Five Things: Raiders v Sea Eagles
The Raiders will look to maintain their charge into the finals and seal third spot on the ladder when they take on the Manly Sea Eagles at Brookvale Oval this Saturday.
Read on for the five things we can’t wait to see as the Raiders look to equal their third greatest winning streak and best since the 1990s.
Locking up third
The Raiders have looked commanding in recent months, stringing together wins over other top teams, and a winning performance against the Sea Eagles this weekend will see the side lock in at least a top three finish.
After Sunday's comeback victory over the Eels, the Raiders have won eight straight and a win on Saturday will equal the Raiders 1994 team's streak of nine straight. The longest winning streak in Raiders history is 11 matches, from the 1989/90 and 1994/95 teams.
With just two rounds left to play, wins over the Sea Eagles and Tigers, combined with Cronulla losing to either the Roosters or Storm, could see the Raiders jump the Sharks and move into second place on the ladder.
Unless a miracle happens, it appears rugby league legend Jamie Lyon won't get the send-off he deserves on Saturday.
Lyon has held the captaincy since 2009, leading the side to their 2011 Premiership win, though it appears that a recurring hamstring injury will rule him out of his final game at Brookvale.
Whether Lyon plays or not (he hasn't been named in the team), winning at Brookvale will be a tough task for the Raiders as they contend with a fired-up crowd and a side trying to salvage pride at the end of a tough season.
Raiders’ hooker Josh Hodgson returns to the side after missing the Eels clash through suspension.
The Englishman’s return will be a welcome sight for the Raiders as they try to maintain their recent form heading into the finals. Hodgo’s Super League finals experience will be invaluable for his teammates who are yet to play September footy.
Hodgo has been relentless in recent weeks, averaging over 35 tackles a game and assisting in four tries in his last three games.
U20's locking in finals
If the NYC side can come away with a win against last-placed Manly this Saturday they are guaranteed to play finals football.
After a disappointing stretch during the middle of the season, the young Raiders have managed to turn their season around, winning eight of their last ten games. Though the NYC side are placed at the bottom end of the eight, their recent run of wins prove they can cause some big upsets in September.
The boys put in a commanding second-half against Parramatta last Sunday and that win is sure to have bolstered team moral ahead of the match against the bottom-placed Sea Eagles on Saturday.
Edrick Lee and Paul Vaughan are back in the Raiders team after recent injury problems and it's going to be great seeing them back in action. Vaughan replaces Paulo who is out with a minor back injury, while Edrick comes in for his cousin Brenko.
Expect big performances from Edrick and Vaughan, as they look to cement a spot in the team coming up to the finals.
Ricky has named an extended bench of six, so there's still a chance of changes to the team being made before kick-off.