Austbrokers Canberra Raiders Cup Round 17 Preview
A top of the table clash headlines Round 17 of the Canberra Raiders Cup as the Tuggeranong Bushrangers visit the Queanbeyan Kangaroos, while the Yass Magpies face a must win clash against the Gungahlin Bulls to fight for a finals berth.
Queanbeyan Kangaroos v Tuggeranong Bushrangers – 3pm, Saturday 4 August – Seears Workwear Oval / Live Stream
What better way to kickstart Round 17 of the Canberra Raiders Cup than with a top of the table clash between the Queanbeyan Kangaroos and the Tuggeranong Bushrangers to feature as the Match of the Round.
The Kangaroos are coming off a comprehensive 34-6 win over the Belconnen United Sharks in Round 16 and sit just one-point shy of the Bushrangers with two rounds remaining.
With finals only a fortnight away, Queanbeyan Kangaroos coach Aaron Gorrell is hoping to see his side improve their consistency.
"That's probably been our biggest weakness all year," Gorrell said. "We've been really good for short periods but to win against the top sides, you need to be good for long periods of time.
"If we drop our last two games, we slide back to fourth. If we win two we finish first, so we control our own destiny and we've spoken about that for the last six weeks."
The Bushrangers lost just their third match of the year following a 22-12 defeat to the Gungahlin Bulls last weekend opening up the minor premiership race to their opponents on Saturday.
However, Tuggeranong prop Phaebian Antonio says the team has regathered and the will be determined to seal the Minor Premiership.
"It's a must win top of the table clash," Antonio said. "The boys really want a home semi-final so hopefully we get up on the weekend."
West Belconnen Warriors v Belconnen United Sharks – 3pm, Sunday 5 August – Raiders Belconnen / Live Stream
The Warriors will be looking to turn their fortunes around after having only won one of their past five matches.
A four point defeat to the Yass Magpies last weekend sees the Warriors clinging onto fourth position, with Yass only two points behind them.
The Sharks have went down to the Kangaroos by 28 points in Round 16 and will be looking to put in spirited performances over the remaining two rounds.
It's a must win match for the Warriors in an attempt to lock down their finals berth but the Belconnen side will be hoping to finish their season on a high.
Yass Magpies v Gungahlin Bulls – 3pm, Saturday 4 August – Walker Park
The Yass Magpies kept their season alive with a hard-fought 16-12 win over the West Belconnen Warriors last weekend leaving them just two points out of the top four.
The Bulls will be full of confidence following their 10-point victory over the top of the table Bushrangers and will be out to cause more trouble for another team in finals contention.
This one shapes as quite the clash with the Bulls losing just one of their past four matches and the Magpies looking to keep their season alive.
Goulburn Workers Bulldogs v Woden Valley Rams – 3pm, Saturday 4 August – Workers Arena
Goulburn come into this one off a heavy 44-12 defeat to the Queanbeyan Blues and will be hopeful of finishing the season strongly with two solid performances.
The Rams will be fresh and ready to go after a bye in round 16 and a 22-6 win over the Bulls in their last game in Round 15 leaving them undefeated in their last nine games.
Woden Valley are firming as serious title contenders and will be looking to continue their form this weekend ahead of the finals and put the other clubs on notice.