The Canberra Raiders come into this weekend’s NYC clash with the Bulldogs faced with the task of trying to contain former Raider Lachlan Lewis.
Raiders NYC coach Brett White believes that Lewis will be Canterbury-Bankstown’s key player as the Raiders look to snap a six-game losing streak.
Lewis, who departed Canberra for Belmore earlier this season, spent a number of seasons in the Raiders junior system before taking an offer from the Bulldogs.
“He’ll be coming down and trying to prove a point,” said White.
“[He’s] a very experienced player at this level – I think this is his third year – we’ve got a job ahead of us to try and contain him.”
A host of new recruits have joined Canberra’s ranks since Lewis’ departure, led by energetic backrower Ron Leapai.
White had nothing but praise for Leapai, who earned Under 20’s selection through a string of dominant performances for Woden in the Canberra Raiders Cup.
“It was a big ask for Ron to come out of the local league and straight in, but he’s done a great job with his energy, he’s brought a lot of energy into the team.”
Another fresh face is that of halfback Logan Spaander, who makes his return this weekend to form a halves combination with Zeik Foster.
Spaander’s return sees Jack Hickson shift to the wing, with Kody Parsons dropping out of the side.
Canberra’s last NYC win came in Round Five against the Bulldogs, and White believes that his side has the potential to return to the winners circle this Sunday.
“That night we lost a couple of our key players, and we’ve sort of struggled since then. We’re really looking to work our way back out of where we are at the moment, and hopefully we can do it again.”
Coming off a 20-4 defeat at the hands of the Warriors, Canberra enter the clash in 15th position on the competition table. They will look to topple a 12th placed Bulldogs side in search of back-to-back wins after a 46-16 demolition of the Roosters last weekend.
The clash gets underway at 1:45pm this Sunday at GIO Stadium, with gates to the stadium opening at 1.30pm. Live updates from the match will be available on the Raiders Twitter.