14 Apr 2017

Warriors gearing up for tough clash against Raiders

1:08 pm on 14 April 2017

Warrior's back-rower Ryan Hoffman says crushing the Raiders centre duo of Jordan Rapana and Joey Leilua is key to the team securing a NRL win this weekend.

Simon Mannering on the attack for the Warriors v Canberra Raiders in July last year.

Simon Mannering on the attack for the Warriors v Canberra Raiders in July last year. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Warriors are still hunting their first away win of the season, but have built some momentum with back to back home wins over the Eels and Titans.

They've only taken three wins at GIO Stadium in Canberra from 14 attempts and they face a tough battle against the Raiders who are looking to string three wins together for the first time this season.

Between them, Leilua and Rapana have scored 11 tries this season, including a hat-trick to Rapana in Canberra's 42-16 win over Gold Coast last weekend.

Warrior Ryan Hoffman said it's going to take a committed defensive effort from the Warriors to keep the duo in line.

"We need to tackle very, very well, because they're very good at breaking tackles," he said.

"They're big, they're fast, they're strong - we just need to be committed in our tackles because if we go in half-pace or half-hearted, that's when they're going to start making long breaks.

"In the end, it just comes down to commitment," Hoffman said.

Coach Stephen Kearney said the Warriors will have to be at their very best if they want to limit Rapana and Leilua's effectiveness.

"We have a bit of an idea of how to do that - it's going to take a real physical effort to slow them down.

"They're both playing wonderful footy, and the Canberra side are in really good form, It's an exciting challenge for us," Kearney said.

Kearney admits being able to run with an unchanged 21-man squad for the last couple of games has played an important part in a more settled performance.

"It helps - there's no doubt about that, to be able to pick the same side pretty much for a couple of weeks in a row certainly helps."