After beating title contenders Manly last week to remain in the finals hunt, the Warriors' challenge only gets harder with the Roosters lying in wait.
Realistically needing to win every match to sneak into the top eight, Stephen Kearney's men run into a Roosters side coming off a 22-18 win against Canberra.
The Roosters have treated bottom eight teams with disdain recently, smashing Newcastle, Canterbury-Bankstown and Gold Coast by a combined total of 98 points in the past month.
While the Warriors showed the starch that's been missing in their 24-16 win over the Sea Eagles, their sometimes-flimsy defence is sure to be tested by the lethal Tricolours outfit.
Match: Roosters v Warriors
Round 22 -
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
Roosters: Boyd Cordner's return has been delayed for at least another week after he was cut from the reserves on Saturday. Isaac Liu was named as the starting prop on Tuesday, but he switched with Zane Tetevano before last week's clash with the Raiders and Trent Robinson might go with the same ploy on Sunday. The other player to drop out on Saturday was Billy Smith. Lindsay Collins and Lachlan Lam were omitted an hour before kick-off.
Warriors: Kodi Nikorima was elevated to the bench after missing last week with an ankle injury. Wearing the No.18 jersey, Nikorima has displaced No.14 Adam Keighran. Backs utility Blake Ayshford was the other player cut one-hour before kick-off. Hayze Perham and Leivaha Pulu were trimmed from the reserves on Saturday.
Fullback for Roosters is number 1 James TedescoFullback for Warriors is number 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
Winger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel TupouWinger for Warriors is number 2 Adam Pompey
Centre for Roosters is number 3 Latrell MitchellCentre for Warriors is number 3 Peta Hiku
Centre for Roosters is number 4 Joseph ManuCentre for Warriors is number 4 Gerard Beale
Winger for Roosters is number 5 Brett MorrisWinger for Warriors is number 5 Ken Maumalo
Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Luke KearyFive-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Chanel Harris-Tavita
Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Cooper CronkHalfback for Warriors is number 7 Blake Green
Prop for Roosters is number 8 Jared Waerea-HargreavesProp for Warriors is number 8 Agnatius Paasi
Hooker for Roosters is number 9 Sam VerrillsHooker for Warriors is number 9 Jazz Tevaga
Prop for Roosters is number 10 Isaac LiuProp for Warriors is number 10 Leeson Ah Mau
2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Angus Crichton2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Adam Blair
2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Mitchell Aubusson2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Isaiah Papali'i
Lock for Roosters is number 13 Victor RadleyLock for Warriors is number 13 Lachlan Burr
Interchange for Roosters is number 14 Nat ButcherInterchange for Warriors is number 15 Sam Lisone
Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Zane TetevanoInterchange for Warriors is number 16 Bunty Afoa
Interchange for Roosters is number 16 Poasa FaamausiliInterchange for Warriors is number 17 Ligi Sao
Interchange for Roosters is number 17 Sitili TupouniuaInterchange for Warriors is number 18 Kodi Nikorima
James Tedesco has been widely tagged the world's best fullback, but Roger Tuivasa-Sheck might have something to say about that. Two elite custodians who eat metres for fun, there is no one more influential on either side.
For the Roosters to win
Score a few early tries to douse the Warriors' spirits and they should control the match. The New Zealand club's performance rises and falls based on their confidence, so it's integral for the Roosters not to give them a sniff.
For the Warriors to win
Find a way to frustrate the Roosters and the opportunities will open. North Queensland showed the blueprint in round 17 - scrapping hard, forcing errors and eventually downing the Tricolours despite scoring just two tries.
Brett Kimmorley says
For the Warriors, it is their season on the line. Last week they played to a level where you go, ‘’Wow, they’re good and they can make the eight”. But the key for them is consistency. It will be interesting to see if they get carried away with themselves after last week. The Roosters will challenge you in the middle and run and play at a high pace. They need to get some consistent game time into Jared Waerea-Hargreaves heading into the finals. Roosters by 8
The Warriors clearly loathe surrendering in tackles, sitting second in the NRL for post-contact run metres with 9641. The Roosters don't feature in the top five.
And another thing ...
If last year's form is anything to go by, we should expect a landslide result. The Warriors smacked the Roosters 30-6 in their first meeting of 2018 before the Chooks responded with a 32-0 drubbing later in the season.