ISP Match Preview: Mounties v Warriors
The Mounties return to GIO Stadium on Saturday for the first time since April for a blockbuster encounter with the New Zealand Warriors.
Saturday will the first meeting between the two sides this season, with the Stacey Jones coached Warriors sitting just two points behind the table-topping Mounties on the ladder. A win on Saturday could help strengthen the Mounties grasp on the minor premiership.
The Mounties will boast an incredibly strong team for the match, with first grade regulars Jeff Lima and Clay Priest both named. Lima is making his comeback after seven weeks on the sidelines with a hip injury, while Priest returns to the Mounties after playing in the Raiders win over the Cowboys two weeks ago.
Junior Blues representative Lachlan Croker will partner Sam Williams in the halves in a combination that has been very strong for the Mounties so far this season. Excitement machines Kato Ottio, Brenko Lee and Zac Santo will take their places in the Mounties backline, with the trio having combined for countless tries this season.
After a minor mid-season slump the Mounties have been back to their best in recent weeks, winning their past three games and beating the Bulldogs 27-18 at Belmore Sports Ground last weekend.
John Palavi will captain the Warriors the game, while experienced NRL centre Johnathon Wright will start in the centres.
Mounties v Warriors kicks off at 12.40pm on Saturday at GIO Stadium. The game is live on Fox Sports Channel 501 and updates will be available on the Raiders Twitter.