Well I hope everyone’s had a nice break because we’ve got work to do! And by work to do, I mean footy to watch.
Club footy returns after a one week hiatus and I for one cannot wait!
As much as I enjoyed the time out (I didn’t really), I’m still unbelievably keen to erase from my memory that mess in Manly.
Like a bitter break up, I want revenge and I want it now.
And also like a bitter break up, it’s the rebound that’s going to cop the brunt of past mistakes.
Our rebound team for this week is the New Zealand Warriors.
Word has it coach Ricky Stuart has been working overtime in the break, studying game video, looking for ways to lift our side.
As coincidence would have it, the New Zealand Warriors have also been busy with video footage this week. I’ll say no more.
So how to plan for a game against a team that might show up or they might not?
One week the Warriors look like they could win by 100, the next week they look like they sent their children to play instead.
A few mischievous fans would say the same thing about our boys but this is no exercise in self-deprecation.
The Warriors have a great team on paper but the club is in just a little bit of bother.
The coaching saga has been ongoing for a while now and we’ll have to wait until this weekend to know if Konrad Hurrell’s exploits will affect his game.
While these points are relevant and could play a part in the Warriors game, the boys’ focus needs to be internal.
They would have been hurting badly after the Manly loss and with any luck they’ve been channelling that pain for two weeks into a typical Raiders ambush this Saturday.
That ambush will start at the back. The battle of the fullbacks should be an absolute cracker!
Anthony Milford versus England’s finest, Sam Tomkins, is a battle of youthful brilliance vs a swagful of promise.
Milford has been outstanding this year and big things have been expected of Tomkins. Both will be out to prove a point against each other.
Our centre’s defence against Manly was… well it was below par.
Out to show that performance was a one off, Jarrod Croker’s and Matt Allwood’ defence should be water tight against Ben Henry and Konrad Hurrell – they’ll need to be.
The Warriors have plenty of strike power out wide if we’re not on song with our defence.
The same goes for containing Shaun Johnson. Like a cornered cat, he looks trapped at times but somehow manages to find an escape route.
Shutting him down is without a doubt one of the major factors in winning this game.
And saving the battle royal for the finale, the forwards match up in this one will be absolutely brutal.
Two big packs will go toe to toe and whichever pack gives their halves room to play footy should and probably will win this game.
Hopefully the early injection of Dane Tilse and Paul Vaughan will yield results in this one.
It’s a simple game, Rugby League. Possession + territory will nearly always get you across the line.
Can the boys do it this week? Of course they can!!! Carn Raiders!!!