BEST OF ENEMIES: JARROD CROKER

With over 1,600 points since his NRL debut for Canberra in 2009, Jarrod Croker is the 13th-highest point-scorer in premiership history. The centre’s prolific efforts against the Warriors make up almost 10 percent of his career tally.

JARROD CROKER – CAREER RECORD v WARRIORS
Canberra (2009-17): 16 games (won 9, lost 7) – 17 tries, 42 goals (152 points)

Croker gave the Warriors an early taste of what they could come to expect during his 2009 rookie season, scoring two tries in both of the Raiders’ clashes with the Auckland-based outfit. The Warriors were the only club he notched a double against in his first 61 games.

The Warriors got off comparatively lightly in 2010-11, before Croker crossed twice more in Canberra’s 32-12 hammering of the Warriors early in 2012. The scoreline would have been a lot uglier if Croker’s goalkicking radar had been properly tuned – he managed just two goals from seven attempts.

But he was on target in a 42-22 final-round win at Mount Smart that year, landing seven from eight.

The Raiders endured a 50-16 demolition at the hands of the Warriors when they next ventured to Auckland in late-2013, but that didn’t stop Croker’s pointscoring spree.

He posted all of the misfiring Green Machine’s points that day with three tries – the first hat-trick of his 115-game career – and two goals.

Croker again held a mortgage on the Raiders’ scoring in a crushing 54-12 away loss in 2014 with two tries and two goals.

After modest scoring contributions in two losses as the club’s new captain in 2015, Croker stepped it up a notch on the Warriors in 2016 with a pair of 18-point hauls.

He posted a try and seven goals in a 38-12 drubbing in New Plymouth and scored three tries (including the golden point match-winner) and three goals in a 26-22 thriller in Canberra.

The latter swag is Croker’s only other hat-trick in his career to date.

The skipper booted four goals in a hard-fought 20-8 home win early in 2017 and racked up 16 points from a try and a perfect six-from-six with the boot in a 36-16 victory on the road late that year.

Croker has scored 108 NRL tries and a shade over 0.5 tries per game – which makes his tally of 17 tries in just 16 games against the Warriors all the more remarkable. His four-pointers at the Warriors’ expense represent almost 16 percent of his career total.

Meanwhile, the ultra-consistent three-quarter has kicked 32 of his last 35 shots at goal against the Warriors.

Limiting Croker’s opportunities on attack and off the goalkicking tee will be near the top of the Warriors’ to-do list on Saturday.

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