Austbrokers Canberra Raiders Cup: Round Five Preview

The Canberra Raiders may not be out on the park this weekend due to representative round, but round five of the Austbrokers Canberra Raiders Cup is sure to bring plenty of entertainment to the nation’s capital.

Belconnen United Sharks v Gungahlin Bulls, 3pm Saturday at O’Connor

The Belconnen United Sharks will once again be out to find their first win of the season on Saturday, while the Gungahlin Bulls will be eyeing a return to the winners circle.

The ninth-placed Sharks were thrashed 50-10 on the weekend at the hands of last year’s minor premiers the Queanbeyan Kangaroos.

Meanwhile, the Queanbeyan Blues consigned the Bulls to a 34-18 loss on the weekend as the Bulls dropped from seventh to eighth on the ladder.

Sharks captain Jason Brown said his side will be looking to put forward a strong defensive display against the Bulls.

“Defence is a big key,” he said. “Coming up against the Bulls you know their forward pack will be strong so our defence will have to be on its game.”

Woden Valley Rams v West Belconnen Warriors, 3pm Saturday at Phillip District

The Woden Valley Rams are set to play host to a fresh West Belconnen Warriors outfit that enjoyed the luxury of a draw on the weekend.

The visitors will be on the search for their second win of the season to improve on sixth position, while the third-placed Rams have an eye on snaffling top spot on the ladder from the Blues.

The Rams will have to put the frustration of a 24-all draw with the Yass Magpies behind them when they cross swords with the defending premiers.

Rams coach Ash Barnes said that regardless of the Warriors’ indifferent start to the season he is wary of what they will bring on the weekend.

“They’ve been a bit patchy at this stage,” he said. “But they’ve got too many class players to not bounce back and put in a good performance on Saturday, so I’m expecting a good performance from them.”

Yass Magpies v Tuggeranong Bushrangers, 3pm Saturday at Walker Park

Like the Rams, the undefeated Magpies will be looking to bounce back from the 24-all draw on the weekend and, like the Rams, the second-placed high-flyers will be out to clinch top spot on the ladder.

On the other side of the ledger, the fifth-placed Tuggeranong Bushrangers have an eye on writing their wrongs for a 30-22 loss at the hands of the Goulburn Workers Bulldogs on the weekend as they look to burrow into the top four.

Magpies coach Steve Naughton said he is not surprised that his side remains undefeated after four rounds of competition.

“Not surprised,” he said. “I think we’ve got a pretty handy team on paper. We’re just trying to play to our potential and consistently each week will be the challenge.”

Goulburn Workers Bulldogs v Queanbeyan Kangaroos, 2pm Sunday at Workers Arena

The Bulldogs will be hunting back-to-back wins and the Kangaroos back-to-back-to-back victories when the two sides meet on Sunday.

The Bulldogs snared their first of the season in Round 4 in overcoming the Bushrangers 30-22, and will be out to improve on seventh position when they face last year’s minor premiers.

But making tough work for the Goulburn outfit will be a red-hot Kangaroos outfit brimming with confidence having steamrolled the Sharks 50-10 on Saturday.

Sitting in fourth position, the Kangaroos will be looking to further entrench themselves in the top four.

Bulldogs hooker Tyson Greenwood said finding their first win of the season on the weekend has given the side a huge boost.

“It’s really good,” he said.

“It had been a long time since our got a win to our name. I think it was last August, or last June, since our last win, since our last win. So it was a really good vibe on the field.”