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Taking aim at fourth straight win against Bulldogs

Go back a month and Vodafone Warriors fans were probably licking their lips at the thought of facing a struggling Bulldogs side at home in Auckland.

But tomorrow night they will find themselves playing a revitalised Dogs team who pushed the second-placed Cowboys all the way in round 21.

After leading with half an hour to go, the Bulldogs fell just short of footing it with North Queensland but they will have taken plenty of confidence from the performance and still have two wins from their last three matches, with their key players in good form.

The Vodafone Warriors on the other hand were never in the contest against the Rabbitohs in an eventual 48-10 defeat, with a number of worrying defensive lapses which saw South Sydney at times stroll through for tries both in the middle of the park and on the edges.

Neither side will be playing finals football this year, but the Vodafone Warriors will be desperate to perform well in their third game at Mount Smart Stadium this year, while Canterbury-Bankstown will want to continue their late-season resurgence with another victory.  

The Rundown

Team news

Vodafone Warriors: Another change at five-eighth with Daejarn Asi back in the halves and Wayde Egan moving from No.6 back to his usual position of hooker. Freddy Lussick goes back to the bench and Taniela Otukolo drops to the reserves. Viliami Vailea is back in  the centres for his first NRL game since breaking his jaw in round 12, so Euan Aitken goes back to the pack in place of Bayley Sironen. Josh Curran is the new lock, replacing Aaron Pene who is out with a leg injury.

Bulldogs: Tevita Pangai Jnr has remained in Australia for family reasons and was unavailable for selection so Raymond Faitala-Mariner will start at lock as he did last week. Rookie Harrison Edwards joins the interchange after serving as the Bulldogs' replacement player in round 21.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Reece Walsh
    Fullback for Bulldogs is number 1 Jake Averillo
  • Winger for Warriors is number 2 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
    Winger for Bulldogs is number 2 Jacob Kiraz
  • Centre for Warriors is number 3 Viliami Vailea
    Centre for Bulldogs is number 3 Aaron Schoupp
  • Centre for Warriors is number 4 Marcelo Montoya
    Centre for Bulldogs is number 4 Braidon Burns
  • Winger for Warriors is number 5 Edward Kosi
    Winger for Bulldogs is number 5 Josh Addo-Carr
  • Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Daejarn Asi
    Five-Eighth for Bulldogs is number 6 Matt Burton
  • Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Shaun Johnson
    Halfback for Bulldogs is number 7 Kyle Flanagan

Forwards

  • Prop for Warriors is number 8 Addin Fonua-Blake
    Prop for Bulldogs is number 8 Max King
  • Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde Egan
    Hooker for Bulldogs is number 9 Jeremy Marshall-King
  • Prop for Warriors is number 10 Tohu Harris
    Prop for Bulldogs is number 10 Paul Vaughan
  • 2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Euan Aitken
    2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 11 Josh Jackson
  • 2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Jack Murchie
    2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 16 Harrison Edwards
  • Lock for Warriors is number 15 Bunty Afoa
    Lock for Bulldogs is number 13 Raymond Faitala-Mariner

Interchange

  • Interchange for Warriors is number 13 Josh Curran
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 12 Jackson Topine
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Freddy Lussick
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 14 Zach Dockar-Clay
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 16 Eliesa Katoa
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 15 Joe Stimson
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 22 Tom Ale
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 17 Chris Patolo

Reserves

  • Replacement for Warriors is number 17 Jackson Frei
    Replacement for Bulldogs is number 20 Kurtis Morrin

Match Officials

  • Referee: Chris Butler
  • Touch Judge: Drew Oultram
  • Senior Review Official: Ashley Klein

Last updated:

Key match-up

Tohu Harris v Josh Jackson: The forward leaders for their respective teams. Both topped the tackle count in their game last week, with Harris also averaging 10 metres each time he carried the ball against South Sydney. Jackson has been somewhat of an unsung hero in the Bulldogs’ improving attack, last week handling the ball more than anyone outside of his side's halves and hooker.

Stat Attack

The Bulldogs thrive off the second-phase play generated by the likes of Matt Burton and co always sniffing around for an offload, which the Bulldogs produce more of than any team bar the Eels and Raiders this year, at an average of 11.3 per game. The Vodafone Warriors on the other hand have the lowest offload count in the competition at an average of 6.4 per game, despite having players like fullback Reece Walsh who are dangerous when plays can be extended.

Acknowledgement of Country

The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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