2019 NRL – New Zealand Warriors vs Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When is New Zealand Warriors vs Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs taking place? Saturday 16th March, 04:00

Where is New Zealand Warriors vs Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs taking place? Mount Smart Stadium

What channel is New Zealand Warriors vs Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on?
UK – This match will not be televised live in the UK
Australia – Fox Sports

Where can I stream New Zealand Warriors vs Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs?
UK – N/A
Australia – https://www.telstra.com.au/tv-movies-music/sports-offer

Where can I get tickets for New Zealand Warriors vs Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs?
New Zealand Warriors – https://tickets.nrl.com/team/500032

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs – https://tickets.nrl.com/team/500010

THE TEAM NEWS

NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS

Head Coach: Stephen Kearney

Starting 13: Tuivasa-Sheck, Fusitu’a, Hiku, Kata, Maumalo, Keighran, Green, Paasi, Roache, Afoa, Blair, Harris, Burr – Interchanges: Tevaga, Lisone, Ah Mau Ayshford – Reserves: Beale, Sao, Lawton, Harris-Tavita

Unavailable: Isaiah Papali’i, Issac Luke

  • New Zealand Warriors parted ways with the mercurial Shaun Johnson in the off-season which will see a new halfback pairing this year with debutant Adam Keighran getting first crack at the #6 jersey alongside Blake Green.

  • The Warriors will be hoping for more of the same from 2018 Dally M winner Roger Tuivasa-Sheck as they look to make the top 8 once again but a lot will rest on his shoulders without Johnson in the side.

  • Lachlan Burr is a surprise inclusion at lock for the Warriors whilst Nathaniel Roache comes in at hooker for Issac Luke who is out with a shoulder injury with Isaiah Papali’i also out having been stood down by the Warriors.

CANTERBURY-BANKSTOWN BULLDOGS

Head Coach: Dean Pay

Starting 13: Hopoate, Crichton, Holland, Montoya, R. Smith, Foran, Lewis, Tolman, Lichaa, Napa, Jackson, Faitala-Mariner, Elliott – Interchanges: Marshall-King, Fualalo, Harawira-Naera, Sue – Reserves: Cogger, Meaney, C. Smith, Ogden

Unavailable: Fa’amanu Brown, Renouf To’omaga, Brandon Wakeham

  • Canterbury Bulldogs finished 2018 on a high after a largely poor season with plenty of emerging talent coming through their ranks who all should be better for their experience last year.

  • The Bulldogs added some size to their pack in the off-season with Dylan Napa and Corey Harawira-Naera the big name arrivals but they also lost David Klemmer to Newcastle in what is a huge blow.

  • Will Hopoate will begin the season at fullback meaning new signing Christian Crichton has to settle for a spot on the wing in the opening game whilst fan favourite Rhyse Martin is set to start the season in reserve grade.

THE PREDICTION

New Zealand Warriors begin a new era without halfback Shaun Johnson with Stephen Kearney's men looking to improve on last season's eighth-placed finish. They host a Bulldogs side that ended the season well last season but a tough trip to Mt Smart should see them begin 2019 with a defeat. The Warriors need to make their home a fortress this season and whilst they are traditionally good on home soil, they lacked consistency last year which is something they will be looking to improve on, especially in the early rounds.