Five Things: Raiders v Rabbitohs
On Saturday afternoon the Canberra Raiders will run out on to GIO Stadium for the last time in 2018 and face the South Sydney Rabbitohs. Here's five things to look out for.
Members appreciation round
This week is the Raiders' members appreciation round and there will be over 100 activities for Raiders members to enjoy at the game on the weekend.
Avenging the Central Coast capitulation
This week the Raiders have the chance get revenge for being run over the top of in their round seven defeat to the Rabbitohs at Central Coast Stadium. The 42-22 loss to the Rabbitohs was one of only a couple of losses this season, along with the defeat against the Storm four weeks ago, where the Raiders were comprehensively outplayed.
The Raiders will be confident they can even the ledger this week when the Rabbitohs come down to Canberra.
The Rabbitohs first trip to Canberra since 2014
The Rabbitohs return to the Nation's Capital this weekend for the first time since 2014 and a lot has changed in the four years since South Sydney last visited.
People were walking around with the brand new IPhone 5 in their pocket, Tony Abbott was Prime Minister and the Ice Bucket Challenge was in full swing.
The Rabbitohs were still enduring a 43-year premiership drought, Wayne Bennett was coaching at Newcastle and New South Wales had just ended Queensland's eight years of State of Origin dominance.
Closer to home, Ricky Stuart was halfway through his first year as Raiders coach, Terry Campese and Brett White were club captains and Nick Cotric was lining up for the Valley Dragons in the under 16s.
A lot sure has changed and hopefully the result will too, the Raiders went down 34-18 last time these two met at GIO Stadium.
Few players enjoy coming up against the Raiders as much as Queensland captain Greg Inglis. Inglis returns this week after missing eight weeks with a broken thumb and there was no way he was going to miss this week as well with the fantastic record he has against the Green Machine.
There's no opponent Inglis has scored more tries against than the Raiders, with the centre crossing for 18 tries from 18 matches against the club, including four doubles and a 2010 hat-trick. There's no club he has more wins against either with 15 wins and only three losses against Canberra.
With stats like these it's clear the Raiders must shut down GI on Saturday if they're to defeat South Sydney.
Farewell departing players
This weekend is the perfect opportunity for Raiders fans to farewell departing stars; Blake Austin, Shannon Boyd and Junior Paulo. All three played an integral role in the Raiders' 2016 run where Canberra finished the season in second position before losing 14-12 to the Melbourne Storm in the Preliminary Final.
Boyd joined the Raiders as a junior and has represented Australia four times during his time at the Green Machine. Paulo joined Canberra in round 13 of the 2016 season when the Raiders were in sixth before the club went on a 14-week run in which they lost only once.
Austin joined the side in 2015 and has been one of the most exciting players in the NRL since, winning Dally M Five-Eighth of the Year in 2015 and scoring 34 tries in 86 games for the club.
As the three run out onto GIO Stadium in a lime green jersey for the last time, this Saturday is an opportunity for the fans to show their support for the departing stars.