Whatever you do, don’t go in half-hearted.
That’s what Warriors front rower Jacob Lillyman says is the surest way to nullify Canberra’s mega-pack when the two sides meet in the Australian capital on Saturday.
Raiders props Shannon Boyd and Junior Paulo weigh in at a combined 240kg, or almost half a grand piano, and have battered defences all season as the fifth-placed Canberra pushes for a spot in the NRL top four.
But the 32-year-old Lillyman, who weighs in at a hearty 105kg himself, says there’s a trick to stopping the big boys dead in their tracks.
“They’ve got some big whoppers, especially in the front row,” he told AAP.
“It’s just about getting some line speed and good first-up contact.
“You can’t go in half-hearted otherwise they’ll roll through you, so you’ve got to be hitting them as a line and willing to put your shoulder in there.”
The Queenslander returns to the Warriors’ fold after missing last week’s golden-point defeat to Manly in Perth with an ankle injury sustained in Origin III.
He will replace Charlie Gubb, who has been suspended for seven matches after being found guilty of a grade-two shoulder charge.
“It was a bit sore and had a fair bit of swelling so I came back here and they told me to not worry about going to Perth,” Lillyman said.
The Warriors go into Saturday’s match having not lost in 80 minutes since their last clash with the Raiders in New Plymouth, where they were outclassed 38-12.
Only two unorthodox game-winning field goals by the Sharks’ James Maloney and Manly’s Daly Cherry-Evans have prevented the NZ side from winning six in a row.
Meanwhile, a win against the Warriors would give Canberra their fourth win on the trot after enjoying the bye last weekend.
“They’re playing some really good footy,” Lillyman said.
“We’re going to have to be very good through the middle and they’ve got some guys that can hurt you as well.”
Warriors head coach Andrew McFadden said his side was fortunate to have Lillyman back for the match.
“He’s a very important part of our side,” McFadden said.
“We’re going to have to be good because they do have a very big forward pack and some pretty handy players.”