Round 3 Preview: Canberra Raiders vs New Zealand Warriors


Canberra Raiders vs New Zealand Warriors
GIO Stadium
Saturday 24th March
3:00pm NSW, 2:00pm QLD, 5:00pm NZ


Raiders:

1 Jack Wighton
2 Nick Cotric
3 Jarrod Croker (c)
4 Joseph Leilua
5 Jordan Rapana
6 Aiden Sezer
7 Sam Williams
8 Iosia Soliola
9 Siliva Havili
10 Shannon Boyd
11 Josh Papalii
12 Elliott Whitehead
13 Luke Bateman

Interchange: 14 Blake Austin, 15 Junior Paulo, 16 Dunamis Lui, 17 Liam Knight

Reserves: 20 Michael Oldfield, 21 Royce Hunt

Warriors:
1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c)
2 David Fusitua
3 Peta Hiku
4 Solomone Kata
5 Ken Maumalo
6 Blake Green
7 Shaun Johnson
8 James Gavet
9 Issac Luke
10 Adam Blair
11 Leivaha Pulu
12 Tohu Harris
13 Ligi Sao

Interchange: 14 Jazz Tevaga, 15 Agnatius Paasi, 16 Sam Lisone, 17 Bunty Afoa

Reserves: 18 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 22 Mason Lino


Game Preview:

Well, in game one today we the Canberra Raiders host the New Zealand Warriors down in the nations capital.

The Raiders are off to a slow start in 2018 with both Rounds 1 and 2 losing 30-28 with the final try coming within the final few minutes. On the other side the Warriors are off to a fantastic start starting the season 2-0 as they look to make it another win.

The Raiders forward pack has looked flat this season, with both weeks, seeming to be gassed and allowing the opposition to role through the middle third of the field gifting the Halves good field position. If the Raiders are to win this game however they need to aim up on defence and their forwards need to be on the front foot and from the start.

The Warriors team all round has been solid, with not really any noticeable weaknesses. The Warriors have seemed to have occasions where they switch off on defence and can allow some easy meters and points to occur. However if the Warriors are to win they need to stay consistant with and without the ball and to control the flow of play.

Key Match-up: The Halves

Canberra Coach, Ricky Stuart has chopped and changed his starting halves rotation, trying new parings for the opening two rounds and this game seems no different. Even though they have used the same players the lack of consistency with who is playing and what position they are playing seems to be weighing on the players.

The Raiders need to pick a pairing and run with it, who knows they could strike gold and all of a sudden points will flow and come easy.

The Warriors however have a new halves pairing this year, but they don't seem to be playing that way. Shaun Johnson has been the focal point of the Warriors side for a number of years now, and adding veteran Blake Green to the side has only seemed to make SJ even better. Johnson now seems to be running the ball a lot more and not having to control every play seems to be working wonders.

Prediction:
I can't see the Warriors dropping this game. Their side has been on fire this season, and with the Raiders still "Figuring things out" look for the Warriors to score a lot of points fast and keep the pressure up. Warriors by 12.

- Fewy

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