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NRL: Raiders must do it for Croker

Just two points separate Canberra Raiders and New Zealand Warriors and we could be in for a thriller when the two sides clash in the capital on Friday night.

The Raiders and Warriors are exceeding expectations in 2023 and if they carry on in the same fashion then finals footy will be on the agenda at the end of the campaign. 

But there is still a long way to go and the NRL ladder remains tighter than ever. The Raiders are just two points off top spot, while they are just three ahead of Newcastle Knights in 11th. 

It is making for one of the most exciting seasons in the NRL and the game between the in-form Raiders and Warriors should be no different. 

Just to add to the occasion, Raiders centre Jarrod Croker is set to make his 300th NRL appearance.

WhatCanberra Raiders v New Zealand Warriors
WhereGIO Stadium, Canberra
When18:00 (AEST) Friday 9th June, 2023
How to watchKayo, Foxtel
OddsCanberra Raiders 1.54, New Zealand Warriors 2.50

Huge night for Croker

The Raiders are arguably the hottest side in the NRL at the moment after losing just one game in the last eight to jump to sixth on the ladder. 

That loss came in round 12 when they were mauled on home soil against the Sea Eagles, who left Canberra with a 42-14 win. 

The defeat was uncharacteristic based on recent form and the green machine responded well with wins over South Sydney Rabbitohs and Wests Tigers

Both wins were on the road and they will be keen to keep the run going back at GIO Stadium. Friday night is also a night to celebrate the career of Croker, who will make his 300th NRL appearance. 

Croker was rested against the Tigers last week to set up a big night in front of his home fans and the Raiders will be even more determined to put on a show. 

The centre would love to mark the occasion with a try and he can be backed at 2.60 to score at anytime during the game. 

Warriors on a high 

The Warriors will head into the game full of confidence after they smashed the Dolphins 30-8 at the weekend, while they have won two out of the last three games. 

Now they will have to repeat the performance while on the road, but have shown they are capable of doing just that. 

The Warriors have already beaten the Bulldogs, Sharks and Cowboys away from home this season, so a trip to Canberra should hold no fear. 

Indeed they should relish it as they have flourished at GIO Stadium in recent meetings. The Warriors have won three of the last four games at the venue. 

There is not much between the two teams however, and in the last four meetings, they have both won two each. 

New Zealand Warriors will be forced into one change from the side that beat the Dolphins, with Rocco Berry set to miss out with a concussion. 

The Warriors will take heart from the fact that despite their fine form, the Raiders do concede heaps of tries and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak will be out to capitalise. The winger is on fire this season and is priced at 8.50 to score the first try of the night. 

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