Match Preview: Raiders v Manly
Coming off the back of three straight wins, the Raiders will be looking to claim another victim at GIO Stadium on Friday night when they take on the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles.
Having grinded out a tough win last week against the Warriors, scoring three tries to one after trailing at half-time, the Raiders have another tough match in front of them coming up against a resilient Sea Eagles side, which are looking to get their season back on track after back-to-back losses.
Canberra seems to be a home away from home for the Manly based side, who have won five of their last six in the nation’s capital. This shouldn’t faze the Raiders however, as they enjoy playing under the lights of a Friday night, winning four of their last five Friday night games at GIO Stadium including a 12-point win over Manly last year.
There is no doubt that the Raiders best attack comes from its strike players on the edges, and this week is set to be no different. The Raiders right edge broke a total of 13 tackles against the Warriors with Rapana busting through seven and Leilua breaking eight.
On the other side of the spectrum, Manlys left edge let in six tries last week against the Storm with Jorge Taufua and Brian Kelly missing six tackles between them, suggesting Austin and Sezer will be sending a lot of traffic their way.
Despite the differences in form for eacj team, the Raiders are well aware of how good the Sea Eagles are capable of being and Aidan Sezer is weary not to underestimate them.
“We don’t take any team for granted, every game is tough in this competition,” Sezer said.
“If you’re looking at games as danger games, you’re underestimating the team. We’ll be preparing accordingly, focusing on our job and trying to perform well for our club and our fans. “
With the added pressure of ANZAC round, there is sure to be plenty of passion out on the field between both teams, but Sezer will be looking to use this as an opportunity to go for four wins in a row.
“It’s always good to gain a bit of momentum and get a few wins on the trot.”
“We had a good run last year and hopefully we can get on a run now. We’ve got a good opportunity at home this week to go four in a row and we’ll be looking to do that.”
In a high-scoring affair, the Raiders attack was too good for the Sea Eagles back in Round 25 last year, outclassing Trent Barrett’s men 44-30.
Leilua and Rapana had a starring role in the win with Rapana crossing for a hat-trick and Leilua bagging a double at Brookvale Oval.
See highlights from the last time the Raiders and Sea Eagles met in the video below.