Warriors line up against Raiders in second to last game

By Te Ao - Māori News
NZ Warriors coach Todd Payten spoke with media online in the leadup to today's game against the Canberra Raiders.  Source / NZ Warriors

Although the Warriors' chase for a finals place is now over after last week's disappointing 24-14 loss to the Cronulla Sharks, they will want to finish the last two rounds on a high note as they prepare to face the Canberra Raiders today.

Warriors coach Todd Payten has been forced to make several changes to his lineup for the game.

Rookie second-rower Eliesa Katoa was named on the bench earlier in the week but has since been withdrawn. He is returning from a broken hand suffered against Newcastle last month. Josh Curran will move onto the interchange bench in his place.

Front-rower Jamayne Taunoa-Brown is serving a one game suspension for a dangerous tackle on Sharks second-rower Siosifa Talakai, and loan players Daniel Alvaro and George Jennings have returned to their home club, Parramatta Eels.

Payten says the team has had to regroup after the Sharks loss ended their top eight chances.

"The boys were very disappointed. The review on Monday was a little quiet but we've got our heads around it now.

"The training session was a little different, purely just because we didn't have enough members to do our team stuff. So we just played some team games and tried to lighten the mood a little bit, try to lift the spirits in a way."

The Warriors are counting down the days until they can return home to their families now that the season is almost over for them.

"I was talking to Roger (Tuivasa-Sheck) today and he said his wife was happy that he lost, and I'm sure he's not the only one," says Payten.

But first, the team has today's game against the Canberra Raiders. Kick-off is at 4pm at GIO Stadium in Canberra.