Last-placed Canterbury will be keen to build on their heart-breaking loss to Wests Tigers and hand over pole position in the wooden spoon race with a win over the New Zealand Warriors.
The Bulldogs have been much-improved in the past month, capitulating only to the Storm and beating the Knights, but the 12th placed Warriors are proving equally resilient and fought all the way before a round 14 loss to ladder-leading Penrith snapped a two-game winning streak.
Canterbury sit in last place on the ladder but a much better for-and-against gives them the opportunity to offload the ignominious "honour" of the wooden spoon to Brisbane if they can register just one more win than the hapless Broncos in the run home.
To do so this week will mean beating a Warriors side that has not only refused to capitulate to the challenges of its 2020 exile but has grown stronger despite the axing of coach Stephen Kearney.
Match: Bulldogs v Warriors
Round 15 -
Venue: Accor Stadium, Sydney
Bulldogs: Canterbury will start 1-17 after Renouf To'omaga and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak were the last two players dropped from the squad. Will Hopoate is set to return from injury at fullback with Nick Meaney shifting to wing and Marcelo Montoya out. Hooker Jeremy Marshall-King, prop Aiden Tolman and round 14 debutant Matt Doorey all move into the run-on side with Sione Katoa and Luke Thompson to the bench, Josh Jackson at lock and Dylan Napa suspended.
Jake Averillo returns on the interchange. Chris Smith and Lachlan Lewis were omitted from the reserves list 24 hours before kick-off. The Bulldogs have conceded 70 points in their past two games.
Warriors: Paul Turner will make his NRL debut at halfback in changes announced an hour before kick-off. The absence of Chanel Harris-Tavita (concussion) created the opening in the starting side. After Harris-Tavita and Tom Ale also dropped out of the extended squad on Saturday, Josh Curran and Gerard Beale were the two men left out an hour before kick-off.
Hayze Perham gets his first game since round four, pushing Adam Pompey to wing with Patrick Herbert out. Eliesa Katoa is suspended, with Isaiah Papali'i in the second row. The Warriors have lost six of their past seven games at ANZ Stadium.
Match: Bulldogs v Warriors
Round 15 -
Fullback for Bulldogs is number 1 Will HopoateFullback for Warriors is number 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
Winger for Bulldogs is number 2 Nick MeaneyWinger for Warriors is number 2 Adam Pompey
Centre for Bulldogs is number 3 Tim LafaiCentre for Warriors is number 3 Hayze Perham
Centre for Bulldogs is number 4 Kerrod HollandCentre for Warriors is number 4 Peta Hiku
Winger for Bulldogs is number 5 Reimis SmithWinger for Warriors is number 5 George Jennings
Five-Eighth for Bulldogs is number 6 Kieran ForanFive-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Kodi Nikorima
Halfback for Bulldogs is number 7 Jack CoggerHalfback for Warriors is number 18 Paul Turner
Prop for Bulldogs is number 8 Ofahiki OgdenProp for Warriors is number 8 Jamayne Taunoa-Brown
Hooker for Bulldogs is number 9 Jeremy Marshall-KingHooker for Warriors is number 9 Karl Lawton
Prop for Bulldogs is number 10 Aiden TolmanProp for Warriors is number 10 Lachlan Burr
2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 11 Matt Doorey2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Isaiah Papali'i
2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 12 Raymond Faitala-Mariner2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Tohu Harris
Lock for Bulldogs is number 13 Josh JacksonLock for Warriors is number 13 Jazz Tevaga
Interchange for Bulldogs is number 14 Sione KatoaInterchange for Warriors is number 14 Wayde Egan
Interchange for Bulldogs is number 15 Luke ThompsonInterchange for Warriors is number 15 Adam Blair
Interchange for Bulldogs is number 16 Sauaso SueInterchange for Warriors is number 16 Daniel Alvaro
Interchange for Bulldogs is number 17 Jake AverilloInterchange for Warriors is number 17 Jack Murchie
- Referee: Peter Gough
- Touch Judge: Gavin Badger
- Touch Judge: Henry Perenara
- Senior Review Official: Ashley Klein
Jazz Tevaga v Luke Thompson: The industrious Kiwi forward, who returned from injury to play his first game of 2020 at the same time as the Englishman made his much-ballyhooed NRL debut, has produced so much more than the Great Britain star.
Tevaga was eased back via the bench in his first two outings but has outperformed Thompson in a slew of major categories: tackle busts (10-2), offloads (13-2), average run metres (115-96), runs per game (11.7-10.7), post-contact metres (268-225.6) and tackles (235-221) - all while playing nine minutes fewer per game (44.6 to 53.5). The Bulldogs recruit just has to be better.
Skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck shoulders a mighty load for his team when they are in possession. The fullback ranks No.1 for total runs (293), fourth for run meters (2741) and seventh for post-contact metres (923) despite the Warriors sitting 13th (2544), 11th (23,147) and eighth (8053) in the team categories.