Harold Matthews (Under 16s)
Canberra Raiders v St George Dragons on Saturday at 12:30pm at Raiders Belconnen
The Canberra Raiders Harold Matthews side will look to bounce back from their first defeat of the year when they take on the St George Dragons at home this Saturday.
After a brilliant start to the year in which they won their opening four matches on the trot, the Raiders succumbed to a talented Parramatta Eels outfit in Round 5, 26-18.
A lacklustre first half effort was the catalyst for the loss with the Eels able to race ahead to a 22-0 lead at halftime.
Whilst obviously disappointed with the defeat, the boys have responded to the loss in the best way possible – by training the house down throughout the week on the facets of the game that needed improvement.
This has pleased their Coach Adam Kyle immensely.
“The boys have responded really well to the loss last weekend,” said Kyle. “Parramatta came out last week with great enthusiasm and got the jump on us. We have talked a lot about our preparation and energy to make sure that we turn up with a good attitude and effort this weekend against the Dragons.
Sitting in second place and with the Dragons in 16th, the Raiders will be firm favourites in this encounter however Kyle and his troops will not be taking any opponent lightly with the business end of the season just around the corner.
“Like we always say it's a really tough competition and you cannot afford to not turn up ready to play. It was a great learning curve the boys last week and the best thing about footy at this stage of the season is that there is always another game.
“The Dragons aren’t travelling too well but the side won’t be taking them lightly. They are a good team and have been unlucky in a few games this season so we are expecting them to turn up ready to play. It's important we stick to our structure and play up tempo.
“They have a smart hooker who likes to jump out of dummy half so we will need to be alert in the middle and working hard.”
SG Ball (Under 18s)
Canberra Raiders v St George Dragons on Saturday at 2:00pm at Raiders Belconnen
The Raiders SG Ball side will aim to force their way back into the top eight with a victory over the Dragons at home this Saturday.
Despite an impressive effort from the side, Canberra went down narrowly 28-26 to the Eels last Saturday.
The loss saw the Green Machine slump to 10th spot on the ladder however due to the congestion at the lower half of the top eight, a win here will see them reclaim their spot.
St George are yet to win a game this season however their form has steadily improved and they managed to secure a 30 all draw against a talented Western Sydney Academy outfit last weekend.
Damaging front-rower Topiese Taufa scored two tries in the win whilst Rhys Davies managed to register 14 points. Both players will need to be heavily monitored by the Raiders.
For Canberra, keep an eye out for talented five-eighth Lachlan Croker.
Croker scored a try, set up two others and landed three conversions last week in an outstanding display. He will again be looked upon to lead his side and a strong performance by the Goulburn junior will be highly influential in the outcome of the match.