Date: 18 May, 2014
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Canterbury Bulldogs: Sam Perrett, Mitch Brown, Josh Morris, Timoteo Lafai, Chase Stanley, Josh Reynolds, Trent Hodkinson, Aiden Tolman, Michael Ennis, James Graham, Josh Jackson, Tony Williams, Greg Eastwood. Interchange: Dale Finucane, Tim Browne, David Klemmer, Sam Kasiano, Moses Mbye
New Zealand Warriors: Sam Tomkins, Ngani Laumape, Konrad Hurrell, Ben Henry, Manu Vatuvei, Chad Townsend, Shaun Johnson, Suaia Matagi, Nathan Friend, Jacob Lillyman, Jayson Bukuya, Ben Matulino, Simon Mannering. Interchange: Feleti Mateo, Sebastine Ikahihifo, Sione Lousi, Kevin Locke, Charlie Gubb
Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs tackle New Zealand Warriors in round 10 NRL action, the second time the two teams will face off this season following the Bulldogs one point come from behind win in round six.
While the game is a home fixture for the Bulldogs, it is played in enemy territory at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton, New Zealand.
And while travelling over to New Zealand is a tough road trip for most sides, the Bulldogs seem to have mastered it of late in winning their last three fixtures played over the ditch.
To make matters worse for the Warriors, Canterbury have really hit their stride on the back of their giant and in form forward pack who are rolling through the rest of the competition, and demolished the Dragons 38-6 last start.
However, if there is a team to stop the Canterbury side, it is an in form New Zealand side, despite the recent history.
The unpredictability of the Warriors is both their strength and weakness, at times causing them to be error prone while also causing defenses to second guess.
It is this style of play that will test the Bulldogs, who are able to shut down the structured style that has been thrown at them this season without too much hassle, thanks to their strength in the middle, and skill in sliding with the attack out wide.
Surprisingly, it was the Dragons side that showed an effective ploy against the Bulldogs, through their lone try in the dying stages of the game on Sunday afternoon, a grubber in behind the line catching their forward sliding defensive line unaware, Brett Morris able to plant the ball untouched.
It will be these trick shots that the Warriors can utilise to keep the Bulldogs defense guessing, and create opportunities in attack.
The problem for the Warriors is they will have to be at their best again this week, because the Bulldogs won’t piggy back them up the field, as they do the simple things right, a symptom of a Des Hasler coached side.
While the Warriors backline has speed, the forwards have size and strength, and if they can hold the ball as well as their composure, their season revival could continue, with their biggest scalp to date.
However, the safe money is on the Bulldogs who just look so hard to stop at the moment and always look hungry to win the contest, an attitude their opposition are sometimes guilty of lacking.
The Bulldogs won’t have it all their own way like they did against the Dragons, but they should still win.
Bulldogs by 2.
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