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Last-placed Canterbury will be keen to build on their heart-breaking loss to Wests Tigers and hand over pole position in the wooden spoon race with a win over the New Zealand Warriors.

The Bulldogs have been much-improved in the past month, capitulating only to the Storm and beating the Knights, but the 12th placed Warriors are proving equally resilient and fought all the way before a round 14 loss to ladder-leading Penrith snapped a two-game winning streak.

Canterbury sit in last place on the ladder but a much better for-and-against gives them the opportunity to offload the ignominious "honour" of the wooden spoon to Brisbane if they can register just one more win than the hapless Broncos in the run home. 

To do so this week will mean beating a Warriors side that has not only refused to capitulate to the challenges of its 2020 exile but has grown stronger despite the axing of coach Stephen Kearney.

The Rundown

Team news

Bulldogs: Canterbury will start 1-17 after Renouf To'omaga and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak were the last two players dropped from the squad. Will Hopoate is set to return from injury at fullback with Nick Meaney shifting to wing and Marcelo Montoya out. Hooker Jeremy Marshall-King, prop Aiden Tolman and round 14 debutant Matt Doorey all move into the run-on side with Sione Katoa and Luke Thompson to the bench, Josh Jackson at lock and Dylan Napa suspended.

Jake Averillo returns on the interchange. Chris Smith and Lachlan Lewis were omitted from the reserves list 24 hours before kick-off. The Bulldogs have conceded 70 points in their past two games.

Warriors: Paul Turner will make his NRL debut at halfback in changes announced an hour before kick-off. The absence of Chanel Harris-Tavita (concussion) created the opening in the starting side. After Harris-Tavita and Tom Ale also dropped out of the extended squad on Saturday, Josh Curran and Gerard Beale were the two men left out an hour before kick-off.

Hayze Perham gets his first game since round four, pushing Adam Pompey to wing with Patrick Herbert out. Eliesa Katoa is suspended, with Isaiah Papali'i in the second row. The Warriors have lost six of their past seven games at ANZ Stadium.

Key match-up

Jazz Tevaga v Luke Thompson: The industrious Kiwi forward, who returned from injury to play his first game of 2020 at the same time as the Englishman made his much-ballyhooed NRL debut, has produced so much more than the Great Britain star.

Tevaga was eased back via the bench in his first two outings but has outperformed Thompson in a slew of major categories: tackle busts (10-2), offloads (13-2), average run metres (115-96), runs per game (11.7-10.7), post-contact metres (268-225.6) and tackles (235-221) - all while playing nine minutes fewer per game (44.6 to 53.5). The Bulldogs recruit just has to be better.

Stat Attack

Skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck shoulders a mighty load for his team when they are in possession. The fullback ranks No.1 for total runs (293), fourth for run meters (2741) and seventh for post-contact metres (923) despite the Warriors sitting 13th (2544), 11th (23,147) and eighth (8053) in the team categories.