Junior Reps Preview: Round 9
Harold Matthews (Under 16s)
Canberra Raiders v North Sydney Bears on Sunday at 1:00pm at North Sydney Oval
In what is the last round of the regular season, the Raiders Harold Matthews side will look to consolidate their place in the top four with a victory over the bottom of the ladder North Sydney Bears this Sunday.
Canberra is currently situated in fourth position on the ladder after a tremendous regular season and is firmly placed for a crack at the title this year.
Coach Adam Kyle is glowingly proud of his side’s development and effort this year however he does not want them to rest on their laurels in their final match before semi-finals commence.
“It’s been a long season given that we started training back in November, but the boy’s attitude and competitiveness has been a real highlight,” Kyle said.
“They have turned up week in, week out and have been eager to learn all the time. We have been really proud of their development this season and we hope that these boys have taken away as much as possible from this experience.”
“Like we have said all season, our focus is really within our own team. If we can look after our own backyard and keep learning then outside factors will look after themselves in regards to ladder position.”
Whilst defence will again be a big focus this week for the Green Machine, Kyle wants his chargers to eliminate the careless penalties they have tended to concede at pivotal moments this season.
“Last week we had a team goal of not conceding any points, so after last week’s effort we are expecting the boys to come out with the same intensity and drive to tackle hard and work for each other.
“We have conceded a few too many penalties recently though, so we have been training hard on little things to try and improve that. We need to make sure we stay composed with the footy and stick to what we do best.”
With the game against the Bears scheduled to be on Sunday, both the Harold Matthews and SG Ball sides will be recognised at halftime at GIO Stadium Canberra on Saturday when the Raiders take on the Newcastle Knights in the NRL.
“The boys are really excited with the opportunity to train at Raiders HQ on Saturday and then attend the NRL match after. It really does show the boy’s that there is a pathway from junior reps to play NRL. Ricky has been a great supporter of the program this year, so it will be nice for our boys to be recognised and in turn support the NRL team.”
The full team line-up is:
1. NIC COTRIC 2. CHRIS SHINGLES 3. SEBASTIAN KRIS 4. BAILEY SIMONSSON 5. JEDIDIAH SIMBIKEN 6. CASEY WALL 7. LACHLAN COOPER © 8. SAMUEL DOBB 9. BRADY KEEN 10. DANIEL KEIR 11. MATT LYONS 12. JOSH STUCKEY 13. JAI LYONS
14. SAM FINNEGAN 15. JAKE WALKER 16. DUSTIN LITSTER 17. JESSE ROBERTSON 18. CHARLIE REARDON 19. JAYDEN EDDY 20. JESE SMITH-SHIELDS 21. FRANCIS-SOAKAI TAI 22. MICHAEL VARDOS 23. CALLUM GREENWOOD 24. JAKE NOTARAS 25. LUKE HICKS
COACH: ADAM KYLE & DAVID SMALL
SG Ball (Under 18s)
Canberra Raiders v North Sydney Bears on Sunday at 2:30pm at North Sydney Oval
Despite sitting in sixth position on the ladder, the Raiders SG Ball side faces the possibility of missing out on the semi-finals if they are to succumb to the North Sydney Bears on Sunday afternoon.
In what is a vastly even competition, there are several other teams vying for a spot in the top eight and if results don’t go the Raiders way then they will slip out of the top eight altogether.
Fortunately, form is on the Raiders side after having won their last three encounters, including a 40 point win over the West Coast Pirates last round.
Canberra’s recent form and the nature of their convincing wins have placed them as the third best attacking side and the fourth best defensive team in the competition.
Not that the Raiders will be praying the impressive aforementioned statistics go progress them through to the semi-finals.
Make no mistake, the Green Machine will be out to win and will not be taking the Bears lightly.
Pivotal to their fortunes will be talented five-eighth and captain Lachlan Croker. The Goulburn junior registered an incredible 30 points in last weekend’s win over the Pirates and his leadership and undeniable ability will be highly influential against the Bears this Sunday.
North Sydney is coming 15th however with nothing to lose, Canberra can expect for the Bears to throw the ball around and chance their arm in front of their home crowd.
With their season on the line and the capability to match it with the best teams in the competition, look for the Raiders to rise to the challenge this Sunday at North Sydney Oval.
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. DAVID FUKA 16. ADAM LUCAS 17. LEON TUPUOLA 18. JIORDAN FIDOW-KELE 19. CHRIS HART 20. JESSE MARTIN 21. DAVID AFEMUI
COACH: PETER MARRAPODI