One New Zealand Warriors head coach Andrew Webster has made a late swap in the front row for tonight’s 21st-round NRL clash against the Canberra Raiders at Go Media Stadium Mt Smart (8.00pm kick-off).
Mitchell Barnett has been moved off the interchange to start at prop with Bunty Afoa going to the bench.
The confirmed interchange is Afoa, Dylan Walker, Bayley Sironen and Josh Curran.
Afoa returns to the side after missing last week’s clash against the Sharks following a head knock while second rower Marata Niukore is back from a three-match suspension.
Jackson Ford, having a breakout season, starts for the 17th time this year in what will be the 50th match of his NRL career.
He arrived at the club with 33 games for St George Illawarra Dragons spread over four seasons including just five last year. After being used predominantly as an interchange player by the Dragons, Jackson has been a starting second rower every game he has played this year averaging 105 metres and 35 tackles a game with three tries, six line breaks and 38 line breaks and also playing 80 minutes 11 times.
Match: Warriors v Raiders
Round 21 -
Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Charnze Nicoll-KlokstadFullback for Raiders is number 1 Sebastian Kris
Winger for Warriors is number 2 Dallin Watene-ZelezniakWinger for Raiders is number 2 Albert Hopoate
Centre for Warriors is number 3 Rocco BerryCentre for Raiders is number 3 Jarrod Croker
Centre for Warriors is number 4 Adam PompeyCentre for Raiders is number 4 Matthew Timoko
Winger for Warriors is number 5 Marcelo MontoyaWinger for Raiders is number 5 Jordan Rapana
Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Luke MetcalfFive-Eighth for Raiders is number 6 Jack Wighton
Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Shaun JohnsonHalfback for Raiders is number 7 Jamal Fogarty
Prop for Warriors is number 8 Addin Fonua-BlakeProp for Raiders is number 8 Josh Papali'i
Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde EganHooker for Raiders is number 9 Zac Woolford
Prop for Warriors is number 15 Mitchell BarnettProp for Raiders is number 10 Joseph Tapine
2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Jackson Ford2nd Row for Raiders is number 11 Hudson Young
2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Marata Niukore2nd Row for Raiders is number 12 Elliott Whitehead
Lock for Warriors is number 13 Tohu HarrisLock for Raiders is number 13 Corey Horsburgh
Interchange for Warriors is number 10 Bunty AfoaInterchange for Raiders is number 14 Tom Starling
Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Dylan WalkerInterchange for Raiders is number 15 Emre Guler
Interchange for Warriors is number 18 Bayley SironenInterchange for Raiders is number 16 Pasami Saulo
Interchange for Warriors is number 20 Josh CurranInterchange for Raiders is number 17 Ata Mariota
Replacement for Warriors is number 17 Freddy LussickReplacement for Raiders is number 18 Matt Frawley
- Referee: Todd Smith
- Touch Judge: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
- Touch Judge: Drew Oultram
- Senior Review Official: Matt Noyen
While head coach Andrew Webster has again made changes to the pack, he has an unchanged backline for the fifth match on end.
Winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak collected another double ln Sunday’s 44-12 trouncing of Cronulla Sutherland to leave him fifth on the competition’s try-scoring list with 15 in 12 games, 13 of them in his last eight appearances.
With 40-plus points scored in their last three wins over St George Illawarra (48-18), Parramatta (46-10) and Cronulla Sutherland (44-12), the One New Zealand Warriors have boosted their points for and against differential to plus 110.
Their 11-7 record has them in fifth spot on 26 points two behind the fourth-placed Raiders who had their third and final bye last weekend.
The Canberra encounter will be the first of three Friday night fixtures to finish the One New Zealand Warriors’ regular season home campaign with Manly Warringah to follow in round 25 (the Daniel Anderson Round) on August 18 and St George Illawarra in round 26 on August 25.