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History On The Warriors' Side


History On The Warriors' Side

History On The Warriors' Side



When: Saturday August 5, 2017.

Where:  McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle.

Watch it: LIVE. SKY Sport 2 from 4.30pm.

If only the Warriors could wind the clock back to the last time they played the Knights.

It was round one this year, and the fans kicked off the season with high hopes. While not overly impressive on the day, Stephen Kearney’s men got up late to win 26-22. The 2017 campaign was off and running, but sadly only six more wins have followed.

After their latest defeat, Kearney could not have been any tougher with his words, stating “he’ll walk to the gate” any player who drops off in effort or becomes complacent with finals football seemingly out of reach.

And let’s face it, the clash with the Knights is one that on paper the Warriors should win. Historically their record is good having won 19 of 37 encounters. The round one victory extended the streak to four straight wins over the “wooden spooners” of the last two years.

But in the here and now, one unflattering statistic for the Warriors is their record away from Mount Smart this season. They have posted only one away win and that was against the Titans. When the post mortem is conducted at the end of the year, this is something that has to be addressed. They also face a Knights side coming off a rare victory having beaten the Dragons last week 21-14.

It has to be a fairly straight forward strategy for the Warriors. Limit the mistakes. Make a strong start that will hopefully take the crowd out of play. And most of all be prepared to play a bit of footy and test the Knights defence. After all, Newcastle has conceded the most points of any team this season at an average of 27 per game.

The Warriors have named 18-year-old Isaiah Papalii in their side to replace the injured Bodene Thompson, Meanwhile Mason Lino gets the nod at halfback again with Shaun Johnson sidelined.

The Warriors owe this one to their fans. I’m tipping them to sneak home in a close one. But I’m also anticipating plenty of points on a Saturday afternoon on SKY Sport.

The hot tip:

I reckon right side attack is going to be a big focus in this one, so how about you lock in this prediction. I’m tipping David Fusitu’a to snare a hat-trick for the Warriors, and Shaun Kenny-Dowall to come up with a double for the Knights.

Kiwi watch:

There are just five rounds to go of regular season competition on SKY Sport and Round 22 kicks off with the clash of the Bulldogs and the Eels. There is plenty of mail suggesting that former Kiwi international Chase Stanley will start at five eighth for the Bulldogs.

In Friday night football, it’s off to the Sydney Cricket Ground for a battle between the Dragons and the Rabbitohs.

However the late game on Friday is the big one with the Cowboys at home to the ladder leaders Melbourne.

The Warriors-Knights game will begin things on SKY Sport Super Saturday to be followed by the Broncos against the Titans. Brisbane have recalled Kodi Nikorima to first grade at half back, switching Ben Hunt to hooker to cover for the injured Andrew McCullough.

In the late game on Saturday, Kiwi try scoring machine Jordan Rapana returns from suspension when the Raiders face the Sharks.

And our double on Sunday will see the Sea Eagles tackle the Roosters. That’s Martin Taupau up front against Jared Waerea Hargreaves. Look out!

Meanwhile the round will be completed with the Panthers at home to the Tigers. This match pits former Warriors ballboy Nathan Cleary against his Dad Ivan who coaches the Tigers. What a story.

From the vault:

Round 22, 2010 was a big one for the Warriors as they thrashed Cronulla at home 37 points to 10. James Maloney bagged 17 points for the Ivan Cleary coached Warriors, while Bill Tupou crossed for a hat-trick.

My tips for round 22:

Eels, Dragons, Storm, Warriors, Broncos, Sharks, Roosters, Panthers..

Twitter: @AndrewVossy

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  • Publisher: SKYSport.co.nz
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