2018 NRL – New Zealand Warriors vs Canberra Raiders Preview

AT A GLANCE

When?
Friday 31st August, 09:00 (UK)

Where?
Mt Smart Stadium

What channel is it on?
UK – Sky Sports Arena
Australia – Foxtel, LIVE PASS

Where can I stream the match?
UK – Sky Sports subscribers can stream the match online via Sky Go
Australia – https://www.telstra.com.au/tv-movies-music/sports-offer

Are tickets still available?
http://premier.ticketek.co.nz/shows/Show.aspx?sh=WARR1118

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

WARRIORS

Head Coach: Stephen Kearney

Starting 13: Tuivasa-Sheck, Fusitu’a, Hiku, Kata, Maumalo, Lino, Johnson, Gavet, Luke, Paasi, Blair, Harris, Mannering – Interchanges: Tevaga, Papali’i, Afoa, Beale – Reserves: Pulu, Gelling, Lawton, Satae

Unavailable: Nathaniel Roache, Sam Lisone, Blake Green

  • New Zealand Warriors brushed aside Penrith to seal their finals spot. The Warriors were on top from start to finish and didn’t relinquish the lead having gone ahead in the third minute. They ran in six tries as they secured a comfortable 36-16 win.

  • Blake Green is still not fit so Mason Lino will continue at five-eighth. Gerard Beale is back however and replaces Leivaha Pulu on the bench.

  • The Warriors could still finish as high as third but with points differential needing to take a huge swing for that to happen, fifth is probably the best they can hope for. Currently occupying the eighth and final spot in the play-off places, a rise to fifth or sixth on this final weekend will secure a home game.

RAIDERS

Head Coach: Ricky Stuart

Starting 13: Abbey, Cotric, Oldfield, Leilua, Rapana, Austin, Williams, Lui, Hodgson, Boyd, Soliola, Whitehead, Papalii – Interchanges: Guler, Paulo, Havili, Bateman – Reserves: Murchie, Knight, Makatoa, Sezer

Unavailable: Jack Wighton, Jarrod Croker, Joseph Tapine

  • Canberra are ending the season with a flourish after they claimed their second big scalp in a row. The Raiders defeated top 4 prospects Sydney Roosters in their previous game before doing the same to South Sydney last week in a 24-12 win.

  • The Raiders will field an unchanged team to end the season, barring any late changes. That could potentially come in the form of Aidan Sezer who has been named on the reserves list.

  • With an average total of 23.8 points scored per game, Canberra are likely to end the regular season as the top scorers in the NRL. The Raiders have scored enough points on average per game to win more games than they have but the reason why they haven’t is due to them conceding the fourth highest points per game with 22.6.

THE PREDICTION

Having secured their play-off spot last week, there is still plenty left to play for this season for New Zealand Warriors and that begins when they host Canberra. A win will put them in the mix for a home game which could have a huge impact for the New Zealand based side. Nobody will want to travel across the Tazman to face the Warriors and whilst they’re capable of progressing in an away fixture, a home game would massively boost their chances. The Raiders will be looking to prevent the Warriors from having that chance as they look for a third win in a row to end their season that has ultimately ended in disappointment. They will be game here and shouldn’t roll over but the Warriors should have too much on home soil.