From the Stands: Raiders v Sea Eagles
Each week From the Stands is brought to you through the eyes of a passionate Raiders member.
Another week, another lo…. Wait a minute?! Paul Vaughan steps once, steps twice, straightens and it’s a Raiders win!
I couldn’t believe what I was watching unfold at Canberra Stadium, sorry GIO Stadium on the greatest Easter Sunday Canberra has ever experienced.
Forget the royal visit, we had our very own set of princes and knights take to the turf against the Melbourne Storm.
The boys showed an unbelievable amount of heart to defend their line time and time again.
The last minute win was a justice for never giving up, including about 99 try saves from Sir Jarrod Croker and an absolute cracker from Sir Josh Papalii.
Speaking of knighthoods, I’ve seen them handed out for less. 2005 English cricket side, anyone?
Someone get in the ear of Will and Kate at the arboretum please and get this happening.
On a serious note, it was one of the best wins I’ve seen in Canberra for a long time.
Actually, it was the only win I’ve seen in Canberra in some time!
It couldn’t have come at a better time or in a more exciting fashion.
Bring on more of it this week as our mighty green machine take on the video ref favourites, the Manly Sea Eagles.
This game should be another close one with a few fun facts to keep the punters second guessing as to where they put their money.
Kieran Foran has been ruled out for a month which is a massive blow for Manly.
Not only is he a key cog in their attack, he also carries favour with a video ref or two.
His exclusion could see a few green lights turn red in the referees’ box.
With Foran out, Jamie Lyon moves into five-eighth and Peter Hiku takes Lyon’s spot in the centres.
This is where the Raiders can and need to capitalise.
Jarrod Croker has been unbelievable all year and some early ball could see him take advantage of Hiku who’s defending out of position.
Another good battle in the centres is Matt Allwood up against the on fire Steve Matai.
It will be a real test for Allwood as Matai has been potent in attack this year.
Allwood has developed a reputation for reliable defence in the centres, but against the Storm, we got to see some of his real attacking potential.
If Allwood can get over the top of his opposite number, it will really turn some heads and make people take notice.
Again we have a very interesting battle of the forwards.
Our boys stood up proud to the Storm forwards last week and it’s vital they do it again this week.
Manly have been getting a very good roll on through their forwards all year, and to win, we need to shut that down.
On our side is the fact that Anthony Watmough is in doubt, which we can’t rely on but that would help our cause.
Line speed, winning the ruck and limiting offloads will be key if we’re to take out this one.
Other than that, it’s all about patience.
Manly have a way of dragging their opposition into an absolute dog fight where the scores are low and defence is king.
If that’s the case this Sunday, the boys will need patience, perseverance, and all of that heart they showed against the Storm.
It’s a game they absolutely can win as long as they fight to the finish… again. Carn Raiders!