The Raiders are preparing for another tough and physical match this Saturday as they come up against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
With both sides boasting some of the biggest forwards in the NRL, including 123kg Shannon Boyd and the big 128kg frame of Sam Kasiano, the showdown between the two packs at ANZ is sure to make for some sore bodies in the sheds after the game.
However, playing against big teams is nothing new to the Raiders who have come up against some monster forward packs in the past couple of weeks including the likes of the New Zealand Warriors and the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles.
Raiders enforcer Sia Soliola thrives on the challenge of coming up against big teams, saying it brings out the best in the side.
“The good thing about playing those guys is they challenge us,” said Soliola.
“It brings out the best in opposition sides because you have to be good, you have to be clinical against those sides.”
Soliola has been in great form for the Raiders, notching up 21 tackles in his time on the field last week against the Sea Eagles and playing a big role in the Raiders strong start to the season.
Despite his good individual form, the humble forward attributes his success to his teammates, saying they drive him to play better.
“With the group that we have, we just love training and being around each other and playing in the same team and that’s a good thing that drives you sometimes.”
“You’ve got others guys around you who can pick you up.”
With representative round just around the corner, and with a lot of Raiders in line to put on a representative jersey next week, it says a lot about the success of the team.
Soliola says it’s a good sign to have a lot of players in representative teams and finds it rewarding watching his teammates play on the big stage.
“It’s always a good sign when you’ve got a lot of guys in there representing.”
“It’s always quite rewarding for us as players to get to watch our boys play on the big stages and we get to enjoy watching your friends all playing.”
Article by James Coman.