The New Zealand Warriors and Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs will be facing off against one another on Friday night at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.

Last Time Out

Storms defence and fierce attack was too much for the Warriors on Friday night in Auckland’s torrential wet-weather. Storm were leading 12-10 at halftime but managed to run away with the win by dominating throughout the entire second half with a strong win of 26-10. The forwards played a strong game but the loss of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck in the first half unsettled the team meaning once again they were unable to see out the full 80 minutes of the game which allowed Storm to take a greater lead.

The Bulldogs started off strong against the Sydney Roosters by leading 8-0 in the first 10 minutes. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs that would be the highlight of their game as they gave away 18 points in the next 22 minutes. The Bulldogs defense was strong throughout the entire game but the Roosters out muscled them. Towards the end of the game it looked as though the Bulldogs might make take the win as Josh Morris scored a try and Moses Mbye secured the kick making the score 28-24 to the Roosters. Ultimately the 18 points scored by the Roosters in the first half made all the difference and the Bulldogs were unable to come back from it.

Key Battle

The key battle on Friday night will be the quality of ball control from both sides. Last week the Warriors played in horrific wet-weather conditions and still managed to execute strong ball handling with a 31 out of 36 completion rate which was impressive due to the conditions they were playing in. The Bulldogs struggled against the Roosters with their ball handling by completing 27 out of 34 sets in their loss last week. Ball handling will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome in Dunedin.

Prediction

Both teams have the potential to win this clash, but due to the performance by the Warriors against Storm last week, I believe they have the skill and confidence to punish the Bulldogs with their strong defence and ability to withhold against pressure.

Warriors by 6

New Zealand Warriors vs Canterbury Bankstown at Forsyth Barr Stadium Dunedin, 8.00pm (NZT) Friday

Squads

Warriors:

1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c)
2 Ken Maumalo
3 David Fusitu’a
4 Solomone Kata
5 Manu Vatuvei
6 Mafoa’aeata Hingano
7 Shaun Johnson
8 Albert Vete
9 Issac Luke
10 Jacob Lillyman
11 Bodene Thompson
12 Ryan Hoffman
13 Simon Mannering
Interchange
14 Erin Clark
15 Sam Lisone
16 Charlie Gubb
17 Bunty Afoa
18 Blake Ayshford
20 James Gavet
21 Tuimoala Lolohea
22 Mason Lino

Bulldogs:

1. Brad Abbey
2. Brett Morris
3. Josh Morris
4. Brenko Lee
5. Marcelo Montoya
6. Josh Reynolds
7. Moses Mbye
8. Aiden Tolman
9. Michael Lichaa
10. James Graham
11. Josh Jackson
12. Greg Eastwood
13. David Klemmer
14. Sam Kasiano
15. Danny Fualalo
16. Adam Elliott
17. Raymond Faitala-Mariner
19. Craig Garvey
20. Matt Frawley
21. Francis Tualau
23. Reimis Smith