Five Things: Raiders v Sharks
A new goalkicker and captain make it an interesting clash this Friday against the Sharks. Here are five things to look out for.
It's a streak you wouldn't quite expect but the last ten matches between these two clubs has resulted in the away side grabbing the spoils.
The trend was amplified with the Sharks grabbing the win earlier this season in Canberra 24-16 and now both sides will be determined for the two points for very different reasons.
The Sharks are pushing for top four but a loss could see them languishing just inside the eight where the Raiders are coming off back to back wins but must grab another on Friday to stay in touch with the sides above them.
Who can kick goals?
Not every week that you lose your captain, goal kicker and second choice goal kicker to injury but that's what the Raiders face with Jarrod Croker (knee) and Aidan Sezer (hamstring) both sitting on the sidelines for the Sharks clash.
The biggest void left is the goalkicking with only Blake Austin (61.1%) and Brad Abbey (50%) having goalkicking experience at NRL level and percentages well below Croker (81.1%) and Sezer (82.1%).
Expect there to be a shootout during the week between Austin, Abbey, Williams and Rapana to see who is picked as the first choice for Friday night.
The original halves combo
They started the year together but Blake Austin and Sam Williams haven't featured in the halves together since the round 2 defeat to the Newcastle Knights.
Through form and injury, the pair have alternated between being Sezer's partner in crime but one of them will now have to step up and take control of the team.
But with both coming off big performances against the Cowboys, the pair will be looking to strengthen their partnership by bringing the two points home from Cronulla.
He has a good try scoring record against most teams but Jordan Rapana has scored seven tries in his last six games against Cronulla and will be hoping to grab a few more on Friday.
The Raiders have scored 424 points in their 17 games and have scored only one less point than the Rabbitohs who are the top scoring side in the competition.
Rapana has been key to that as he grabbed a double in the win over the Cowboys and has seven tries from his 14 games this season.
The absence of Croker presents Josh Hodgson the chance to captain just his third NRL game in his 78th appearance for the club.
Croker missed the start of the 2017 season through injury and the team was beaten by both the Cowboys and the Sharks in the process.
This gives Hodgson a chance for his first win as skipper and he will be determined to get out there and lead from the front.