The Canberra Raiders come up against a determined Penrith Panthers outfit this Sunday as both teams fight to keep their season alive. Here are five things to keep an eye out for during the game.
Sunday Arvo Footy
What else is there to do on a Sunday afternoon but watch two of the NRL’s most exciting teams fight to keep their season alive. Both teams are fighting to stay in touch with the top eight, and with so much on the line this weekend’s clash is set to light up GIO Stadium.
The last time the Raiders played on a Sunday afternoon was in round 12 against the Sydney Roosters. Coming up against the higher placed Sydney team, the Raiders stunned the tri colours to run home with a tight 24-16 win.
The Raiders will be hoping they can replicate these heroics against a higher placed team once again, and keep their season alive. Make sure you don’t miss out on any of the action by securing your ticket here.
It was just 10 rounds ago when the Panthers broke the Raiders hearts in their 24-20 final second win at Carrington Park Bathurst. The Raiders led 20-12 as the clock ticked down and looked set to cruise home to an easy two competition points. But a Matt Moylan clinic steered Penrith to victory, scoring two tries in two minutes to snatch the win off the Raiders and set up a chance of redemption next time around.
The last time Penrith travelled down to GIO Stadium they were met by an armada of 21,000 screaming Raiders fans, who inspired Canberra to a 22-12 semi final triumph.
The Raiders led the match from the outset, after Blake Austin split the Panthers defence early in the first half. With the crowd behind them the Raiders fought off the dangerous Penrith attack to progress through to the Preliminary Finals.
Viking Glen Lazarus
Affectionately known as the ‘brick with eyes’, Glen Lazarus is a dual premiership winner for the Canberra Raiders and this Sunday will be the Viking ambassador.
Lazarus played a big role in the Raiders 1989 grand final win against Balmain, but more importantly, the Queanbeyan born forward helped the Raiders beat the Penrith Panthers 18-14 in the 1990 grand final. One year later, both teams met once again in the final but the result went the way of the Panthers with the 1991 season also being his final in a green jersey.
However, Lazarus will be fronting up against Penrith once again this Sunday, trying to inspire the Raiders to another famous win over the Panthers.
Raiders coach Ricky Stuart is renowned for wearing his heart on his sleeve, and sharing the passion, pressure and stress with his players down on the sidelines.
But recently Stuart has been missing from the sideline, instead opting for the warmth and comfort of the coaches’ box. Stuarts sideline antics can almost be as entertaining as the game, from the pure elation and joy of a win to the steam you can almost see coming out of his ears after a loss.
With so much on the line and an big home crowd expected, will Ricky return to the sideline and inspire his team to their 11th win of the season?