Round 26 NRL Preview: Vodafone Warriors v Raiders
Thursday 30 August 2012 12:00 PM
ROUND 26 GAME PREVIEW
VODAFONE WARRIORS v CANBERRA RAIDERS
Round 26, 2012 NRL Premiership
Sunday, September 2, 2012
NRL Kick-Off 4:00pm, NYC Kick-Off 1:45pm
Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland
Referees: Jason Robinson/Adam Devcich
Coming In To Round 26
Vodafone Warriors are 0-4 in their last four games, and are coming off a 38-6 loss to the Dragons in Round 25.
They have averaged 9.5 ppg since Round 22, and have conceded 38.3 ppg in that period.
They sit 14th on the competition ladder, 6 points out of the Top 8.
Canberra Raiders are 4-0 in their last four games, and are coming off a 34-6 win over the Bulldogs in Round 25.
They have averaged 26.5 ppg since Round 22, and have conceded 12.0 ppg in that period.
They sit 7th on the competition ladder, 6 points out of the Top 4.
Last Time They Met
Round 6, 2012 - Watch game highlights of their clash in Canberra this season.
Last 10 Games - Vodafone Warriors 4, Raiders 6.
Canberra won convincingly 32-12 in Round 6, but the teams have split the last six games dating back to 2008.
Team Changes and Late Mail
Find all the Vodafone Warriors Team and Injury News from Tuesday and full Round 26 Lineup here.
C Tuimavave, B Tupou, B Henry, K Hurrell, M Vatuvei, F Mateo, P Godinet, J Lillyman, A Mara, B Matulino, E Taylor, S Mannering ©, M Luck.
Bench: R Packer, Sione Lousi, U Ta’ai, L Brown, J Maloney, Sam Lousi, S Ikahihifo.
J Dugan, S Earl, J Croker, B Ferguson, R Robinson, J McCrone, S Williams, D Shillington ©, G Buttriss, D Tilse, J Papalii, J Thompson, S Fensom.
Bench: S Berrigan, J Picker, M Nicholls, T Learoyd-Lahrs, J Kennedy.
The Vodafone Warriors will farewell Micheal Luck this week, with the 225 game veteran deciding to retire after Sunday’s game against the Canberra Raiders.
The former captain will join a number of team-mates in saying goodbye to the faithful at Mt Smart Stadium, and the added bonus for the Vodafone Warriors is if they send the departing boys out winners - they could derail Canberra’s playoff campaign.
Current captain Simon Mannering is back for the home team and with Ben Matulino, Jacob Lillyman, Russell Packer, Ukuma Ta’ai and the Lousi brothers on the team-sheet - the Vodafone Warriors are not short on size.
That’s important because Canberra’s front row of David Shillington and Dane Tilse have been enormous in recent weeks and the Raiders have been winning the ruck first and then played some footy off the back of that during their current four game win streak.
A new halves combination of Pita Godinet and Feleti Mateo get a crack at the Raiders, while Konrad Hurrell has been reinstated into the starting backline for a matchup with Jarrod Croker on the right.
Canberra need to win to secure their Top 8 spot, while the Vodafone Warriors could still finish as high as 13th with a victory of their own.
So get down to Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday to say goodbye to Luck, James Maloney, Omar Slaimankhel, Lewis Brown, Ivan Penehe and Ta’ai in the final game of 2012.
How do you see the Vodafone Warriors v Raiders playing out this Sunday? Will you be there? Let us know in the comments below.