NRL Warriors v Raiders: What you need to know

Warriors v Raiders

Kickoff: 8pm, Friday 22 March

Apollo Projects Stadium, Christchurch

Live blog updates on RNZ Sport

Losing to the Storm in Melbourne isn’t anything to be ashamed of. But the Warriors will be gutted they let a two-score lead slip in the dying moments of last Saturday’s game, even if it took one of the best tries you’ll ever see to win the game 30-26.

They move down to Christchurch for this round, in front of a sold-out crowd at Apollo Projects Stadium. In come Ricky Stuart’s Raiders, who have recorded two impressive wins already this season, against the Knights and Tigers, however this looks like it’ll be the toughest test so far.

Here’s a look at the teams:

Warriors: 1. Taine Tuaupiki 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Rocco Berry 4. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Luke Metcalf 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Wayde Egan 10. Mitchell Barnett 11. Jackson Ford 12. Kurt Capewell 13. Tohu Harris

Interchange: 14. Freddy Lussick 15. Tom Ale 16. Bunty Afoa 17. Dylan Walker

Raiders: 1. Jordan Rapana 2. Nick Cotric 3. Matthew Timoko 4. Albert Hopoate 5. Xavier Savage 6. Ethan Strange 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Josh Papali’i 9. Danny Levi 10. Joseph Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Morgan Smithies

Interchange: 14. Tom Starling 15. Emre Guler 16. Zac Hosking 17. Pasami Saulo

Warriors selections

Once again Wayde Egan has been named with a question mark over whether he’ll play. A late scratching last weekend saw Freddy Lussick elevated and Chanel Harris-Tavita come onto the bench, Lussick was very good for long period that the Warriors controlled the match.

Dylan Walker has been mainly used as a second rower in his interchange minutes, perhaps it’s time he was given a bit more license to use his utility value that came on so handy last season.

Raiders selections

Joseph Tapine.

There are some very talented New Zealanders in the Raiders, starting up front with Kiwis prop Joe Tapine and hooker Danny Levi. Out back Jordan Rapana and Mathew Timoko are both established test players as well.

Tapine and Josh Papali’i will be need to be stopped in their tracks early, or at least matched by Addin Fonua-Blake and Mitch Barnett in order for the Warriors to keep pace. Classy Jamal Fogarty has to be contained as well in the halves, he will have to do the brunt of the work given Jack Wighton’s absence.

2023 results

Warriors 36 – 14 Raiders

Warriors 21 – 20 Raiders

After a very comfortable win in Canberra, the Warriors looked set to repeat the dose six rounds later at Mt Smart when they were leading 20-10 with only two minutes to go. However, in one of the most high octane finishes you’ll ever see, the Raiders scored two tries before the hooter to lock the scores up and send the game to golden point. Shaun Johnson then nervelessly kicked a field goal to win the game, the third in what would be a seven-game victory streak.


They’ve got to come good at some point, right? This Warriors squad is simply too good to be losing this many games in a row and while there are valid reasons for the first two losses, there has been enough time now to iron out the wrinkles and start delivering. Besides, there was an awful lot to like in last weekend’s second half against the Storm, in which the Warriors ran in three excellent tries.

This won’t be easy against a tough Raiders team, but the Warriors do have a recent history of crushing their hopes and dreams.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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