The Canberra Raiders will be looking to keep their top four hopes alive with a victory over the New Zealand Warriors when they face off at GIO Stadium this afternoon, Sunday 20 September.
The fifth-placed Raiders are just one game outside the top four after a big win over the St George Illawarra Dragons last week.
Jack Wighton was superb again in that match with two tries as he notched his third double in the past four games, while Hudson Young had his best game for the club.
Young finished with a game-high 198 metres, two line breaks, a try assist and a try of his own.
The form of Young and the rest of the Raiders forwards has left Ricky Stuart with a selection headache after Sia Soliola was passed fit to play this weekend.
Stuart has named the same 17 man team that got the job done against the Dragons with Soliola named on the extended bench, but it wouldn’t surprise to see him as a late inclusion.
Curtis Scott has been ruled out for this match and could possibly miss the rest of the season with fears that he may have fractured his leg again, meaning that young Semi Valemei retains his spot on the wing despite some nervous moments last week.
There has been some good news for the Raiders during the week with the club announcing that Josh Papalii has re-signed with the club until the end of 2025 and that up to 6,000 people will now be allowed to attend the game at GIO Stadium, double the previous game.
The Raiders have plenty to play for with a spot in the top four up for grabs, but they won’t have it easy against a Warriors side that have become everyone’s second favourite team.
While the Warriors finals dreams were officially ended with their loss to the Sharks last week, they have shown so much heart this season in difficult circumstances that there’s no way they’ll be giving games away now.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has led his side brilliantly this season and will be the man to watch for the Raiders defence.
Their young halfback Chanel Harris-Tavita has come on leaps and bounds this season and his combination with Kodi Nikorima continues to improve.
Former Raider Jack Murchie has also been in great form for his new club and forms a strong back row with Tohu Harris and Jazz Tevaga.
The Raiders defeated the Warriors 20-6 all the way back in round 2, but that feels like a life time ago and with rain forecast in Canberra, this one shapes as a close grind between two sides with plenty of heart.
|1||Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad||1||Roger Tuivasa-Sheck|
|2||Semi Valemei||2||Adam Pompey|
|3||Jarrod Croker||3||Adam Keighran|
|4||Jordan Rapana||4||Peta Hiku|
|5||Nick Cotric||5||Hayze Perham|
|6||Jack Wighton||6||Kodi Nikorima|
|7||George Williams||7||Chanel Harris-Tavita|
|8||Josh Papalii||8||Lachlan Burr|
|9||Siliva Havili||9||Karl Lawton|
|10||Dunamis Lui||10||Isaiah Papali’i|
|11||John Bateman||11||Jack Murchie|
|12||Elliott Whitehead||12||Tohu Harris|
|13||Joseph Tapine||13||Jazz Tevaga|
|14||Tom Starling||14||Wayde Egan|
|15||Ryan Sutton||15||Adam Blair|
|16||Hudson Young||16||Eliesa Katoa|
|17||Corey Harawira-Naera||17||Tom Ale|
|18||Sam Williams||18||Josh Curran|
|19||Matt Frawley||19||Paul Turner|
|20||Matthew Timoko||20||Gerard Beale|
|21||Iosia Soliola||21||Rocco Berry|