Junior Reps Preview: Round 7

Harold Matthews (Under 16s)

Canberra Raiders v South Sydney Rabbitohs on Saturday at 3:00pm at Northbourne Oval

The Canberra Raiders have an opportunity to ascend to the top of the Harold Matthews ladder if they are to defeat the South Sydney Rabbitohs this Saturday.

After dropping their first match of the year in Round 5, the Green Machine bounced back in marvellous fashion last weekend to comprehensively defeat the St George Dragons.

Whilst the Dragons are one of the lower ranked sides in the competition, Coach Adam Kyle was nonetheless thrilled with how his troops amended their flaws of the previous week.

“Like always we just want to continue to keep learning about the game,” Kyle said. “If we continue our great effort and we keep improving then better things will come.”

South Sydney will prove a dangerous commodity for the Raiders this week. The Rabbitohs are in 8th position on the ladder however they employ a playing style that is capable of worrying the elite teams in the competition.

The Rabbitohs are the 4th best attacking team in the competition and possess the ability to score from all over the park. Souths fullback Dylan O’Connor will have to be kept a particularly close eye on. The dynamic attacking player is firmly placed among the top try scorers list and is a major go-to player for his side.

“We pride ourselves on our defence and we take more notice of the point scored against us than what we score,” Kyle said. “We have been training for about four months now with our defensive technique and defence structure so will be looking to continue to keep that momentum.  Looking at the results, Souths are a very good attacking side and we really need to make sure that we are switched on in our defence.”

Currently sitting in 2nd place and one point behind the top of the table Penrith Panthers, Canberra is also ranked in the top five best teams in terms of attack and defence.

Understandably, with three games left in the regular season, Kyle is more concerned about fine-tuning their attacking and defensive structure and maintaining the weekly improvement of the players.

“Like always we don't really mention anything about the ladder at training. Especially at this time of the season we just need to continue to keep working on defensive structure and attacking shape. It's a good achievement to be where we are but as a long as we keep working and improving then hopefully the results will continue.

“It will be a real challenge this week for us competing against one of the better side in the competition.”

1. NIC COTRIC 2. BRADY KEEN 3. SEBASTIAN KRIS 4. BAILEY SIMONSSON 5. JEDIDIAH SIMBIKEN 6. JESE SMITH-SHIELDS 7. LACHLAN COOPER © 8. LUKE HICKS 9. SAM FINNEGAN 10. JAKE WALKER 11. MATT LYONS 12. JOSH STUCKEY 13. JAI LYONS

14. CHRIS SHINGLES 15. JESSE ROBERTSON 16. JAKE NOTARAS 17. FRANCIS-SOAKAI TAI 18. CHARLIE REARDON 19. MICHAEL VARDOS 20. DUSTIN LITSTER 21. SAMUEL DOBB 22. CASEY WALL 23. DANIEL KEIR 24. CALLUM GREENWOOD 25. JAYDEN EDDY

COACH: ADAM KYLE & DAVID SMALL

SG Ball (Under 18s)

Canberra Raiders v South Sydney Rabbitohs on Saturday at 4:30pm at Northbourne Oval

With a semi-finals birth in their sights and several other teams chomping at their heels, a win over the highly ranked Rabbitohs in the SG Ball will be greatly beneficial to the Raiders’ finals aspirations.

After an inconsistent start to the year the Raiders SG Ball side is starting to hit their straps and play to their undoubted potential.

The Green Machine has the ability to beat anyone on their day and they will need to be at their best to topple the third placed Rabbitohs.

Led by halfback Liam Coleman, the talented son of former club great Craig Coleman, Souths have lost just won game all year.

Along with Coleman, Canberra will have to keep a close eye on lock forward Nat Butcher and strike centres Tevita Cottrell and Siosifa Talakai. All three players feature prominently in the competition’s top try scoring list.

Given the potency of the Souths Sydney centre pairing, Canberra’s tough and talented centres Cleveland McGhie and Jack Williams will need to be at their defensive best in this encounter.

The duo can also expect plenty of quality ball from the combination of five-eighth Lachlan Croker and fullback Jack Hickson.

Hickson started the year at halfback however he has been a revelation at fullback where his speed and playmaking awareness is put to good use.

Meanwhile Croker continues to impress astute judges within the club with his humility, leadership and unquestioned talent. A big performance from Croker, who registered 26 points last week, will go a long way towards sealing a victory for the Green Machine in this encounter.           

1. JACK HICKSON 2. THOMAS CRONAN 3. CLEVELAND MCGHIE 4. JACK WILLIAMS 5. TRE WILLIAMS 6. LACHLAN CROKER 7. ADAM LUCAS 8. LEON TUPUOLA 9. ZAC WOOLFORD 10. TYRONE NATHAN 11. KALANI GOING 12. BEN MAGUIRE 13. SIONE AFEMUI

14. BEN NARISIA 15. MORGAN BOYLE 16. RYAN GRIFFIN 17. JESSE MARTIN 18. JIORDAN FIDOW-KELE 19. CHRIS HART 20. JORDAN AIONO-FATU 21. DAVID AFEMUI

COACH: PETER MARRAPODI