Five Things: Raiders v Dragons
The Canberra Raiders face a crucial Friday night clash at home against the Dragons in Round 19 of the NRL.
1. Friday night footy is back at GIO Stadium.
The match will be the first 7:50pm kick off on a Friday night that the Green Machine have had this season. The Raiders faced the Sea Eagles earlier this year at a 6pm kick off so the timing for the Dragons clash will be a little bit more family friendly for Members and supporters to get to the ground.
You can expect the Green Machine to be fired up in front of the home crowd as they seek to get back to winning ways.
2. Former player return.
It wouldn't be a Raiders v Dragons clash without some former players lining up against the mighty Green Machine. Josh McCrone, Josh Dugan, Paul Vaughan and Joel Thompson are all expected to feature in some capacity on Friday night. For the Raiders, only Dunamis Lui has previously played for the Dragons but he will not play a part as he is still recovering from an ACL injury.
Expect a fired up Canberra crowd as the return of familiar faces looks set to spice things up amongst the home supporters.
3. Origin player backing up.
With the State of Origin game III decider in Brisbane on Wednesday there will be a big question mark on the fitness of some of the players leading in to Friday's match. The Raiders have Josh Papalii who has been named on the interchange. The visitors meanwhile have Josh Dugan and Tyson Frizell in the Blues team however there is a question mark over the latter's fitness heading into the decider and his teammate Jack De Belin has been named at 18th man.
It will be interesting to see if any of the players decide to back up for the macth on Friday night as Wednesday's clash looks set to be a gruelling and draining affair.
4. Classic matches over the years.
There have been some absolute nail biters over the years and there's something about these two teams that always throws up a thrilling contest. From the period of 2008-2013 the Green Machine had won nine times in a row over the Dragons which was an incredibly achievement, however since then the Red and White have had a more enjoyable run of results against Canberra recently.
With the added spice of former players returning and with both sides fired up to get back to winning ways, you can expect this match to be a classic.
5. NYC side hitting their stride.
Our Holden Cup side had a very impressive win against the highly fancied Cowboys in their last match at GIO Stadium. The side have welcomed back Harry Van Dartel and Paul Roache from injury whilst new signing Erin Clark was named man of the match against North Queensland and Brett White's side look set to make a real surge into the finals.
They face a big test against the Dragons who sit second on the ladder and this will be one to get into GIO Stadium early for.