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NRL: Warriors keen to cement top six

New Zealand Warriors will be out to cement their place in the top eight when they take on the struggling Dragons on Friday night.

There are seven games to look forward to in week 17 of the NRL and the Dragons and Warriors will get the action underway in the opening clash. 

The Warriors have exceeded expectations so far this season and look well set to play finals, although there is still a long way to go and the ladder is tight. 

As for the Dragons, they are well down the ladder with just four wins this season and all the speculation surrounding the future of Ben Hunt is not helping matters either. 

The Warriors will fancy their chances of taking the two points, but the Dragons should be fighting for their lives in front of their home fans.

WhatSt George/Illawarra Dragons v New Zealand Warriors 
WhereWIN Stadium, Sydney
When20:00 (AEST) Friday 23rd June, 2023
How to watchChannel 9, Kayo, Foxtel
OddsSt George/Illawarra Dragons 2.45, New Zealand Warriors 1.46

Hunt news rocks Dragons

It has been a tough season for the Dragons, who have just four wins to their name, while captain Ben Hunt is said to want out of the club.

The playmaker has requested an immediate release from his contract, with the Gold Coast Titans said to be keen, but for now he remains a part of the Red V set-up.

How it will effect the rest of the group ahead of the Warriors game, remains to be seen, but all the external noise is the last thing the Dragons need.

Much also depends on how Hunt pulls up from Wednesday night’s State of Origin clash between Queensland and New South Wales.

Despite their struggles on and off the pitch, the Dragons can take plenty of heart from some big performances in recent weeks.

The most recent being the six-point win over the South Sydney Rabbitohs in their last game, while they also edged out the Roosters on home soil.

The Dragons had a bye in the last round so should return refreshed and ready to go again.

All four of the Dragons wins this season have come at home and they can be backed at 7.00 to win by 1-5 points on Friday night.

Warriors on a roll

The Warriors continue to go well this season and before the bye last weekend, had won three of their last four games.

Their only defeat in that spell was against the high-flying Broncos and there was only four points in the game. So confidence should remain high in the camp.

The Warriors have won eight games this season, two more than the whole of the last campaign, and will take plenty of heart from an away win against Canberra Raiders last-start.

They won by a comfortable 18 points and now need to build on that against the Dragons as the race to make the eight will be tight.

Andrew Webster’s side have stars all over the pitch, but it is the form of playmaker Shaun Johnson that has got them competing with the best.

Also the tries of Dallin Watene-Zelezniak are proving to be crucial after he scored eight in his last eight games and the winger is sure to be a huge threat once again.

The Warriors are also boosted by the return of Dylan Walker from a toe injury.

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