Warriors vs Raiders Gameday Chatter [Round 23, 2017]Warriors v Raiders: Schick Preview
Thu 10 Aug, 2017 11:40 AM
By Corey Rosser
Schick Hydro Preview: Warriors v Raiders
Mount Smart Stadium
Saturday, 2pm AEDT, 4pm NZT
Top eight hopes are on the line for the Canberra Raiders while the Warriors are desperate to end a five-week nightmare without a win when they meet this Sunday in Auckland.
The New Zealand outfit crashed to a new low last week with a limp effort in a 26-10 loss to the Newcastle Knights, their 13th defeat of the season.
The Raiders on the other hand claimed the scalp of defending premiers the Cronulla Sharks, downing them 30-12 in convincing fashion to keep themselves within four points of a finals berth.
Warriors coach Stephen Kearney has dropped veteran hooker Issac Luke back to the bench in favour of Nathaniel Roache, while Ryan Hoffman is back in the second row. Jazz Tevaga is in the reserves after starting at lock against Newcastle.
Canberra have maintained the same 17 as they look to make it three wins on the trot, with Ricky Stuart shifting Elliott Whitehead at lock.
Why the Warriors can win: They haven't shown it for quite some time, but there's still enough quality in this team to compete. Last week in the loss to Newcastle the Warriors still managed to complete at 81 per cent and make five line breaks. Veteran forwards Jacob Lillyman, Ben Matulino and Simon Mannering are still recording big numbers in yardage, while at the back captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is capable of sparking the attack. If they can plug some gaps in defence this team has the talent to cause an upset.
Why the Raiders can win: The Raiders' revival is being driven by consistent defence. Across their last four matches Canberra have kept opposing teams to under 20 points on each occasion, averaging just 16 points leaked in their last month of football. Fresh off a showing against the Sharks where they gave up only two tries, Canberra's ability to suffocate the struggling Warriors' attack will be key.
The History: Played 37; Warriors 17; Raiders 20. The Raiders have enjoyed plenty of success over the last two seasons against the Warriors, with three wins on the trot including a 20-8 win back in April this year. However at Mount Smart Stadium the Warriors have won 11 of 17 against Canberra, having lost to them just twice in Auckland since 2002.
What are the odds: The Warriors are the least supported side of the round with Sportsbet with an incredible 98 per cent of all money on the Raiders. Canberra have been a lock in multis for the round and have been well supported at both the line and 13+.
Match officials: Referee: Adam Gee. Assistant referee: Gavin Reynolds. Sideline officials: Russell Turner and Chris McMillan. Review official: Luke Patten. Senior review official: Ashley Klein.
Televised: Fox Sports – Live coverage from 2pm. Sky Sports - Live coverage from 4pm.
NRL.com predicts: Canberra seem to be growing in confidence with every play the ball right now, while the Warriors look like they've forgotten what it is all together. The Raiders have it all to play for and will come to Auckland and get the job done. Canberra by 14.