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Warriors In The Doghouse!


Warriors In The Doghouse!

Warriors In The Doghouse!



Warriors v Canterbury Bulldogs

When: Friday March 17, 2017.

Where:  Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin.

Watch it: LIVE. SKY Sport 2 from 7.30pm.

Is it any surprise that rival teams are happy to bring ‘home’ matches against the Warriors to New Zealand venues other than Mount Smart Stadium?

And of all the sides to do it, Canterbury have enjoyed the most success over the years. Ironically though, in 2016 the Warriors managed to topple the Bulldogs in Wellington 24-20.

Over the last three seasons the Warriors have suffered defeats at Eden Park, Hamilton, Wellington, New Plymouth and in Christchurch. So the task on Friday night is not to add Dunedin to the list.

Overall in the head to head record from 34 meetings, the Bulldogs have won 19, the Warriors 13 and there have been two draws.

To be perfectly honest, I reckon the game is an even money bet. Coach Stephen Kearney (pictured at training this week) was spot on in his assessment last week that the loss to Melbourne showed exactly how much work his side have to do to be considered alongside the heavyweights.

The Bulldogs can not boast the form of the Storm though, and will cross the Tasman under pressure after back to back losses to start 2017, following on from four straight defeats to finish last season. Add a few injuries from their most recent loss to the Roosters, and they can best be described as vulnerable.

The Warriors must start well and not find themselves chasing points as they were against Melbourne. Canterbury has a big physical pack that includes Sam Kasiano and Greg Eastwood. They might come to Dunedin looking to grind out a win rather than blitz the opposition.

If Shaun Johnson and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck can get the Warriors attack to click, perhaps they’ll have too many points in them for Canterbury. However that’s just a maybe at the moment.

This will be a good clash, at a great venue, and one not to be missed. I’ll be calling this for SKY Sport. Can’t wait!

The hot tip:

How does this sound?

Simon Mannering to nab a try in his club record equaling 261st game, and big Manu Vatuvei to also find his way onto the scorers’ sheet in his return to first grade.

Mightn’t be a bad touch if former Warrior Brad Abbey scores on his debut for the Bulldogs as well.

Kiwi watch:

What a start we have to the round on SKY Sport on Thursday night with Melbourne at home to Brisbane.

There’s a number of Kiwis in both forward packs with the likes of Kenny Bromwich and Adam Blair among them. I think this one will go right to the wire, so get set for a late night!

The impressive Parramatta will play in the late game on Friday night against a Titans side that has been rocked by injury, including the loss of Jarryd Hayne.

The pick of the games on Saturday will see Dean Whare, Te Maire Martin and the Panthers tackle the Sydney Roosters led up front by Jared Waerea-Hargreaves. Based on last week, the game is almost match of the round status.

Meantime on Sunday there is plenty to like about both games with Canberra under pressure at home to the Tigers, and the Sharks hosting the Dragons.

In the Raiders game I have a feeling New Zealand test winger Jordan Rapana might return to his tryscoring best. It was in the corresponding game last year that he crossed four times! 

From the vault:

It was in round three, 1995 that the Warriors recorded their first ever victory.

The venue was Mount Smart Stadium, or Ericsson Stadium as it was known, and the win was emphatic.

The John Monie coached side hammered Western Suburbs 46 to 12 with fullback Phil Blake crossing for four tries.

My tips for round 3:

I’m still struggling folks. How about we go with Storm, Warriors, Eels, Rabbitohs, Panthers, Cowboys, Raiders and Sharks.

Twitter: @AndrewVossy

Photo: @Photosport

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