A fantastic afternoon from Sione Mata’utia helped lead Newcastle to a deserved win over the New Zealand side in an entertaining match at Hunter Stadium on Sunday.
The Raiders hit a new low on Sunday afternoon as they were demolished 54-18 by the Warriors, less than a week after coach Ricky Stuart admitted his side were not up to first grade standard.
The Canberra Raiders host the New Zealand Warriors at GIO Stadium on Sunday, August 3 in Round 21 of the NRL. The match kicks off at 2.00pm (AEST).
What: NRL Round 3
Who: Cowboys v Warriors
When: Saturday, March 22 – 8.00PM (QLD Time)
Where: 1300SMILES Stadium
I Can Watch It On: Fox Sports
Things You Need To Know: Notoriously strong at home, the Cowboys will be coming into the match looking to bounce back from their disappointing Round 2 loss against neighbours Brisbane Broncos. The Warriors will be searching for some form following two big losses to start the season, both against slightly lacklustre line-ups of the Dragons and Eels. Cowboys’ enforcer Tariq Sims moves into the starting line-up, while Glenn Hall shifts back to the bench. The Warriors receive a massive boost in the return of rampaging winger Manu Vatuvei, while Sione Lousi joins the bench. Konrad Hurrell wears the number 18 jersey with Ben Henry (knee, round 10) and David Fusitua out of the side.
Reason To Watch: The Shaun Johnson factor. After a quiet start to the season, dynamic half-back Johnson is due to deliver one of his memorable standout performances for the Warriors this week. Johnsons attack leaves players, and spectators, speechless. His impact can be just what the Warriors need to overcome their losing ways. However, it really is going to have a standout performance, as the Cowboys at home are going to be one monstrous task to overcome
Reason To Turn Away: If you’re a NSW fan, the only thing you will take out of this game is seeing two rampaging, rival forward packs tearing shreds out of each other. Furthermore, there is also the fact that there will be some serious cross-town talent on display, with high-profile outsiders Johnathan Thurston, Shaun Johnson and Sam Tomkins all displaying their immense talent, that sadly, will never grace a New South Wales origin team.
Say What: “Shaun Johnson is a freak. He’s the reason why people come through the gates and if we are 5 or 10 per cent off our game, he will make sure we get beaten again.” – Cowboys halfback Johnathan Thurston as he prepares for his much anticipated duel with Shaun Johnson.
Final Word: Shaping up to be an absolute cracker of a match between two very exciting attacks, the X-Factors from each side are going to play a massive part in their team’s performance. Players like brutal forward Jason Taumalolo, who has been in remarkable form this season, and hard hitting back-rower Tariq Sims are going to have to do the dirty work in the middle for the Cowboys. Warrior’s marquee men Shaun Johnson and Sam Tomkins will need to link together, using their influence in attack to give their team a chance. Slightly favouring the Cowboys, with a home ground advantage and some steady on-field form they are looking just too tough for the Warriors, who will be playing their first game in North Queensland since Round 23, 2012.
What: NRL Round 4
Who: New Zealand Warriors v Wests Tigers
When: Saturday 29th of March – 3:00pm
Where: Westpac Stadium
I Can Watch It On: Fox Sports
Things You Need To Know:
Coming off a spectacular away win, the Warriors will be bubbling with confidence coming in to this match. The combination of Shaun Johnson and new partner Chad Townsend proved pivotal in their win last week. Thomas Leuluai comes on to the bench in place of Feleti Mateo, while damaging forward Sione Lousi moves into the starting line-up for the Warriors. Cory Paterson makes his turn to the NRL in place of the injured Liam Fulton. Tim Simona won't play but Chris Lawrence is back.
Reason To Watch:
Young dynamic playmaker Luke Brooks, and his partnership with fellow excitement machine James Tedesco will be one to keep an eye on in this contest. Brooks will be looking to show why he is one of the brightest prospects in the game, up against Shaun Johnson and Chad Townsend.
Reason To Turn Away:
Highly dependent on the weather, fixtures in New Zealand can be hopelessly sloppy, and with the two sides having attack as their strength this match could be one continuing arm-wrestle over possession. Keep an eye on the forecast and find out if this one will live up to its expectation of being one of the great attacking showpieces.
"It is like watching Langer and Walters together and some of the great combinations, they are on the same wavelength, they know what each other is going to do." Andrew Johns on the promising combination of Brooks and Tedesco, going on to say "I just hope they play their whole career out together."
With two extremely attacking line-ups going head to head, points on the board are almost a certainty. The Warriors at home are notorious for being difficult to beat, but they have proved to be very hot and cold this season, losing their first two matches by considerable margins and winning the one most expected them to lose. The Tigers showed last week they are no pushover, beating the Rabbitohs in a tough contest. This is an extremely tough match to pick, however the Warriors at home are hard to overlook. Warriors by 6.