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NRL: Warriors and Raiders ready for battle

It’s fourth against fifth in the NRL standings on Friday, as the Canberra Raiders make the trip across the Tasman to face the New Zealand Warriors in Auckland.

Two clubs considered as outsiders for Grand Final glory, the Warriors are 13.00 to lift the trophy, with the Raiders at 26.00.  

Being so close in the ladder, it makes Friday’s clash on the North Island even more interesting between two sides that will be looking to spring a surprise against the more-fancied Penrith Panthers and Brisbane Broncos this season.

WhatNew Zealand Warriors v Canberra Raiders
WhereGo Media Stadium, Auckland 
When18:00 (AEST), Friday 21th July 2023
How to watchKayo, Foxtel
OddsNew Zealand Warriors 1.40, Canberra Raiders 3.00

Quick turnaround for Warriors

It will be a big ask of the Warriors to go again on Friday evening, having only recently played against Cronulla Shakrs on 16th July. 

New Zealand did impress in that encounter, as they secured a 44-12 victory over the Sharks in Auckland to strengthen their hopes of a top-eight finish this season.

The Warriors will be eager to back up their win over the Raiders early this season, as they spoiled the party in what was Jarrod Croker’s 300th NRL game to win 36-14 last month.

As for team news, Marata Niukore has returned from suspension to be selected, while Bunty Afoa missed Round 20 with concussion but is available once again.

Mitch Barnett and Tom Ale have been selected on the bench, with the pair of Josh Curran and Bayley Sironen making way.

The Warriors are favourites going into this contest at 1.40 to land another win over the Raiders.

Keep an eye out for winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak who has scored 13 tires in the last eight games for the Warriors and is 1.52 to score Anytime on Friday and 6.00 to score the opener. 

Raiders on the rise

Winning all of their last three NRL outings, Canberra are a side on the rise as they prepare to make the trip to Auckland this week.

With a favourable run in for the remainder of the regular season, coach Ricky Stuart will be hoping to build up some winning momentum before the potential knockout games to come.

Josh Papali'i (hamstring), Corey Horsburgh (Origin) and Pasami Saulo (concussion) have all returned from their respective injuries to face the Warriors this week.

Revenge might well be a motivator for Stuart and his side after Croker’s landmark appearance was spoiled last month.

Despite the Warriors short turnaround, the Raiders are still the underdogs going into this encounter and are available at 3.00 to claim the victory at the Go Media Stadium for this clash near the top of the table.

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