Harold Matthews (Under 16s)
Canberra Raiders v South West Sydney Academy on Saturday at 12:00pm at Raiders Belconnen
With the potential to go all the way in this year’s competition, the Raiders Harold Matthews side will look to rectify the slow starts that have proven to be their downfall in their two losses this season.
For the most part, the Raiders have enjoyed a terrific regular season with just two losses recorded. The two losses they have recorded have been on the back of highly uncharacteristic first half performances in which they have let the opposition get out to 20 point plus head starts.
“We have talked about our slow starts to games and making sure that our preparation is as good as it can be,” Coach Adam Kyle said. “We need to turn up with a good attitude and a good intensity because the standard in this competition is really high so we can't afford to let teams get a jump on us.”
Last week against South Sydney, the Rabbitohs raced to a 26-0 half-time lead before the Raiders courageously fought back to narrowly go down 32-30.
The loss has seen the Raiders slump from 2nd place to 4th spot on the ladder. Whilst Kyle concedes that a top four finish will be beneficial to his side in the semi-finals he says that is not the focus.
“To be honest we haven't really talked about the semi-finals or where we finish on the ladder, all we are asking from the boys is that we put in a good performance in the last two games and the results will take care of themselves,” Kyle said.
Currently situated in 15th spot on the ladder, South West Sydney Academy is no chance of making the semi-finals. As such, the Green Machine is preparing for them to chance their arm and throw the ball around.
“They have had some really good performances this year and in their game against Illawarra on the weekend they scored some fantastic tries,” Kyle said. “They have got a big forward pack, are very enthusiastic and carry the ball really hard so we will be tested this weekend.
“We’ve prided ourselves on defence all season so this weekend will be really looking to make sure that we finish on a good note and finish with a very positive defensive effort, especially in that first half.”
The full team line-up is:
1. NIC COTRIC 2. CHRIS SHINGLES 3. SEBASTIAN KRIS 4. BAILEY SIMONSSON 5. MICHAEL VARDOS 6. CASEY WALL 7. LACHLAN COOPER © 8. DANIEL KEIR 9. BRADY KEEN 10. SAM DOBB 11. MATT LYONS 12. JOSH STUCKEY 13. JAI LYONS
14. JESE SMITH-SHIELDS 15. JAKE WALKER 16. DUSTIN LITSTER 17. JESSE ROBERTSON 18. CHARLIE REARDON 19. JAYDEN EDDY 20. JEDIDIAH SIMBIKEN 21. FRANCIS SOAKAI-TAI 22. SAM FINNEGAN 23. CALLUM GREENWOOD 24. JAKE NOTARAS 25. LUKE HICKS
COACH: ADAM KYLE & DAVID SMALL
SG Ball (Under 18s)
Canberra Raiders v West Coast Pirates on Saturday at 1:30pm at Raiders Belconnen
The Raiders SG Ball side is flying high after trumping the third placed South Sydney Rabbitohs in Round 7 however they can ill afford to get too far ahead of themselves with their season on the line.
Canberra is currently sitting in 7th place on the ladder however with just two matches left in the season, a loss could see them miss out on the semi-finals altogether.
There are a number of teams caught in a log jam to fill a limited number of spots in the top eight. With this in mind, the Raiders have set a goal of winning both of their final two matches rather than relying on the outcomes of other encounters.
The Green Machine will be favourites heading into the clash with the West Coast Pirates given that the team from Western Australia is coming 15th on the ladder and travelling all the way to the Nation’s Captial.
Keep an eye out for man-mountain Jiordan Fidow-Kele in this encounter. The powerhouse front-rower has found form at the right time of the year as evidenced by his two-try performance against the Rabbitohs last Saturday.
If Fidow-Kele and his fellow forwards can lay a good platform over the Pirates then the class of playmakers Lachlan Croker and Jack Hickson plus the potency of backline strike players such as Cleveland McGhie and Tre Williams should see the Raiders home in this match.
The full team line-up is:
1. JACK HICKSON 2. THOMAS CRONAN 3. CLEVELAND MCGHIE 4. KODY PARSONS 5. TRE WILLIAMS 6. LACHLAN CROKER 7. LACHLAN LEWIS 8. SIONE AFEMUI 9. ZAC WOOLFORD 10. TYRONE NATHAN 11. JACK WILLIAMS 12. BEN MAGUIRE 13. KALANI GOING
14. BEN NARISIA 15. MORGAN BOYLE 16. ADAM LUCAS 17. JESSE MARTIN 18. JIORDAN FIDOW-KELE 19. CHRIS HART 20. JORDAN AIONO-FATU 21. DAVID AFEMUI
COACH: PETER MARRAPODI