Warriors wise to Campese threat

Recent history has the Warriors well aware of the threat that Canberra skipper Terry Campese can pose in Auckland on Saturday when two desperate sides battle it out to keep their NRL finals hopes alive.


Campese will make his return from an eye injury in a match in which the losers can effectively wave good-bye to the play-offs.

The five-eighth was also coming back from an injury when the Warriors travelled to Canberra in April, and he inspired the Raiders to a comeback victory, producing the late bomb that set up Edrick Lee’s decisive try.

Warriors coach Matthew Elliott pointed to that night when asked what Campese would bring to the table.

“Just go and watch their last game against us,” he said on Wednesday.

“He’s got a lot of experience with a lot of talent and brings a lot of poise to them.

“His kicking game is pretty special. He’s a good player and he brings what good players bring to teams.”

With two rounds to go, the Warriors and Canberra sit in the bottom half of the table, but both are equal on competition points with eighth-place North Queensland.

Campese’s return is a positive for the Raiders after their sacking of coach David Furner and with NSW Origin centre Blake Ferguson seemingly headed out of the club.

Elliott had mixed feeling about the Warriors not having to face Ferguson, who has been stood down by the club for missing training and drinking while injured.

“He can be one of the best centres in the game,” he said.

“But obviously we play a team sport and, in a team sport, you have to show commitment to your teammates and you have to make sacrifices.”

Elliott described Ferguson’s absence as a pity for the game.

“Hopefully he gets that sorted out sooner rather then later.”

Meanwhile, Elliott, who named an unchanged side, said centre Dane Nielsen was unlikely to take the field.

Neilsen picked up a shin injury in the Warriors’ 24-22 win over Gold Coast last weekend.