The Raiders will host the Rabbitohs on Thursday night in the opening game of Round 8 in the NRL! Greg Davis is back on deck with a full preview and betting tips for the Thursday night clash below.
GIO Stadium, Thursday 29th April 7.50pm (AEST)
1.Caleb Aekins 2. Bailey Simonsson 3. Sebastian Kris 4. Curtis Scott 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Jack Wighton 7. George Williams 8. Ryan James 9. Tom Starling 10. Emre Guler 11. Corey Harawira-Naera 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Ryan Sutton. Interchange: 14. Siliva Havili 15. Joseph Tapine 16. Corey Horsburgh 17. Hudson Young 18. Matthew Timoko 19. Isoia Soliola 20. Matt Frawley 21. Dunamis Lui
1.Cody Walker 2.Alex Johnson 3.Dane Gagai 4. Campbell Graham 5. Jaxson Paulo 6. Benji Marshall 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Tom Burgess 9. Damien Cook 10. Tevita Tatola 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Cameron Murray. Interchange: 14. Mark Nicholls 15. Liam Knight 16. Jacob Host 17. Jai Arrow 18. Steven Masters 19.Hame Sele 20. Patrick Mago 21.Dean Hawkins
WILL the real Green Machine please stand up.
Canberra was in the mix as a legitimate title aspirant with a vast majority of educated NRL pundits before a ball was kicked in anger in 2021.
But the Raiders haven’t exactly been in barnstorming form this season with little to Viking clap about.
Canberra are riding a three-game losing streak heading into Thursday night’s clash in the nation’s capital with the red-hot Rabbitohs who have won their last six.
It’s only April but we might find out if Ricky Stuart’s men are contenders or pretenders in 2021 depending how they go against Wayne Bennett’s Bunnies.
Losing their most explosive forward Josh Papalii and skipper Jarrod Croker adds to the degree of difficulty against the men from Redfern
With their last win coming against the Gold Coast in Round 4, Ricky wielded the axe last week after the Raiders got pumped in back-to-back weeks by Penrith (30-10) and Parramatta (35-10).
If he was cranky then (to be fair, it doesn’t take much to get Ricky riled), imagine how the Raiders boss would have been feeling after Canberra gave up an 18-point lead to lose to North Queensland last weekend?
The dressing rooms at Townsville’s shiny new stadium will already need another coat of paint!
But in sport, nothing is ever as bad as it seems and nothing is ever as good as it seems.
Canberra is too good a side to be stuck in the muck for too long and the Rabbitohs were decidedly ordinary in the first half against the Titans last week before some Benji Marshall magic wound back the clock and helped produce 20 points in 13 minutes to blow past the Gold Coast.
The Raiders have won their last two matches against Souths at Canberra’s GIO Stadium – including the 2019 preliminary final.
The old Bruce Stadium had been a happy hunting ground for Ricky and his men and it becomes more fortress-like as the season edges closer to winter. Souths have only won in Canberra on six occasions.
The siege mentality will be alive and well in the Raiders sheds after a refereeing error handed the Cowboys the win last week so being at their chilly home ground with their backs to the wall means Canberra present a very dangerous proposition to the Rabbitohs.
Remember, Souths may have piled on 40 points last week but they also conceded 30. It felt like the victory you eek out at the end of the winning streak before reality bites and you cop an L.
The Bunnies covered for the loss of the suspended Latrell Mitchell with Marshall at five-eighth and Cody Walker at fullback with the second half sizzle preventing them from falling into the “abyss” as supercoach Bennett said post-match.
But can they do it two weeks in a row? Eventually you run out of credits.
If the desperate and below-strength Raiders can get on top early, at home, with plenty to play for, they may hang on for a drought-breaking win.
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