The Canberra Raiders will take on the New Zealand Warriors at 6pm on Friday at BB Print Stadium, Mackay in round 24.
With the Raiders currently sitting at ninth on the ladder and the Warriors sitting just below them in 10th position, this will be a crucial game if the Raiders want to keep their finals hopes alive.
After a nail-biting 19-18 loss to the Sea Eagles last round, the Raiders will be looking to redeem themselves. However, so will the Warriors after they suffered a try-for-a-try loss against the Broncos last Sunday.
Last time they met
The last time these two teams met was in round three when the Raiders suffered immense adversity in a tough 34-31 loss against the Warriors, and this weekend the Raiders will be looking to redeem themselves.
Match Highlights: Raiders v Warriors
Jordan Rapana v Reece Walsh
Jordan Rapana has been tremendous over the last few weeks in the fullback role with his competitive drive and style of play leading the way for the Raiders.
Rapana has proved his ability to take tough carries out of their own like and make try-saving efforts in pressure situations has been fundamental to the team.
Averaging over 160 running metres per game this year and already securing a season best of 695 kick return meters, Rapana will play a key role in the Raiders success on Friday night.
But Warriors fullback Reece Walsh will be just as dangerous and hard to stop. In his first year of the NRL Walsh has become one of the Warriors most influential players.
Having scored nine tries in 14 games, as well as tallying 11 try assists, there’s no doubt the Raiders will need to work hard to shut down the young fullback.
Frawley on bouncing back and playing finals footy
Josh Papalii v Addin Fonua-Blake
Two of the best forwards in the competition will go head-to-head in Friday night’s clash when Josh Papalii and Addin Fonua-Blake meet.
Papalii continues to be a valuable member of the Raiders side, consistently working his way through the middle of the field providing tough defence and attack on his opposition. But Papalii’s main opponent, Addin Fonua-Blake will be a challenge for the Raiders come Friday.
Fonua-Blake will be one to watch after an outstanding performance last weekend in the Warriors close loss to the Broncos, running over 200 metres and making 38 tackles.
With Papalii and Fonua-Blake both playing leading roles in their respective forward packs, Friday night is set to be an exciting battle between the two.
Hudson Young v Josh Curran
Hudson Young has been an exciting player to watch bringing plenty of energy and skill onto the field securing his spot in the second row.
Running for 130 metres against the Sea Eagles with 50 post contact metres, a replication of this attack will help the Raiders get the win on Friday.
Young will come up against very similar player for the Warriors, Josh Curran who also had a strong performance last weekend for his team, scoring his fourth try of the season.
The two young middles will be battling it out on Friday in what is set to be a match full of talent on across the pitch.
Head to Head
The Raiders have played the Warriors 41 times since 1998, winning 21 and losing 20 of those matches.