Following one of their toughest losses of the season on Monday night, the Canberra Raiders NYC team will be looking to overturn a four match slide when Sunday afternoon football returns to GIO Stadium this weekend.
The team they face will be no easy beats either with the Raiders all too wary of what this week’s opponents after their earlier meeting this season. In that game the Raiders were comprehensively blown away by a well drilled New Zealand Warriors side that kept the Canberra side scoreless while putting 54 points on them.
Despite their recent performances and their overall position on the table there can be plenty of positives to take out of this season for the Raiders. One of those is the emergence of Lachlan Hurst as a real prospect for the future, the Raiders flyer has been a revelation on the wing and his try on Monday night against the Rabbitohs brought his tally to 20 for the season.
Scott Doyle has been another player that has had an impressive season for the Raiders, and has stepped up when many of the NYC’s more experienced forwards have been selected to play in the club’s feeder teams.
After Monday’s loss Mantelli has named an extended line up to face the Warriors, with a bruising defensive encounter with the Rabbitohs leaving a few of the boys sore. One in particular who will have to prove his fitness for this week is Carne Doyle-Manga who left Monday’s match with what looked to be an arm/shoulder injury.
The Raiders will lose Tevita Pangai Junior this week as the Mounties return back from a draw in the NSW Cup. Brett Solomon will take his position in the starting line-up, with Jamal Nchouki also earning a place in the starting 13 after a strong showing on Monday Night.
Click here to see this week’s line up
Cleveland McGhie comes onto an extended bench and will be looking to regain his place within the 17 after having an impact in the limited games he has played for the team this year.
What has been evident from the side in recent weeks is that it is missing a real impact player on the bench. Since the injury to Lachlan Croker a few weeks ago the side has been missing a player that can come into the game and make the most of tired opposition forwards.
One of the main aims for the side this week will be to put points on the board, the Warriors are the only team that has kept the Raiders scoreless this season and Mantelli described that loss earlier in the season as an ‘embarrassment’.
It’s certain that the boys will put in a better effort this time around with a continued emphasis on defence showing in Monday’s game against the Rabbitohs. With the Raiders able to continually repel the Rabbitohs when attacking inside the Raiders’ defence 20.
If there is anything the Raiders will be looking to achieve this week it’s a consistent 80 minute performance, the boys learned the hard way on Monday when they lost focus for five minutes allowing the Rabbitohs to score two tries in five minutes to snatch the game away from the Raiders.
It’s looking to be a stellar afternoon of football with the Raiders celebrating by playing in their ISC Hulk jerseys, fans are urged to Go Green for Hulk this week and turnout in big numbers and the NYC team will be looking to kick off the day in perfect fashion with a win.
The match against the New Zealand Warriors will kick off at GIO Stadium at 11:45am on Sunday.