After an encounter that took its toll against the Sydney Roosters last weekend the Canberra Raiders NYC side will head into the game with a new halves combination with captain Lachlan Croker though injury for their clash against the Sea Eagles in Gosford on Sunday. Adam Lucas who is replacing Croker at halfback admitted these are big shoes to fill.
“Those halves have been there all season and a lot feeds on them and they have lots of experience in that position.” Lucas said.
Lucas also outlined that the Green Machine wants to start out aggressively to ensure that they can take the game to the undefeated Manly side.
“We want to be more aggressive than they are and turn up ready to play and make them crack first”
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With the leader of the side being ruled out though injury Lucas said that the more experienced players such as Dylan McGrath and Luke Bateman who has been named captain for the weekend would be taking on more leadership roles during the game.
Along with Croker being ruled out though an injured shoulder, Tavita Pengai Junior will also miss the match after accepting an early guilty plea for a grade three Dangerous Contact charge and will miss three weeks which hands an opportunity for Zac Woolford son of Raiders 200 game player Simon Woolford to make his debut in NYC off the bench.
Keys to Success
They key for the Green Machine in the NYC this week will be maintaining the intensity that they start the game with for the duration of the match. In last week’s clash with the Roosters after losing their captain Croker they were unable to keep the high intensity for long periods of time. This is key because they are coming up against a Manly side that are yet to lose a game this season.
Defensive pressure will also be key to winning the game as Manly also have a good record of posting big scores and having a very talented full back in Tom Trbojevic who has first team experience after playing for Manly in the Auckland nines tournament earlier this year.
Player To Watch
Luke Bateman stood up last week when Croker came off injured even putting his body on the line for the cause coming off with a cut to the head and will have to put in another 80 minute performance this weekend when he steps up to take on the captaincy.
The game between the Canberra Raiders and Manly Sea Eagles kicks off at 12:10pm at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford and will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 from 12pm.