Preview: New Zealand Warriors vs Sydney Roosters

The Roosters will be looking to make it 3 wins in a row as they face off against the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium.

Last Time Out

The New Zealand Warriors put in a spirited performance against the Storm. They started the game incredibly well. Their forwards were marching up the field easily and by the 10 minute mark they had crossed for first points. Eventually momentum swung and a couple of harsh calls afforded the Storm the chance to overcome the tiring Warriors team. At two tries all heading into the final 15 minutes, the Storm scored twice to secure the win.

The Sydney Roosters won a incredibly tight game 13-12 in their annual ANZAC day clash with the Dragons. They fought back from a try-less first half to take the lead heading into the final two minutes. A brilliant solo effort from Dragons winger Nene Macdonald forced the game into golden point where Mitchell Pearce sunk a field goal to win the game for them. It was hardly the most convincing win as the Dragons lost Gareth Widdop to an injury in the 2nd half but at the end of the day the Roosters won a close game and the confidence they’ll take from that will be all that matters to them.

Key Battle

Mitchell Pearce vs Shaun Johnson. The former has been in great form to start the year resulting in tired talk of his Origin chances going up. Regardless Pearce has been the difference maker in the Roosters last two games. He’s scored crucial tries by taking the line on with purpose and has even corrected his once awful field goal technique. Limiting his influence on the game will be key to the Warriors chances.

Shaun Johnson’s base game has become quite consistent lately. However sometimes with the expectations he is the only man that can come up with points for the Warriors, he goes into his shell under pressure. Johnson is a player who thrives on confidence. While even the best halves can struggle when their forwards aren’t going well, Johnson needs to be switched on to take the chances that present themselves. If he’s running the ball frequently then it means he’s feeling confident and he can become a nightmare for the Roosters to contain.


The Warriors generally tend to play better at home while the Roosters barely managed to beat a Dragons side that lost their best player for the whole 2nd half. Against the Warriors they should be able to find the points but the positive signs aren’t there.

Mental attitude will determine the victor of this one. If the Warriors play too conservatively and the coach demands the penalty goal too often, the Roosters can probably sneak by them. If they’re playing with confidence then they can cause an upset. Tough match to call but I’d say Warriors will lift for this one. Warriors by 4+

New Zealand Warriors
1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (C)
2 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
3 David Fusitua
4 Blake Ayshford
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
14 Nathaniel Roache
15 Ligi Sao
16 Sam Lisone
17 Ben Matulino
18 Manu Vatuvei
20 Albert Vete
21 Bunty Afoa
22 Ata Hingano

Sydney Roosters
1 Michael Gordon
2 Daniel Tupou
3 Shaun Kenny-Dowall
4 Joseph Manu
5 Blake Ferguson
6 Luke Keary
7 Mitchell Pearce
8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
9 Jake Friend (c)
10 Dylan Napa
11 Boyd Cordner (c)
12 Mitchell Aubusson
13 Aidan Guerra
14 Isaac Liu
15 Zane Tetevano
16 Siosiua Taukeiaho
17 Paul Carter
18 Latrell Mitchell
19 Kane Evans
22 Connor Watson
26 Jayden Nikorima

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