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2021 NRL Round 22 Preview, Warriors Vs Bulldogs

Matt Attard previews the penultimate game of Round 22: the New Zealand Warriors against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. This is what we have to look forward to.

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TEAM NEWS

Venue: Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe, Date: 15/8, Time: 3:50pm (NZT), 1:50pm

Warriors Team

1. Reece Walsh
2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
3. Peta Hiku
4. Adam Pompey
5. Marcelo Montoya
6. Chanel Harris-Tavita
7. Sean O’Sullivan
8. Addin Fonua-Blake
9. Jazz Tevaga
10. Jackson Frei
11. Josh Curran
12. Euan Aitken
13. Bayley Sironen
14. Kodi Nikorima
15. Bunty Afoa
16. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown
17. Eliesa Katoa
18. Edward Kosi
20. Jack Murchie
21. Chad Townsend
22. Wayde Egan

Team Changes

IN: Adam Pompey, Chad Townsend, Jack Murchie, Jackson Frei, Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, Wayde Egan.
OUT: Kane Evans, Matt Lodge, Viliami Vailea.

Bulldogs Team

1. Nick Meaney
2. Corey Allan
3. Will Hopoate
4. Aaron Schoupp
5. Falakiko Manu
6. Bailey Biondi-Odo
7. Jake Avarillo
8. Ava Seumanufagai
9. Jeremy Marshall-King
10. Ryan James
11. Adam Elliott
12. Matt Doorey
13. Josh Jackson
14. Sione Katoa
15. Chris Patolo
16. Corey Horsburgh
17. Joe Stimson
19. Kyle Flanagan
20. Jayden Okunbor
21. Jackson Topine
22. Lachlan Lewis

Team Changes

IN: Corey Horsburgh, Jackson Topine, Jayden Okunbor, Joe Stimson, Kyle Flanagan, Lachlan Lewis, Ryan James.
OUT: Corey Waddell, Dylan Napa, Jack Hetherington, Watson Heleta.

Referee: Peter Gough

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Warriors

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A rough season was made a little better with a gritty win over the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks last week. 

They were strong in the middle and their halves seemed to control things well when needed. They’re a patchy team but with superstar Reece Walsh at fullback they’re capable of winning most matches. 

Bulldogs

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A horrid season got even worse last week, suffering an embarrassing loss to the lowly Wests Tigers. They look lost and 2022 can’t come quickly enough.

They’ve lost Jack Hetherington (the bloke can’t cough on the field without getting suspended) and Dylan Napa, forcing the two-match loans of Raiders pair Ryan James and Corey Horsburgh.

PREVIEW

The Warriors can be hot in attack but let themselves down in patches with lazy play and lack of commitment. 

For the Bulldogs, they have no answers for most team’s attacks, unable to defend pressure. When given chances attacking the line they’re often embarrassing to watch, like lost puppies. 

The Warriors will be keen to let loose in attack here, with Walsh the obvious go-to man. 

KEY STAT

The Bulldogs complete their sets well. They are among the best completion teams in the competition. But it shows that some stats mean nothing when you can’t do anything with the ball.

The Warriors’ key man, Walsh, has eight tries and nine try assists in 12 games this year. He averages 131 metres a game, but has a high error count (15). This shows his involvement is high, always sniffing around the ball and looking to get on the front foot. 

PREDICTION

Warriors by 16. 

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