The Canberra Raiders NYC team will look to get their season back on track when they face the Melbourne Storm this Sunday at GIO Stadium.
It hasn’t been an easy few weeks for the young Raiders who have conceded 90 points in their last two games.
Canberra had 57 missed tackles last week against the Knights, and coach Mick Mantelli believes it comes down to getting the basics right.
“We just have to go back to the basics, there’s no special fixes at the moment, and we’re all in this together so we just need to pull together, work hard and go from there.”
It isn’t just defensive woes that are plaguing the Raiders side, but a rising injury list has taken its toll as well. The growing injury list includes Mitchell Shaw, Brett Solomon, Thoren Fidel-Kele, Kilu Pangai, and Dylan McGrath
The team will also be without Tevita Pangai Junior this week, who has been suspended for two weeks following a late shoulder charge in the Knights game. While he admitted he was disappointed Mantelli admitted it was a learning opportunity for the young forward.
“I spoke to Tevita this week, and he realises what he did was wrong. Nothing came out of it so I couldn’t see the point in him doing it. Sometimes I forget how young he is, but I said to him we’ve just got to stick together and work at it and we will come out the other side a lot better for it.”
CLICK HERE to see the team for Round 7.
Talented centre Jack Creith joins the injury list and will also miss this week through an ankle injury that he sustained during last week’s loss to the Knights. Mantelli admitted he would’ve liked to have kept the same combinations, but sometimes it’s out of his control.
“I thought Jack was one of our most consistent performers over the first five rounds, and you want to keep the same combinations. It’s always hard too when you lose one of your most consistent players.”
Jared McIlwrick returns to replace Creith. McIlwrick was impressive in the opening few rounds which led to him being named Man of the Match in round 3 against the Titans.
Amongst the other changes Scott Doyle comes into the starting line up to replace the suspended Pangai Junior. Doyle was impressive last week and even showcased his kicking ability when he took over from Captain Patrick Mago in windy conditions at GIO Stadium.
Talented local product Jake Wheeler comes onto the bench to round out the squad.
Mago was one of the more impressive players for the Raiders last week scoring two tries in the defeat which earned him Man of the Match honours. The side will need his strong work ethic and leadership again if they are going to beat the Storm.
The match against the Storm will be played at GIO Stadium this Sunday, April 20, kick off is at 12.45PM.