Five Things: Raiders v Warriors
The final game of the 2018 regular season is upon us and the Raiders travel across the ditch to face the New Zealand Warriors on Friday night. Here are five things to keep in mind ahead of the clash.
Revenge for the heartbreak
The Raiders hosted the Warriors at GIO Stadium back in Round 3 and the game looked like it was in the bag with four minutes to go and the score at 19-12.
What was to follow was one of the toughest losses for the Raiders in the 2018 season as a try to Isaac Luke was converted by Shaun Johnson and two field goals from the halfback in the last two minutes stole the points for the New Zealand outfit with a 20-19 win.
With the team entering this match off the back of two impressive wins, the players will no doubt be looking for a win to finish the season on a high.
The Canberra faithful stuck around after the win against the Rabbitohs at GIO Stadium to bid farewell to the departing trio of Blake Austin, Junior Paulo and Shannon Boyd.
Austin is headed to the Warrington Wolves in the Super League, Paulo will return to his former club the Parramatta Eels and Boyd will make the move up north to link with the Gold Coast Titans.
The three will don the lime green jersey for the final time and will be out to end their tenure at the club with a win over the finals-bound Warriors.
The Raiders will finish in tenth position on the ladder no matter what the result is on Friday night but the Green Machine will be looking to cause an upset at Mt Smart Stadium.
The Warriors have everything to play for with a win potentially giving them a home elimination final which would be a huge bonus for the New Zealand side.
A loss to the Raiders would see the Warriors finish either seventh or eighth and the prospect of a trip back to Australia to avoid elimination in week one of the finals.
Tries, Tries, Tries
Over the past number of years, the Raiders and the Warriors have been two of the most potent attacking teams in the competition on their day.
But it seems as though when they go head to head one side manages to streak ahead with eight of the last ten clashes decided by 12 points or more.
The Raiders have been the most lethal attacking team and will finish as the highest scoring side for the 2018 season with another strong showing on Friday night.
Mannering joins elite company
Warriors captain Simon Mannering will become the first player to play 300 games for the New Zealand club when he takes the field this Friday.
The first player to play his 300th NRL game while at the Warriors was Raiders great Ruben Wiki despite playing 224 games for Canberra.
A career that started back in 2005 needs to be acknowledged but that won't deter the Raiders from trying to ruin the party for the Kiwi veteran.