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Raiders worried about dangerous NRL clash

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/04/2017 Matt Coughlan

The Warriors' back-to-back wins have also been their first two matches with star five-eighth Kieran Foran. © Getty Images The Warriors' back-to-back wins have also been their first two matches with star five-eighth Kieran Foran. Canberra coach Ricky Stuart says his side's NRL meeting with the Warriors is a danger game as both teams hunt a third consecutive win.

Despite the Warriors having won just three game from 14 attempts at GIO Stadium, Stuart is reading nothing in to history ahead of Saturday's match.

"This is a real concern for me this game," Stuart said.

"We're going to need everybody on board tomorrow and I know this is going to be a very hard game."

Both sides have beaten Parramatta and Gold Coast in the past two weeks, and while Stuart is happy with his side's progress he is conscious of the Warriors' momentum.

"They've played themselves back in to real form now," he said.

The Warriors' back-to-back wins have also been their first two matches with star five-eighth Kieran Foran.

Foran has bolstered a spine that boasts fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, halfback Shaun Johnson and hooker Isaac Luke.

"With Foran back in the team they've really started to smarten their attack up," Stuart said.

"He's a bit more structured where Shaun Johnson is a very instinctive style of player, so it's a good mix."

"You've got to defend really well, you've got to be smart and have a lot of energy in your defence with those two types of players."

Canberra's dangerous right-edge pairing of Joey Leilua and Jordan Rapana have found their groove in recent weeks, with Rapana bagging a hat-trick in last week's 42-16 win over the Titans, taking their combined tally to 11 in the first six rounds.

Raiders captain Jarrod Croker believes the Warriors will have their work cut out to contain Canberra's dynamic duo.

"Teams are going to try and target them," Croker said.

"But it's one thing to talk about it and one thing to do it.

"I know marking up against them at training it's hard enough so I can only imagine how they're going to go tomorrow."

Raiders fullback Jack Wighton will play his 100th NRL match and Croker can't believe his performances haven't drawn more plaudits.

"I don't like putting pressure on players but he's been probably our best player along with Papa this first six weeks," Croker said.

"The work he's doing at the back, he's like an extra forward at times.

"Then he runs for over 200m and sets up tries and breaks tackles and saves tries."

STATS THAT MATTER

* Canberra have scored the most tries (4.8 per game), made the most linebreaks (5.2), the second most tackle busts (33.7) and scored the second most points (27).

* Ten of the Raiders' 29 tries have been scored from a kick, the equal most along with the Titans.

* The Warriors are making the second least tackle busts (17.7 per game) and offloads (5.7 per game) in the NRL.

Source: Fox Sports Stats

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