The Canberra Raiders will be looking to make it four wins in a row when they play the New Zealand Warriors this Friday night at Mt Smart Stadium.
Canberra will be looking to break a string of bad results against the Warriors after succumbing to two defeats to the New Zealand team last season.
The Raiders head into the clash raring to go after defeating the Panthers 30-18 in a dominant performance last weekend.
The Warriors will look to reignite their finals hopes after suffering a narrow 24-22 loss against the Parramatta Eels in Round 19.
Last Time: The Warriors defeated the Raiders 20-16 in Round 25 of last year. It was 8-all at half time, and despite a resilient effort from the Raiders, two late penalty goals kicked by Shaun Johnson was enough to get the Warriors over the line.
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad v Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
In a battle of the double barrelled last names, Raiders’ fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad will face off against the Warriors’ Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
‘CNK’ has been in tremendous form since joining the Green Machine this year, starting in every game this year and even bagging himself ten tries so far.
The Cook Island International also leads the NRL count for kick return metres with 1,245 as well as notching up 3,130 run metres.
‘RTS’ has been one of the Warriors’ top players this season, scoring five tries and assisting seven in 2019.
Wit two of the competitions most in-form fullbacks facing off against each other, expect to see the ball in their hands plenty of times and for both teams’ defences to be at their best.
Joe Tapine v Jazz Tevaga
It’ll be a huge battle in the centre of the forward pack as New Zealand International Joe Tapine clashes with Samoan representative Jazz Tevaga.
Tapine has been in fine form since returning from an ankle injury in round 11, solidifying his position at lock ever since.
The forward has scored one try this season, as well as making 211 tackles at an efficiency rate of 89.6%.
Tevaga has been a key player in the Warriors line-up, proving to be a weapon off the bench for a majority of the season and has been rewarded by starting at lock for the past five rounds.
Both forwards will be looking to prove their strength and will do all that they can to be involved in the heart of each play.
Jordan Rapana v Gerard Beale
Jordan Rapana will be hoping to add to his try-scoring account this Friday night but will have to go through Warriors’ winger Gerard Beale to do so.
Rapana sustained a knee injury in the Raiders’ Round 9 loss to the Roosters, yet thankfully it didn’t require surgery to heal.
The 2017 Dally M Winger of the Year has so far scored five tries and assisted one this season, but will be wanting to break his hoodoo against the Warriors – only scoring one against them in seven matches.
Coming off his first try of the season last weekend, Gerard Beale will be looking to conintue his strong performances filling in for David Fusitu’a
The two wingers will be hoping to be influential in Friday night’s clash and will both be hoping to get on the board this weekend at Mt Smart Stadium.
Head to Head:
The Raiders and Warriors have faced off on 42 different occasions, with the Green Machine claiming 21 victories compared to the Warriors 19, with the remaining two games ending in draws.