Shaun Johnson can bring his test form to the Warriors. Source: Wayne Drought/AAP
New Zealand Warriors v Canberra Raiders
Saturday May 10 – 3:05 PM (AEST)
Both teams are coming off big games in the last round, but for very different reasons. The New Zealand Warriors are heading into Saturday's clash off a massive upset over the Melbourne Storm on Anzac Day. On the other hand, the Canberra Raiders were crushed by the Manly Sea Eagles, one week after they themselves shocked Storm.
A couple of months into the 2014 season and the Raiders just can't find any consistency. Coach Ricky Stuart is struggling to come up with the right balance at the moment. Jack Wighton is slowly warming to the five-eighth position, but will only be successful there if “Sticky” sticks with him. Wighton showed his versatility on Sunday, starring in the centres for Country. Alongside him, Paul Vaughan and Josh McCrone were also solid performers for the boys from the bush. Vaughan and Dane Tilse start this weekend, with Josh Papalii and David Shillington coming off the bench. Joining them on the pine is youngster Kyle O’Donnell, who replaces the injured Shannon Boyd (sternum).
After the huge win in Melbourne a fortnight ago, the Warriors want to build some momentum. With Shaun Johnson staring for the Kiwis on Friday night, the Warriors hope he brings some of that form back home. Simon Mannering and Ben Henry (New Zealand) are in the starting side after coming out of Friday night’s game unscathed. Ngani Laumape shifts to the wing to replace the injured David Fusitu’a (shoulder), with Konrad Hurrell back in the centres. Chad Townsend has again been named in the halves, with Thomas Leuluai struggling to overcome a groin injury. Speedster Kevin Locke is on an extended bench and a chance to play his first game of the season.
Both teams are having a mixed season at best. Whoever can produce some consistency, wins this one.
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