RTS excited to face former pupil CNK

Warriors skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck knows the countless hours he has spent mentoring Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad could come back to bite his side on Friday night against Canberra.

During his two seasons with the Warriors, Nicoll-Klokstad took daily lessons from arguably the best custodian in the Telstra Premiership.

Since linking with the Raiders at the start of the year, Nicoll-Klokstad has used that knowledge on his way to becoming one of the competition's most dangerous fullbacks.  

CNK and RTS have been neck-and-neck at the top end of the Telstra Premiership's yardage metrics all year. Despite playing one less game than Nicoll-Klokstad, Tuivasa-Sheck holds the edge in total runs and run metres.

Nicoll-Klokstad sits third in both those categories but leads the competition when it comes to kick return metres. 

Tuivasa-Sheck said he was looking forward to continuing his rivalry with Nicoll-Klokstad, which started on the training paddock and gym floor at Mount Smart Stadium back in 2017.

"He was always challenging himself against us, and me and him used to have some good battles on the field and in the gym," Tuivasa-Sheck said.

"I've been following Charnze's journey ... I'm looking forward to going up against him.

"He was that type of guy [to always be asking me for tips and advice], even asking the other guys like Kenny [Maumalo] and Fus [David Fusitu'a].

"That's one thing I like about him, he's always looking to learn and improve his game.

"I have always spoken highly of Charnze. When he was here everyone would back me up when I say he was a real hard trainer and a good person.

"Only good things come to people like that."

Friday night's clash will feature the competition's three best metre-eaters on the same field for the first time this year, with Warriors winger Ken Maumalo sitting between Tuivasa-Sheck and Nicoll Klokstad when it comes to both total runs and run metres.

Between them the trio have carried the ball for over 10km in 2019.

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney said while Nicoll-Klokstad will be an obvious focus, the Raiders will provide also threats in several other areas.

"They are a wonderfully balanced footy team, they get out of the backfield really well ... and have got a very, very clever dummy-half who puts them in the right positions at the right times," Kearney said.

"And that's what brings Charnze's energy and brings him into the game.

"I think it's got to be a collective commitment on Friday to minimise the impact that Charnze will have on the game."

Warriors utility player Karl Lawton.
Warriors utility player Karl Lawton. ©NRL Photos

Kearney all but confirmed Karl Lawton would be the man to replace the suspended Issac Luke as the Warriors' starting hooker against the in-form Raiders.

"Karl comes into the frame now and we will get on with it," Kearney said.

"I've got no dramas in Karl going into that position.

"We had a young fella who filled in at that spot the last few weeks in Chanel [Harris-Tavita] who did a pretty good job [too]."

Heading into round 20 the Raiders have conceded the second-fewest points in the NRL and have won six of their last seven games to sit fourth on the ladder.