New Zealand Warriors vs Sydney Roosters
Date: Sunday, 30th April 2017
Venue: Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland
Kickoff: 06:00 cet
The Roosters had a dream ANZAC Day clash with archrivals St George Illawarra when Mitchell Pearce slotted the winning field goal in the 3rd minute of Golden Point, to send his team to 3rd on the ladder with a shiny 6-2 record. Kane Evans is the unlucky bench player to miss out on a 17-man role as Aubusson is fit again after illness, and Taukeiaho on the bench. While Napa, replaces Liu in the starting side, that is still void of Latrell Mitchell who could yet miss a 3rd game.
Manu Vatuvei is a chance of making his return for the Warriors, which would rob youngster Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad of a debut on the wing, as coach Kearney is forced to reshuffle his outside backs due to Kata’s injury. Albert Vete is also a chance of returning from injury, in what would almost certainly be a bench impact role. The Warriors were gallant in defeat against a clinical Storm outfit in their own ANZAC day clash, but are now precariously positioned in 11th on 3-5, with wins needed before it is too late.
Unsettled, stormy weather threatens to make this clash a battle of attrition, which would be a fair spectacle in its own right, with both teams having plenty of exciting forwards and big backs that can play the old fashioned way. The most intriguing matchup is arguably the two form halves of the NRL right now, in Mitchell Pearce and Shaun Johnson, while Foran and Keary, and Friend and Luke are intriguing matchups also.
New Zealand Warriors vs Sydney Roosters: Head to Head Stats
The Warriors hold a 19-15 advantage in the overall matchups, since 1998, with Roosters’ success coming at Mt Smart Stadium, very limited as they have only 6 wins from 16 visits across the ditch. Indeed, the Warriors won both fixtures last year against the Roosters, though 2016 was a down year for the proud Bondi based club, and prior to that the Roosters had 3 straight wins against them.
The Warriors need to find better form and if they play like they did against the Storm there is nothing to say they can’t do that, though this is a big ask for them, despite 3-6 being an ugly record. The Roosters only had one lapse this season when they lost a pair of matches, before finding their mojo again, and will conceivably be on a high after the heroics of last Tuesday’s mighty win.
New Zealand Warriors vs Sydney Roosters: Prediction
Due mainly to their lack of success at this venue, the Roosters are only slight favourites for this match, and the Warriors will fancy their chances of making the Roosters record that little bit worse. Clearly, a fully fit Vatuvei would be advantageous for the Warriors, rather than having to blood a youngster in this magnitude of a game. Roosters, fans and players alike, perhaps apart from Gordon, will be buoyed by the prospect of Tedesco joining them next season also, perhaps leading to even better performances.
Dylan Napa is a huge inclusion for the Roosters, as is a fully fit Taukeiaho, and the Warriors will have their work cut out to stop these two as well as other forces such as Cordner and Waerea-Hargreaves. Matulino is back and looked very good for the Warriors, and will join forces with Gavet and Lillyman to provide the NZ team a very strong group of Front-rowers which would be accentuated by Vete if he also returns. Overall, though, the Roosters should have a little too much class for the improving Warriors.
New Zealand Warriors vs Sydney Roosters: Tips
- Roosters to win by around 6-8.
- Shaun Kenny-Dowell to score a try.