With the absence of Jordan Rapana, Josh Papalii and the possible suspension of Sia Soliola we take a look at the possible options at coach Ricky Stuart’s disposal ahead of teamlist Tuesday.
Jordan Rapana has taken the early guilty plea for his grade one shoulder charge on Nelson Asofa-Solomona and his suspension is a blow to the Green Machine but there will be a couple of options for Ricky Stuart to mull over.
Michael Oldfield. The Raiders latest signing was on the bench for Saturday’s match against the field and was unlucky to not see any game time. The former Souths man is a strong possibility to make his full Raiders debut at ANZ Stadium and is a very handy option to have. Oldfield is quite versatile in the backline and offers the Raiders solid depth on the wing.
Kato Ottio. The PNG international is another option Stuart has in the absence of Rapana and is certainly one the fans would love to see. After a sensational season in the NSW Intrust Super Premiership last season, Ottio conjured up 29 tries in 22 appearances for Mounties and earned plenty of admiration amongst the Raiders faithful. Kato grabbed a try in Mounties huge 51-10 win over the ladder leading Wyong Roos over the weekend.
Raiders supporters can expect to see some shuffling around in the forwards as Ricky Stuart assess his options to cover the loss of Papalii and possibly Soliola.
Clay Priest. A strong chance to slot into the side. Priest can play at prop or lock and has made quite a few appearances for the Green Machine this year. Priest was suspended for the Raiders clash against the Storm last weekend due to a charge from the Mounties NSW Intrust Super Premiership clash but will be available for selection again this weekend.
Royce Hunt. The former Australian Schoolboys Prop signed for the Raiders mid-year and made his debut against the Panthers in Bathurst. Whilst Hunt played limited minutes he certainly didn’t look out of place and could be unleashed by Ricky Stuart against the Rabbitohs. Hunt is very versatile in the forwards and can be utilised in various positions.
Scott Sorensen. Sorensen has made a couple of NRL appearances this season and will be hungry for more game time after some solid performances in NSW Cup this year. Sorensen was in great form for Mounties over the weekend against the Wyong Roos as he scored a brace of tries their big win. Comfortable at second row, lock or at hooker, Sorensen’s versatility gives him a strong chance of selection against the Rabbitohs.
Liam Knight. Along with Oldfield, Knight joined the Raiders mid-season and has immediately asserted himself for Mounties in NSW Cup. Knight previously made his debut in the NRL last season for the Sea Eagles against the Titans and was amongst the try-scorers list on the weekend for Mounties.
Jeff Lima: A very experienced option to have at your disposal. Lima has been very solid for Mounties in NSW Cup and would easily slot straight into the NRL side. The former New Zealand international would bring a calm and composed head to the Green Machine and his quality puts him in a strong position.