Brad Inger previews the round 2 clash between the New Zealand Warriors and the Canberra Raiders. Here is what we have to look forward to.
New Zealand Warriors
It has been a turbulent week for the Warriors with the Coronavirus crisis forcing them to move themselves to Australia until further notice. All the news around the club’s situation has taken attention away from their embarrassing 20-0 defeat to the Newcastle Knights. The Warriors lack of discipline hurt them, and it must be improved if they are to have any chance of trying to end this week on a positive note.
The Raiders came into the 2020 season as title contenders, and their 24-6 round 1 victory over the Gold Coast Titans further solidified their position. While the Titans may not be the toughest opposition the Raiders will face this season, but they were clinical on attack, defensive sound and the new halves pairing of Jack Wighton and George Williams looks like it could take Canberra to the next level.
New Zealand Warriors
With Patrick Herbert and Peta Hiku returning to New Zealand, the Warriors have called up Adam Pompey and Adam Keighran from reserve grade to replace them. After a strong debut, Eliesa Katoa has been promoted to start at second row with Isaiah Papali’i moving to the bench with Adam Blair moving to lock.
1.Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 2.Adam Pompey, 3.David Fusitu’a, 4.Adam Pompey, 5.Ken Maumalo, 6.Chanel Harris-Tavita, 7.Blake Green, 8.Leeson Ah Mau, 9.Wayde Egan, 10.Lachlan Burr, 11.Eliesa Katoa, 12.Tohu Harris, 13.Adam Blair, 14.Kodi Nikorima, 15.Jamayne Taunoa-Brown,16.Isaiah Papali’i,17.King Vuniyayawa, 18.Karl Lawton, 20.Hayze Perham, 21.Leivaha Pulu, 22.Adam Tuimavave-Gerrard
Jarrod Croker and Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad have been named after sustaining injuries in round 1 with the only change to the Raiders being positional with Joseph Tapine and Corey Horsburgh switching positions.
1.Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 2.Bailey Simonsson, 3.Jarrod Croker, 4.Curtis Scott, 5.Nick Cotric, 6.Jack Wighton, 7.George Williams, 8.Josh Papalii, 9.Josh Hodgson, 10.Dunamis Lui, 11.Joseph Tapine, 12.Elliott Whitehead, 13.Corey Horsburgh, 14.Siliva Havili, 15.Emre Guler, 16.Iosia Soloiola, 17.Michael Oldfield, 18.Sam Williams, 19.Ryan Sutton, 20.Harley Smith-Shields, 21.Tom Starling
These sides have faced each other 38 times with both teams winning 19 wins each including one apiece in 2019. However, the Warriors have the edge at Cbus Super Stadium winning eight of their last nine matches at the venue.
BATTLE TO WATCH
The battle to watch will be between the Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad.
Tuivasa-Sheck had a night to forget in round 1 making several uncharacteristic errors and will be looking at bouncing back strong to lead his side in what has been a trying week. For the Warriors to be victorious on the Gold Coast, Tuivasa-Sheck will need to involve himself in the attack as often as possible, look for him to sit off the shoulder of last week’s impressive debutant Eliesa Katoa who is not afraid to throw out an offload or two.
After a breakout 2019, Nicoll-Klokstad’s start to 2020 only lasted 35 minutes, going off with an HIA after a head knock. The good news for Canberra fans is that he is back and will be looking at making up for lost time. He has set himself a high standard since moving to the Australian Capital and always seems to find another gear when facing his old club.
Date: Saturday, March 21st
Venue: Cbus Super Stadium
Kick-off: 2:00pm (5:00pm NZ Time)
Match Prediction: Raiders by 16