Canterbury Bulldogs will be desperate to avoid going 0-3 to begin the 2017 NRL season when they travel across the Tasman to face the unpredictable New Zealand Warriors in the first game on Friday night.
Bulldogs and Warriors kick off at 6.00pm AEDT at Forsyth Barr Stadium. Live streaming is available via bet365 (geo restrictions apply for Australian and NZ residents).
Preview and Tips
As they’ve done multiple times in the past, Canterbury have opted to take a home game to New Zealand, with the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin playing host to this crucial Round 3 clash between the Bulldogs and Warriors.
The Bulldogs and coach Des Hasler find themselves immediately under pressure from the get-go this season after falling narrowly to the Storm and Roosters in their first two outings.
However we will certainly get a better indication of where the Bulldogs are at after this contest. The Storm and Roosters are arguably the two biggest favourites for the premiership this season, and with Canterbury only losing by six and four-point margins respectively, things may not be as bad as they seemingly appear at Belmore.
But - lose again to the Warriors on Friday night - and the doubts surrounding Hasler and his time at the Bulldogs will continue to grow.
Canterbury are still looking thoroughly uninspiring in attack, and this is the time when Moses Mbye needs to step up and take control of his side.
While all the fingers are pointing at Canterbury, the Warriors haven’t been great to begin 2017 either.
The Kiwi club have conceded over 22 points in both their home games so far this season, while they were fortunate to escape with victory against the Newcastle Knights before they too went down to Melbourne last week.
Canterbury have a great recent record against the Warriors, winning five of their last six meetings - however the Warriors won last year’s clash in Wellington by four points. I don’t really trust any of these sides at the moment and this really is a toss of the coin. If it’s close, I’ll tip the Bulldogs, but the Warriors could just as easily run away with this by a big margin.
I’ll back the Dogs home in a tight one, but anything could happen here.
- Bulldogs have won five of the last six games between the sides
- All of those Canterbury wins have been by a margin of 1-12
- Dogs have won four of the last five in NZ
Canterbury have been dealt a major blow in their backline, with Will Hopoate and Kerrod Holland both out for up to six weeks after picking up injuries in the Roosters loss.
Brad Abbey will make his NRL debut at fullback, while Holden Cup gun Marcelo Montoya receives a start on the wing.
Manu Vatuvei will return to action on the wing for the Warriors, with the erratic Tuimoala Lolohea dropping back to reserves.
Bulldogs: 1. Brad Abbey 2. Brett Morris 3. Josh Morris 4. Brenko Lee 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Josh Reynolds 7. Moses Mbye 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Michael Lichaa 10. James Graham 11. Josh Jackson 12. Greg Eastwood 13. David Klemmer 14. Sam Kasiano 15. Danny Fualalo 16. Adam Elliot 17. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 19. Craig Garvey 20. Matt Frawley 21. Francis Tualau 23. Reimis Smith
Warriors: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 2. Ken Maumalo 3. David Fusitua 4. Solomone Kata 5. Manu Vatuvei 6. Mafoa’aeata Hingano 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Albert Vete 9. Issac Luke 10. Jacob Lillyman 11. Bodene Thompson 12. Ryan Hoffman 13. Simon Mannering 14. Erin Clark 15. Sam Lisone 16. Charlie Gubb 17. Bunty Afoa 18. Blake Ayshford 20. James Gavet 21. Tuimoala Lolohea 22. Mason Lino
stream all NRL games live online throughout the 2017 season, although residents of Australia and New Zealand are excluded due to geographic restrictions. Residents of other countries across the world can watch and bet on every game and see the action unfold live.
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