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Milestones fuelling Green Machine's finals bid

Jack Wighton hopes the Raiders can continue their form in milestone matches when they clash with the New Zealand Warriors on Friday.

Fresh of celebrating Sia Soliola's 100th game for the club, the Raiders will celebrate another milestone when hooker Josh Hodgson brings up the century in New Zealand.

Canberra coach Ricky Stuart spoke to the team about his special bond with Soliola and what his impact on and off the field means for the culture of the Raiders.

"He talked about finding him when was younger and giving him his first crack and how it was important and meant a lot to him to be giving him a milestone jersey at the club," Wighton said of his coach's pre-game address.

"He really appreciates their friendship off the field as much as their relationship on the field and there's a lot of love between the two.

"Over the last few years we haven't had much luck with milestone games so this year we've had a couple of really big milestones and Sia's being one of them.

"So, it was great to get the win for the big fella and every win means more as you get older, so to get that one on the weekend for him was class."

Graham Annesley weekly football briefing - Round 19

Canberra's composure under pressure was again on show early in their 30-18 victory over the Panthers.

After coughing up the ball and watching Brian To'o score in the third minute, the Raiders scored the next three to take control of the game.

Canberra managed to counter-punch every time Penrith scored, something Wighton put down, in part, to his combination with Aidan Sezer.

Every try from Round 19

"That was a massive win for us, the communication between me and Sez was on point and we excelled at controlling the game," Wighton said.

"The effort was really good from the boys and it was a good sign because I think we're going to need it if we're going to be contenders."

Off the back of a controversial loss to the Parramatta Eels, the Warriors' finals chances hang by a thread. They have to win five of their last six games.

Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck called on his side to have short memories of last weekend's loss, which saw all four match officials relegated after several incorrect calls when against them,

"It's probably scarier playing against a side with nothing to lose," Wighton said of the Warriors.

"They throw the ball around and they'll test you from sideline to sideline, and we just have to focus on us and we should get away with the two points."

New Zealand welcomes back Kodi Nikorima after he was missing from the side in their loss to the Eels with an ankle injury.

Referees from Warriors match stood down

"He's a class player and you saw how much he brought to the team when he went over from the Broncs," Wighton said.

"We're going to have to be on our game because he's always one of the players you have to watch out for."

Chanel Harris-Tavita has been moved back to the bench by Warriors coach Stephen Kearney with Adam Keighran dropped to reserves and David Fusitu'a (eye) still out.

Stuart named an unchanged 17 for the clash with Nick Cotric only one week away from returning from suspension.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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