Raiders v Warriors: Leilua cleared, Paasi back
With the pressure rising on the winless Canberra Raiders after two rounds, they come up against a New Zealand Warriors side on a roll and with momentum behind them.
Shuffling galore has taken place so far within the Raiders team and with the Warriors seemingly achieving a newfound consistency, the team from the nation's capital will have to dig deep to win.
History does work in their favour though, having won the the last four matches between the two sides.
Canberra have lost their opening two matches against the Gold Coast and Newcastle, both by 30-28, while the Warriors are coming off wins over the Rabbitohs and Titans.
The key match-up: Aidan Sezer has been recalled to the starting side for the Raiders and he'll try and get the better of the Warriors' in-form new recruit Blake Green.
For the Raiders to win: Better decisions out wide indefence need to be made, better communication and not rushing up at inopportune times will be crucial this weekend.
For the Warriors to win: They must continue be efficient with the ball. The side scored 20 points against the Titans despite having just 43 per cent possession and completing 69 per cent of their sets.
Raiders Stat Attack: The Raiders completed 86 per cent of their sets in round two. Amazingly the side achieved a better mark than that four times in 2017, all of which were in victories.
Warriors Stat Attack: The New Zealanders led the NRL last weekend in offloads with a massive 28, making first-up tackles crucial for the home side.
Prediction: Raiders by 6
Match: Raiders v Warriors
Round 3 -
Venue: GIO Stadium
- Fox League
- LIVE PASS
Canberra Raiders v New Zealand Warriors, Saturday 3pm AEDT at GIO Stadium
Raiders: 1 Jack Wighton, 2 Nick Cotric, 3 Jarrod Croker (c), 4 Joseph Leilua, 5 Jordan Rapana, 6 Aiden Sezer, 7 Sam Williams, 8 Iosia Soliola, 9 Siliva Havili, 10 Shannon Boyd, 11 Josh Papalii, 12 Elliott Whitehead, 13 Luke Bateman
Interchange: 14 Blake Austin, 15 Junior Paulo, 16 Dunamis Lui, 17 Liam Knight
Reserves: 20 Michael Oldfield, 21 Royce Hunt
The Raiders are 1-17. Michael Oldfield and Royce Hunt were omitted from the squad 1 hour out from kick-off. Aidan Sezer has been named to start at five-eighth with Blake Austin dropping to the bench. Joey Leilua has been named to start at centre despite looking to pick up an ankle injury last week. Liam Knight has been named to make his club debut in jersey 17 following Charlie Gubb's injury, though Joe Tapine (thumb) is out. Tapine and Ata Hingano were the two names omitted from the bench when the Raiders culled their squad 24 hours out from kick-off.
Warriors: 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c), 2 David Fusitua, 3 Peta Hiku, 4 Solomone Kata, 5 Ken Maumalo, 6 Blake Green, 7 Shaun Johnson, 8 James Gavet, 9 Issac Luke, 10 Adam Blair, 11 Leivaha Pulu, 12 Tohu Harris, 13 Ligi Sao
Interchange: 14 Jazz Tevaga, 15 Agnatius Paasi, 16 Sam Lisone, 17 Bunty Afoa
Agnatius Paasi will start at lock in a late change for the Warriors. Ligi Sao drops back to the bench. Charnze Nicholl-Klokstad and Mason Lino were omitted from the squad 1 hour out from kick-off. Leivaha Pulu starts for Isaiah Papali'i (knee, six weeks) andAgnatius Paasi joins the bench with Simon Mannering not yet back from a shoulder injury. Hooker Jazz Tevaga replaces bench utility Sam Cook. Anthony Gelling and Chris Satae were dropped from the six-man bench on Friday.
Head-to-head: 38 games, Raiders 21 wins, Warriors 17 wins\
Matches at venue: 15 games; Raiders 12 wins; Warriors 3 wins
Last five head-to-head: Raiders 4 wins, Warriors 1 win
2017 results: Raiders won 20-8 at GIO Stadium; Raiders won 36-16 at Mt Smart Stadium
Points per game: Raiders 28; Warriors 26
Points conceded per game: Raiders 30; Warriors 14
Televised: Live on Fox League