Five Things: Raiders v Knights
The Raiders return home to GIO Stadium this weekend in search of back-to-back wins after a strong showing against the Titans on Sunday.
We’ve compiled a list of five things we can’t wait to see as the Newcastle Knights make the trek to the nation’s capital for the first time this year.
What do you think? Is there anything else you can’t wait to see this weekend? Head over to our Facebook page and let us know!
Victor the Viking’s 600th game
He’s the man responsible for firing up our home crowd to get the Green Machine over the line, and this weekend he makes his 600th appearance.
Tony Wood has been the man behind the mask since the club’s second season in 1983, and notches up the unprecedented milestone this Sunday at GIO Stadium.
We thought Jason Croker’s club record of 318 games was impressive!
Leilua and Tapine face former club
Canberra’s favourite pair of Joseph’s – Leilua and Tapine – face their former club on Sunday.
After departing Newcastle in mid-2015 to join the Raiders, Leilua has missed both clashes with the Knights, suggesting he will be raring to go come Sunday afternoon.
Tapine made his Raiders debut in Round 3’s golden point draw in Newcastle, and will look to provide some extra spark to get his side over the line this Sunday.
Leilua played 54 games in the red and blue before heading off in search of greener pastures, whilst young gun Tapine played 20.
Former friends, now foes
Leilua and Tapine aren’t the only players that have played for both clubs in this weekend’s fixture – former Raiders Sam Mataora and Mitch Barnett will turn out in red and blue.
The Canberra forward pack can expect a fiery clash with the two former Raiders, who will return to GIO Stadium with a point to prove against their old club.
Barnett has appeared in Newcastle's past three matches since his mid-season transfer from the Raiders and will start the match in the backrow opposing Josh Papalii.
Rapana on Ross
Jordan Rapana has been one of the competition’s best wingers in 2016, and marks Newcastle’s Nathan Ross this Sunday.
Rapana boasts a considerable height advantage over his Newcastle counterpart, but could have his hands full with a Knights winger that has produced some stunning pieces of football this year.
One can expect that this battle will produce plenty of fireworks.
Sezer and Hodkinson with it all to play for
The New South Wales halfback position has opened up, and Canberra’s Aidan Sezer has a great chance to throw his name into the ring for State of Origin III against former Blues half Trent Hodkinson.
Sezer led City Origin to victory earlier this year, whilst Hodkinson steered the Blues to their only series win in eleven years back in 2014. One would think Laurie Daley will be keeping a close eye on Sunday’s match as a possible Origin audition.