Warriors up for Canberra test
Canberra has traditionally been a miserable hunting ground for the Warriors, but this week the Kiwi side insisted they are embracing the challenge Saturday night's trip to face the Raiders presents.
While they enjoyed some success in the capital in both 2014 and 2015, picking up a pair of wins on the road to the Green Machine, prior to that the Warriors hadn't claimed a win in Canberra since 1997.
Overall their record at GIO Stadium (formerly Bruce Stadium) reads just three wins from 14 visits, with second-rower Ryan Hoffman, whose father Jay played over 100 games for the Raiders in the 1980s, declaring it among the most difficult away venues in the NRL.
"Canberra is a tough place to play, they have created a bit of a reputation for themselves down there, they are quite a passionate fan base," Hoffman said.
"I used to live down there and spent a lot of time with the Raiders.
"They really love their rugby league and are trying to create a really intimidating place to play, and I think it is one of the toughest places to go in rugby league.
"It's a great opportunity for us this week."
 Telstra Premiership: Raiders vs Warriors
While the trip to Canberra presents some extra logistical issues for the Warriors, with a Sydney stopover meaning the trip will involve two separate flights for the squad, coach Stephen Kearney said there would be no change to their usual preparation.
"I think for every team in the NRL it's a real challenge [going to Canberra]," Kearney said.
"For me it's not about where we play or who we are playing, it's about making sure we prepare well to perform well.
"The Canberra side are in really good form so it's an exciting challenge for us and one we are looking forward to."
With back-to-back victories over the Gold Coast Titans and Parramatta Eels lifting them to a 3-3 record, the Warriors are bracing for arguably their toughest test to date in the 2017 Telstra Premiership season.
In addition to struggling at the venue, the Warriors will also encounter the best attacking team in the competition, with the Raiders averaging 27 points per match across the opening six games.
Meanwhile Kearney gave an update on the progress of injured veterans Manu Vatuvei and Ben Matulino, with the latter taking part in contact work this week for the first time since having surgery on his knee in the off-season.
"[Ben's] another week closer… two, three [weeks away] possibly," Kearney said.
"[Manu] will be maybe a couple of weeks after Ben."