The New Zealand Warriors and Canberra Raiders will go head to head on Saturday night at GIO Stadium. Both teams have had 3 wins and 3 losses so far and will be looking to secure their fourth win for the season. The Raiders are currently sitting at 6th on the ladder while the Warriors are 10th.

LAST TIME OUT

Although the Parramatta Eels scored first, the Warriors dominated the first half with 60% possession and three resulting in a 10 point deficit. The combination of Kieran Foran and Shaun Johnson once again made a huge impact within their attack and the Eels defence just couldn’t hold up. The Warrior’s looked strong during the second half and fought back a determined Eels side to come up with their third win of the season 22-10

The Canberra Raiders had an extremely successful win against the Gold Coast Titans 42-16. It’s no secret the Titans are struggling with their long list of injured players but the Raiders well and truly took advantage of their misfortune. The Raiders dominated with 59% possession and had a 87% completion rate which left the Titans feeling defeated. Joseph Leilua and Rapana were a force to be reckoned with on the right hand side as they often worked together which contributed to the 26 point difference in the end score as they managed to score 16 of those points between them.

“When you see Rappa (Rapana) on the left it’s like having another front rower, it’s a pleasure to watch and I say it every week but you know what you’re going to get out of Rappa” – Jarrod Croker

KEY BATTLE

The key battle on Saturday night is going to be between the Raiders attack and the Warriors ability to keep ball time away from the opposition. The Raiders have the strongest attack in the competition and have scored more tries than any other team this season. With the Addition of Jordan Rapana to their attacking side, they are unstoppable. This may seem like the Warrior’s have already lost but they still have hope. Over the past fortnight the Warrior’s have proven to not give their opposition enough ball to win games, therefore if the Warriors claim majority of possession like they have done in their last games, the Raiders will be unable to score tries.

PREDICTION

Both teams may have the same number of wins and losses so far this year but this does not mean they are equal in potential. The Raiders have won their 3 games convincingly whereas the warriors had to fight till the end. The Warriors have improved significantly since the start of the season but still not enough to beat a team like the Raiders who are looking to be one of the top contenders for the 2017 season. If the Warrior’s want to be in with the a chance, their forwards will have to step up big time against the Raiders who already have a strong pack. This will be the ultimate test for the warrior’s to see how far they have come.

Canberra Raiders by 14

SQUADS

New Zealand Warriors vs Canberra Raiders at GIO Stadium 5.30pm (Canberra) Saturday

Warriors
1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (C)
2 Blake Ayshford
3 David Fusitu’a
4 Solomone Kata
5 Ken Maumalo
6 Kieran Foran
7 Shaun Johnson
8 James Gavet
9 Issac Luke
10 Jacob Lillyman
11 Bodene Thompson
12 Ryan Hoffman
13 Simon Mannering
Interchange:
14 Nathaniel Roache
15 Charlie Gubb
16 Ligi Sao
17 Sam Lisone
18 Albert Vete
20 Bunty Afoa
21 Mafoa’aeata Hingano
22 Mason Lino
Coach: Stephen Kearney

Raiders
Jack Wighton1
Nick Cotric2
Jarrod Croker (c)3
Joseph Leilua4
Jordan Rapana5
Blake Austin6
Aidan Sezer7
Junior Paulo8
Josh Hodgson9
Shannon Boyd10
Josh Papalii11
Elliott Whitehead12
Joseph Tapine13
INTERCHANGE
Adam Clydsdale14
Luke Bateman15
Clay Priest16
Iosia Soliola17
Dunamis Lui18
Jordan Turner19
Makahesi Makatoa20
Lachlan Croker21