Junior Reps Preview: Round 3

Harold Matthews (Under 16s)

Canberra Raiders v Illawarra Steelers on Saturday, 1st of March at 2:00pm at WIN Stadium, Wollongong

The Raiders Harold Matthews side will look to continue their unbeaten start to the year when they take on the Illawarra Steelers this Saturday at WIN Stadium.

Canberra has started the year well with comprehensive victories over the Canterbury Bulldogs and the Central Coast Centurions. This makes them one of five teams in the competition to go into Round 3 undefeated.

The fact that both of those victories were on the road will leave the Raiders in a confident frame of mind given that they take on the Steelers at Illawarra’s home ground.

 Whilst he is pleased with his side’s start to the year, Coach Adam Kyle has conceded that there is still plenty of improvement left in his side.

“Our composure at times was lacking in the previous two games,” Kyle said. “We have had a few chances to apply sustained pressure on the opposition but a few too many errors held us back.

“The boys are still learning what it’s like to play at this level and we can take some positive notes from our start to the year but we will need to be on song this weekend against a dangerous Illawarra side.”

Illawarra have had mixed results to start the year.

They had a narrow 15-14 victory over the Central Coast in Round 1 (Canberra beat the Central Coast 30-6) and went down to the St George Dragons 24-16 last weekend.

The Steelers line-up features Tristan Sailor, the son of former International Wendell Sailor.

Tristan, a NSW Indigenous Under 16s representative, scored a try last week against the Dragons and will play on the wing against the Raiders.

For the Raiders, Australian Under 15s fullback Nic Cotric and centre Matthew Lyons will look to carry on their superb form from Round 2.

Both players scored doubles against the Central Coast and proved to be a handful every time they touched the ball.

The Raiders line-up for Round 3 is:

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 Illawarra Steelers Saturday, 1st of March at 3:30pm at WIN Stadium, Wollongong

The Canberra Raiders SG Ball side will look to bounce back from their first loss of the year by toppling an undefeated Illawarra Steelers outfit on Saturday afternoon.

After a brilliant victory over the Bulldogs in Round 1, Canberra went down to the Central Coast in disappointing fashion last weekend.

The Raiders soared out to a comprehensive lead over the Centurions in the first half only to be overtaken in the second stanza 38-32.

Coach Peter Marrapodi was furious with his side after the match however Canberra now has a prime opportunity to avenge their second half fade-out and make it up to their hard-working coach with a victory over a red-hot Illawarra side.

The Steelers have systematically beaten the Central Coast and St George in the opening two rounds of the season and will prove to be the Raiders biggest hurdle to date.

The match-up between the opposing five-eighths will be an eye-catching clash.

Illawarra pivot Paora Kemp has registered 22 points after just two games and is the chief playmaker for his side.

Canberra’s five-eighth, Lachlan Croker, is an equally impressive prospect.

Croker, who captains the side, has scored three tries in his two appearances for the year and will be a go-to-man for his team mates given that he received the SG Ball Player of the Year in 2013 playing a year up.

Currently in 9th position on the ladder, the Green Machine needs a victory in this fixture to ensure that they don’t lose track with the other semi-final contenders.

The Raiders line-up for Round 3 is:

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

14. DAVID FUKA
15. MORGAN BOYLE
16. ZAC WOOLFORD
17. SIONE AFEMUI
18. RYAN GRIFFIN
19. CHRIS HART
20. DAVID AFEMUI
21. LEON TUPUOLA
22. KODY PARSONS
23. JESSE MARTIN
24. BEN DARMODY
25. TYRONE NATHAN

COACH: PETER MARRAPODI