Five Things: Raiders v Broncos
This week the Raiders travel up to Suncorp Stadium to face the Brisbane Broncos on Saturday night. Here are five things to look out for.
Eighth vs Ninth
A win against Brisbane this week sees the Raiders move to just a win outside of the top eight.
After thrashing the Wests Tigers last time out, Canberra moved to ninth and a win against the eight-placed Broncos will close the gap between them and a top eight spot. The Raiders' positive points difference means they only have to draw level on competition points with the Broncos or Sharks to overtake them and move into a finals position.
With a couple of favourable matchups over the next two weeks, beating Brisbane would be the perfect launchpad for a finals run as we approach the business end of the season.
Paulo's return from injury
This week the human wrecking ball Junior Paulo returns for the Raiders after missing six rounds with a foot sprain.
Paulo was destructive for the Raiders early in the season and he has played a huge role as a part of the Raiders' huge forward pack since moving to Canberra in 2016.
Paulo replaces the injured Luke Bateman on the bench and you can only imagine how a tired Broncos' defence will feel when Shannon Boyd comes off only to be replaced by a fresh Junior Paulo.
The trip to Suncorp
Brisbane hasn't been the happiest of hunting grounds for the Green Machine in recent years.
The Raiders have only beaten the Broncos in Brisbane once since 2004, with their last win coming in 2010. The trip to Brisbane is one of the toughest in the NRL for any side and Canberra will be hoping to turn a recent run of poor results at the venue around.
The Raiders have plenty of fans in the Sunshine State and if they can get out to the ground and cheer on the Green Machine it might just be the boost Canberra need to beat the Broncos at fortress Suncorp.
Backing up from Denver
While most NRL players were enjoying a week off, two Raiders were halfway around the world, 1600km above sea level, playing in the historic Denver test.
Elliott Whitehead scored a double for England in a man of the match performance at the Mile High Stadium while Joseph Tapine started in the second row for New Zealand.
The Broncos also had two players involved in the clash with Jamayne Isaako and Kodi Nikorima playing for New Zealand.
Plenty of eyes will be on the players backing up as we see how they compete just a week after playing international rugby league at such a high altitude on the other side of the world.
Head to head with Raiders juniors
The Broncos are known for producing some of the best young players in the NRL but two of their most exciting talents began their careers with the Raiders.
Anthony Milford and Tevita Pangai Junior both starred for the Raiders in the NYC before making the move north. Milford also spent two seasons playing first grade for the Raiders and was named Canberra's Rookie of the Year in 2013.
In his three year stint with the Raiders, Pangai Junior was selected in the Junior Kangaroos side each year and was named in the 2015 NYC Team of the Year.
The Raiders will be hoping to close down these two who will be looking to star against their former club.