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From the Stands: Raiders v Manly

Russell Ayres

Fans cheer in the crowd - 1 APRIL 2017 - Australian National Rugby League (NRL) Round 5 - Canberra Raiders vs Parramatta Eels. Match was played on a Saturday evening at GIO Stadium, Canberra, ACT, Australia. Photo: Ben Southall | Raiders Media
Fans cheer in the crowd - 1 APRIL 2017 - Australian National Rugby League (NRL) Round 5 - Canberra Raiders vs Parramatta Eels. Match was played on a Saturday evening at GIO Stadium, Canberra, ACT, Australia. Photo: Ben Southall | Raiders Media

How good is it to be back on a winning run? With 3 wins on the trot, Raiders fans have plenty of reason to start feeling a little bit better about 2017.

Perhaps one of the more pleasing aspect about the latest win was the manner in which it all happened.

Opposition teams are well aware of the potency of the Raiders attack. But they’re slightly less prepared to face a green wall in defence.

That’s exactly what the Warriors were met with. With our attack not firing, the boys’ defence well and truly picked up.

Particularly towards the backend of the first half, it was all Warriors in attack.

Wave after wave, the Green Machine defence held on, highlighted by the incredible try saving effort from captain Croker.

It’s amazing how far his defence has improved over the years to the point where he’s now a defensive lynchpin for the Raiders.

In games gone by, that defensive work might have taken its toll and led to a loss for the men from the capital.

It wasn’t the case this time though. The boys held out and came over the top of the Warriors. It’s a great sign. 

The difference between a good season and a great season can be winning those games where it’s just not going your way.

The Raiders will look to keep that resolute attitude when they face a somewhat improved Manly outfit this Friday.

That’s right, Friday night footy is back in Canberra! There’s been plenty of talk about Friday 6pm kick offs but I’m all for it.

It’ll be a wave goodbye to the boss followed by a wave hello to the Green Machine faithful! What could be better?

The only problem will be choosing which drive through to hit up for dinner. But I digress.

The matchup vs Manly is an important one for the Raiders to continue their momentum.

A win may mean our climb of the ladder continues, while a loss throws us back into the mid table mix potentially.

There’s plenty on the line for individuals in terms of rep jerseys too.   

Will Leilua or Croker be selected for Australia? Will Shannon Boyd get another call up? Surely Papa is already a shoe-in, right? Rapana is the most devastating winger in the game at the moment. Surely the Kiwi jersey is his too. All these questions will be answered soon.

It’s time for the men in green to impress. But first, may the mighty Raiders ride this wave of momentum and continue the assault on the NRL Premiership. Go Raiders! 

MATCH PREVIEW: RAIDERS V MANLY