1212Joseph Tapine
Simon Mannering1313Elliott Whitehead
 
INTERCHANGE
 
Issac Luke1414Kurt Baptiste
Sam Lisone1515Clay Priest
Isaiah Papali’i1616Dave Taylor
James Bell1717Luke Bateman
 
RESERVES
 
Jazz Tevaga1818Michael Oldfield
Tevita Satae2019Jeff Lima
Ata Hingano2120Royce Hunt
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad2221Erin Clark

The facts that matter

New Zealand Warriors

The book may be prematurely closed on the Warriors’ season as they’re once again left to reflect on this year as another year clouded with failure. But like all books, the thing it’ll be remembered for most is its ending, the one thing the Warriors can control. There have never been doubts about the talent in their side but a lack of effort has been noted by fans, critics and most recently coach Kearney. They have to turn this around if they’re to salvage anything from 2017.

If the Warriors are to stop a Raiders outfit riding high on a wave of momentum, they’re going to have to be up for the fight. Early points might get the Warriors rolling but any lack of discipline is likely to be punished.

Canberra Raiders

If the Raiders want to continue their path on a dream run into the finals, they have to assert dominance over a Warriors outfit shrouded with inconsistency and disappointment. Currently on 22 points, two wins outside of the top eight, anything less than a victory could be costly. The Raiders simply must win, particularly given that their run-in will see them face the Panthers and the Storm.

If Hodgson can once again take control of this Raiders outfit, they’ll be in much better stead to walk away from Mt Smart Stadium with the win. 

Prediction

Last week’s games have these sides at opposite ends of the form spectrum. The Raiders looked to have found the key to recapturing their 2016 performances last week, claiming a win over Cronulla. On the other hand, if there’s a team looking for answers, then it’s the Warriors. Their loss to the Knights only rubbed salt into the wounds of New Zealand fans. Based on current form, and what is at stake with a loss, it’s impossible to not tip the Raiders. Canberra by 16. 

 Who do you think will come out on top in this one, the Warriors or the Raiders? Let us know in the comments below.

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Jack McDonald

Hi! I'm Jack McDonald and I'm a passionate rugby league enthusiast. Living on the Gold Coast I support my local team, the Gold Coast Titans, and you'll probably find me screaming until my face turns purple at most games! So have a read as I tackle (pun intended) everything rugby league, from the on field heroics to the boardroom politics.

Enjoy!

New Zealand Warriors vs Canberra Raiders: Lineups, Preview and Prediction

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