Austbrokers Canberra Raiders Cup: Round 4 Preview
Gungahlin Bulls v Queanbeyan Blues, 3pm Saturday at Gungahlin Enclosed Oval
A struggling Gungahlin Bulls outfit is set to host the high-flying Queanbeyan Blues on Saturday afternoon.
Sitting in seventh on the ladder, the Bulls will be out to bounce back from a 32-8 thumping at the hands of last year’s minor premiers the Queanbeyan Kangaroos.
Meanwhile, the visitors are aiming for their fourth win on the trot to maintain their place on the top of the ladder.
They were at their scintillating best on the weekend in thrashing the Goulburn Workers Bulldogs 44-18.
Queanbeyan Kangaroos v Belconnen United Sharks, 3pm Saturday at Seears Workwear Oval
Twenty minutes away, the Kangaroos will welcome the Belconnen United Sharks at Seears Workwear Oval in what fares as a David and Goliath clash.
The Kangaroos clinched the minor premiership last season and are perched in fourth on the ladder, while the Belconnen United Sharks won the wooden spoon in 2016 and are now sitting in last with zero wins to their name.
The Kangaroos have an eye on replicating the destruction blazed in their 32-8 pummelling of the Bulls on the weekend.
The Sharks, on the other hand, will be out to write their wrongs after a narrow 26-22 loss to the Woden Valley Rams in Round 3.
Kangaroos coach Aaron Gorrell said his side will again bring a good attitude into Saturday’s game.
“We won’t take any side we play lightly,” Gorrell said. “We just need to play to the best of our ability and hopefully that’ll be enough to get the two points.”
Goulburn Workers Bulldogs v Tuggeranong Bushrangers, 2pm Sunday at Workers Arena
A crucial two points will be up for grabs an hour’s drive down the Federal Highway when the Goulburn Workers Bulldogs host the Tuggeranong Bushrangers at Workers Arena on Sunday.
As per the Sharks, the eighth-placed Bulldogs will be hunting their first win of the season as they look to make amends for their 44-18 drubbing at the hands of the Blues.
Meanwhile, the fifth-placed Bushrangers should be feeling fresh having had the luxury of a bye on the weekend.
They will be in pursuit of their second win of the season to potentially climb into the top four, pending the outcome of the Kangaroos’ clash with the Sharks.
Tuggeranong coach Justin Giteau said his side will be looking to complete as many sets as possible.
“Goulburn are a decent side, especially at home,” Giteau said. “We’re just going to have to complete a lot more sets. Our completion has been pretty ordinary the first two rounds. I think whichever team completes the best – and Goulburn seems to do that pretty well – will win the game.”
Woden Valley Rams v Yass Magpies, 3pm Sunday at Phillip District
Both sitting on six competition points, the third-placed Rams and second-placed Yass Magpies are looking to snag a win to potentially clinch first on the ladder.
However, any opportunity to claim first place depends on the Gungahlin Bulls upsetting the Queanbeyan Blues.
Buoyant after their gritty 26-22 win over the Sharks, the Rams will be in pursuit of their fourth win of the season to maintain their unbeaten run.
On the other side of the ledger, the Magpies are also coming off a four-point win having upset the defending premiers West Belconnen Warriors 18-14.
Woden coach Steve Ferry said the Magpies are a side to be wary of.
“I reckon they’re going to be a really great side this year,” Ferry said. “They have recruited well and they have had a great start to the season. It’s definitely going to be a tough game. They’re going to have a big forward pack and they’ve got strike on the edges.”