The Canterbury Bulldogs are at their home away from home when they take on the New Zealand Warriors with both clubs in desperate need of making a statement and taking two points in Dunedin. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 6pm (AEDT).
The Bulldogs have decided to shift this home game to Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin and if nothing else, that makes the Warriors the home side which really should prove to be a disadvantage against Canterbury.
Canterbury have started their season with back-to-back losses, albeit against a pair of premiership contenders in the Melbourne Storm and Sydney Roosters.
In Round 1 at Belmore, with rain pelting down they couldn’t answer back to two early tries despite having the lion’s share of the ball in the second half. They squandered opportunities left, right and centre against the premiership contenders and paid for coming out of the gates with very little energy.
They started a lot stronger against the Roosters, but battling with injuries they were slowly overworked and couldn’t come back in the dying stages, going down by four points for the second week in a row.
The Bulldogs will be without Kerrod Holland and Will Hopoate for this clash, with Marcelo Montoya and Brad Abbey to fill the wing and fullback spot respectively.
If the ‘hosts’ are to pick up the win, it must come from their halves, Moses Mbye and Josh Reynolds, who have been a little off in the first couple of weeks.
The Warriors have been well below their best to kick-off the season as well, struggling to put one over the Newcastle Knights and then looking lost against the Storm at home last week.
Even though they beat the Knights, it was far from convincing and proved to everyone they still have a lot of work to do.
That point was rammed home last week as the Storm put 26 points on them. A running comedy of errors, bad options and poor defence marred the Warriors game and they looked like a team who are destined to miss the top eight.
Improvement is needed at a rapid rate and it’s going to start in the forwards. They were dominated up the middle last week and unless they can fix it, the Bulldogs monster pack will run over them.
However, if their forwards play to somewhere near the potential then it will pave the way for Shaun Johnson and Ata Hingano to steer them to victory. The Warriors have also made a change for the match with Tuimoala Lolohea replaced on the wing by Manu Vatuvei.
The Bulldogs have lost too much depth in their backline to score enough points with an attack that wasn’t looking good anyway. The Warriors could run up a number here if they focus for the full 80 minutes.
Warriors by 16.
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