Here are five hot topics surrounding the Canberra Raiders’ do-or-die clash with the Newcastle Knights on Friday night.
1. A brewing Raiders-Knights rivalry
Recent results in Raiders-Knights games suggest Friday is shaping up as a blockbuster. The sides twice played out golden-point thrillers last year in the two games they met. The first resulted in the first NRL draw since 2013 when the sides weren’t able to break a 24-all deadlock in the Hunter in Round 3. However, the Raiders were able to pick the lock on the Knights when Jordan Rapana crossed in a 29-25 golden-point classic in Round 17. The Knights then ran away 34-20 victors in Round 10 this season despite being anchored to the bottom of the ladder.
2. Austin’s 100th NRL game
Another Raiders player will reach a major milestone when five-eighth Blake Austin runs out for his 100th NRL appearance. Austin cut his teeth in the NRL as a 20-year-old for Penrith in 2011. He called the Panthers home for three years, joined Wests Tigers in 2014 and signed with the Green Machine in 2015. The 26-year-old made his Raiders debut against the Sharks in Round 1, 2015 and will turn out for his 65th game in Canberra colours on Friday. The Raiders have made a number of milestone games moments to savour in 2017, including captain Jarrod Croker’s 200th NRL outing in which the Raiders found a win over the Eels.
3. Members Appreciation Round
Be there on Friday as we celebrate Member Appreciation Round. Our members form the heartbeat of the club and the Raiders reached a significant milestone in hitting the 19,000-mark in memberships in May.
4. Friday 6:00pm
If the Raiders’ two home Friday night fixtures this season are signs of what’s to come, you will want to get away from work as early as possible. The Green Machine’s games against Manly and St George were both decided in golden-point heart-stoppers. The Sea Eagles banged over a penalty goal to snatch a 20-18 win in Round 8, before the combination of a clutch Aidan Sezer 40/20 and an Elliott Whitehead try handed the Raiders an 18-14 victory over the Dragons in Round 19.
5. 2CC promotion
Thanks to 2CC you will have the chance to win a Raiders gold family pass for 2018 valued at more than $700. Print off this early-mark permission slip and have your boss, partner, kids, friend or anyone else sign their signature. This will give you permission to leave work or home early in order to see the Green Machine roll out for the 6:00pm clash. Drop the form in the barrel at 2CC’s live broadcast and keep your eyes peeled for the draw at half-time. Be sure to tune in to 2CC’s live call of the game too!