NRL: Warriors to face hoodoo

Warriors Ben Matulino. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Warriors Ben Matulino. Photo / Brett Phibbs

The Warriors have a dreadful record against the Raiders in Canberra but they will at least be able to field their strongest propping rotation for the first time in 17 matches.

Seasoned props Ben Matulino, Jacob Lillyman, Russell Packer and Sam Rapira are set to be reunited on Saturday night for the first time since their round 13 defeat to Melbourne in Auckland on June 3.

Rapira and Packer are listed to start as they did in Sunday's 24-22 defeat to South Sydney with Matulino and Lillyman, who is returning from a one-week lay-off with an ankle injury, on the interchange.

All have more than 100 NRL appearances and, together, they've amassed almost 500 games.

Of the foursome, only Matulino has played all five matches so far this season, with Packer making his first appearance of the year last Sunday.

It won't be easy in Canberra against a Raiders side who have won two of their past three games. Canberra Stadium has been one of the most challenging venues for the Warriors with just one win - in 1997 - in 10 visits.

The only other success in the city was at Manuka Oval in 2001.

Warriors v Raiders

Canberra Stadium, 7.30pm Saturday

Warriors: Kevin Locke, Bill Tupou, Ngani Laumape, Konrad Hurrell, Manu Vatuvei, Thomas Leuluai, Shaun Johnson, Sam Rapira, Nathan Friend, Russell Packer, Feleti Mateo, Simon Mannering (c), Todd Lowrie. Interchange: Ben Matulino, Elijah Taylor, Jacob Lillyman, Pita Godinet, Ben Henry.

Raiders: Reece Robinson, Sandor Earl, Jarrod Croker, Jack Wighton, Edrick Lee, Josh McCrone, Sam Williams, David Shillington, Matt McIlwrick, Brett White, Josh Papalii, Joel Edwards, Shaun Fensom. Interchange: Anthony Milford, Joe Picker, Dane Tilse, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, Terry Campese.

- APNZ

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