Date: Sat 10th May Venue: Eden Park Kick-off: 5:00pm (LOCAL)
1 Sam Tomkins 2 Ngani Laumape 3 Konrad Hurrell 4 Ben Henry 5 Manu Vatuvei 6 Chad Townsend 7 Shaun Johnson 8 Sam Rapira 9 Nathan Friend 10 Jacob Lillyman 11 Jayson Bukuya 12 Simon Mannering (c) 13 Sebastine Ikahihifo Interchange 14 Feleti Mateo 15 Suaia Matagi 16 Sione Lousi 17 Ben Matulino 18 Kevin Locke Coach: Andrew McFadden
1 Anthony Milford 2 Reece Robinson 3 Jarrod Croker 4 Matt Allwood 5 Bill Tupou 6 Jack Wighton 7 Terry Campese (c) 8 Dane Tilse 9 Glen Buttriss 10 Brett White 11 Paul Vaughan 12 Joel Edwards 13 Shaun Fensom Interchange 14 Josh McCrone 15 Kyle O’Donnell 16 David Shillington 17 Josh Papalii 18 Jarrad Kennedy Coach: Ricky Stuart
The ladder and the form guide suggests we will have an even contest on our hands in this NRL Round 9 clash with both teams on six points with two wins in their last five games. The Warriors came away from Melbourne with a massive victory over Storm as they hung on for a 16-10 win meanwhile; the Raiders go into the game off the back of a 54-18 hammering at the hands of Manly. In the aftermath of the ANZAC Test, the Warriors have all of their players involved in the match in this week’s squad. David Fusitua is out with a shoulder injury and is replaced by Ngani Laumape with Konrad Hurrell switching to right centre. Ben Matulino and Sione Lousi are on the interchange after they both served suspensions. Salford bound Kevin Locke is the 18th man. Paul Vaughan starts for the Raiders alongside Dane Tilse as Josh Papalii and David Shillington are dropped to the bench. The injured Shannon Boyd is replaced by Kyle O’Donnell. It is only a matter of time before Shaun Johnson starts to consistently light up the NRL along with Sam Tomkins at fullback as we are yet to see a stellar performance from them together since the Auckland 9’s. This could be the game the two finally start to move their side up the ladder. Having said that, Canberra have only lost back-to-back games once this season and will be looking to bounce back from their heavy defeat in round 8 with a victory against the Warriors.
I’m going for the Warriors by 8 this week, it is going to be a close game with both sides looking to kick start some form in the league and the Warriors may just have an edge in quality.