Unlike last week, the Raiders team selection for Saturday's blockbuster against the Sharks appears relatively straightforward.
The makeup of the team remains a mystery to us here at raiders.com.au, but we've explored some of questions and possibilties that will need to be answered tomorrow (Tuesday) at 4pm when the Raiders team for Saturday's match is named.
Forward Pack Changes
A potential selection headache was avoided when Raiders forward Clay Priest was suspended for one match after the Cowboys game. With Junior Paulo returning from suspension, it appears a formality he will replace Priest in the team. The other options to replace Priest are Makahesi Makatoa and Scott Sorensen.
Assuming Paulo does come into the team, it will be interesting to see if Ricky selects him in the starting side or on the bench. A starting front row of Paulo and Shannon Boyd is an intimidating prospect for the Sharks. The other canditates to move into the starting team are Jeff Lima and Dunamis Lui.
The Raiders were fortunate that Zac Santo traveled up to Townsville with the team as a backline cover in case of injury or illness. Santo was called upon at the last-minute to come into the starting team, replacing Jack Wighton who was struck down by illness.
Santo performed superbly at fullback in the match, scoring the Raiders opening try against his former club. While he didn't put a foot wrong, it's likely Wighton will come back into the side at Santo's expense.
Elliott Whitehead performed very strongly in the unfamilar position of centre on Saturday, running for 106 metres and repelling numerous Cowboys attacking raids.
Specialist centres Jordan Turner and Brent Naden performed well in the Mounties victory over the Bulldogs on Saturday, and we will find out tomorrow whether Whitehead will stay in the centres for another week.
What will the Sharks do?
Australian representative Valentine Holmes appears a good chance to return for the Sharks this week. Assuming Holmes slots in at fullback, an outside back will have to drop out of the team. Edrick Lee and Ricky Leutele are the likely canditates to lose their spot.
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