The Canberra Raiders junior representative sides will both attempt to register back-to-back wins for the opening two rounds of the competition when they take on the Central Coast Centurions this Saturday at Mory Breen Oval.

Harold Matthews (Under 16s)

Canberra Raiders v Central Coast Centurions on this Saturday at 1:30pm at Mory Breen Oval

After an impressive opening round victory over a monstrous Canterbury Bulldogs outfit, the Raiders Harold Matthews side will be looking to take the confidence derived from that victory into this week’s fixture against the Central Coast.

The Raiders overcame a massive Bulldogs forward pack through their impressive fitness and never-say-die attitude.

Given it was the opening round of the season, Coach Adam Kyle was thoroughly pleased with the boys efforts all though he conceded the team’s fluency in attack needed some improvement.

“We have really worked hard on our shape and execution this week at training after reviewing last week’s game,” Kyle said. “We felt that our timing was not quite right.  

“It's still a big learning curve at this age so we will keep progressing as the season goes. We’re hoping that our timing on plays and making sure we get to the right field positions will be improved this week.”

Central Coast is coming off a narrow one point loss to the Illawarra Steelers and will be looking to bounce back at their home ground.

“The Centurions are a really hard working team and pushed Illawarra all the way so we are expecting a rough game especially at their home ground.”

 

Canberra’s first three games of the year are all away fixtures. Whilst travelling several hours to games can take some adjusting for a group of 16 year olds, Kyle has been blown away by the professionalism of the side and believes that if they are to win these three away fixtures, it will hold them in good stead for the run home to the finals.  

“It's a really tough start for us having three games away but the boys continue to impress us with how they prepare from eating properly to recovery after games,” Kyle enthused. “We are just focusing on each game as they come but this will be our biggest test yet as we come up against a quality team after a long bus trip.” 

The Canberra Raiders Harold Matthews side will take the field as:

1. NIC COTRIC

2. SEBASTIAN KRIS
3. MATHEW LYONS
4. BAILEY SIMONSSON
5. JED SIMBIKEN
6. CASEY WALL
7. LACHLAN COOPER ©
8. FRANCIS SOAKAI-TAI
9. SAM FINNEGAN
10. JAKE WALKER
11. JAKE NOTARAS
12. JOSH STUCKEY
13. JAI LYONS

14. BRADY KEEN
15. JESSE ROBERTSON
16. CHARLIE REARDON
17. LUKE HICKS
19. MICHAEL VARDOS
20. DUSTIN LITSTER
21. SAMUEL DOBB
22. JESE SMITH-SHIELDS
23. DANIEL KEIR

COACH ADAM KYLE & DAVID SMALL

SG Ball (Under 18s)

Canberra Raiders v Central Coast Centurions on this Saturday at 3:00pm at Mory Breen Oval

Like their Harold Matthews counterparts, the Raiders SG Ball side will be aiming to improve their execution this week to ensure that they register their second victory in as many games.

Whilst proud of his side’s efforts, Coach Peter Marrapodi described last week’s victory over the Bulldogs as “scrappy” with the resolute defensive effort of his side coupled with flashes of individual brilliance getting them over the line in the end.

“We’ve worked on a bit of cohesion this week,” explained Marrapodi. “We were still very rusty last week so we are hoping our execution improves as the season wears on.

“Our completion rate last was as bad as I’ve seen as a coach. We were lucky the Bulldogs weren’t at their best or we could have been on the receiving end of a hiding.

Central Coast were rusty in their first hit-out against a red-hot Illawarra Steelers side, however Marrapodi is wary of the eye-catching enthusiasm of their players.

He is hoping that the injection of enthusiasm from two first year SG Ball players will do enough to nullify Illawarra’s zest.

“Central a solid team with some big strong forwards and speedy outside backs but their biggest strength in the enthusiasm that they play with. If we don’t match their enthusiasm we will be in for a long day.

“A couple of players will get their first opportunity in SG Ball this week and I’m excited to see how they handle the challenge. Jordan Aiono is a lock that has come through the Souths Logan system and is very excited about pulling on the lime green jumper for the first time and Adam Lucas gets his first chance to cement a spot in the team.  He is an energetic and crafty hooker.”

Marrapodi has also stressed the importance of winning the away fixtures. He has employed a ‘no excuses’ mentality into his players.

“The importance of away games is simple: If you don’t win them, you don’t make the finals. Playing away is part of an education in preparation so by the time these guys are playing in higher grades it is not a reason for losing, it’s just an excuse.”

The Canberra Raiders SG Ball side will take the field as:


1. THOMAS CRONAN
2. CHRIS HART
3. BEN NARISIA
4. JACK WILLIAMS
5. TRE WILLIAMS
6. LACHLAN CROKER
7. JACK HICKSON
8. CHARLIE MACKENZIE
9. ADAM LUCAS
10. LEON TUPUOLA
11. KALANI GOING
12. BEN MAGUIRE
13. JORDAN AIONO-FATU

14. DAVID FUKA
15. DANIEL DOLE
16. RYAN GRIFFIN
17. SIONE AFEMUI
18. KODY PARSONS
19. TYRONE NATHAN
20. DAVID AFEMUI
21. CLEVELAND MCGHIE
22. ZAC WOOLFORD
23. JESSE MARTIN
24. MORGAN BOYLE

COACH PETER MARRAPODI