The Raiders will play their final home game of the 2018 season against the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Saturday afternoon at GIO Stadium.

Canberra have won three of their past four meetings against the Rabbitohs but will play a home match against them for the first time since 2014.


The Raiders are coming off arguably their best win of the season after defeating the Sydney Roosters 14-12 in round 23 at home.

The Rabbitohs find themselves coming off consecutive losses following a 38-18 defeat to the Brisbane Broncos in round 23 at Suncorp Stadium.

The Raiders have made a forced change with Joe Tapine being ruled out for the remainder of the season with a broken thumb which sees Elliott Whitehead move back into the second row and Michael Oldfield named to return in the centres.

South Sydney welcome back fullback Alex Johnston for the clash which sees Dane Gagai revert to the centres and Hymel Hunt to the wing with Richard Kennar dropping to the reserves.

Greg Inglis makes his long-awaited return from a broken thumb and winger Campbell Graham also returns following a wrist injury which sees Braidon Burns move back to the bench.

Last time: These sides met back in round 7 and Raiders fans will still have a bad taste in their mouth following a comprehensive 42-22 defeat to South Sydney. A try on halftime to Elliott Whitehead gave the Raiders a sniff but three tries in 11 minutes to the Rabbitohs snuffed out any chance of a comeback.

Key Matchups

Josh Hodgson v Damien Cook

They are both very different in the way they play from dummy half but this one is set to be a cracker down the middle of the park.

Josh Hodgson has taken on the captaincy and continues to bob his head all over the park looking for action to lead his side as well as the England international providing quality service from dummy half.
Damien Cook has been one of the form players of the competition and that shows following a NSW Origin debut this year and he sits as one of the favourites for the Dally M Medal following an impressive 2018 campaign.

These two will play a key role in providing go forward for their teams and that will be off the back of feeding the ball to the players featuring in out next matchup.

Shannon Boyd and Dunamis Lui v George and Tom Burgess

It's obvious that South Sydney are experiencing increased success off the platform that the Burgess boys are laying in the middle of the park.

The Raiders also boast one of the biggest forward packs in the competition with Shannon Boyd and Junior Paulo just to name a few.

Raiders coach Ricky Stuart likes to split up those two big men with one coming from the bench after the initial 20 minutes as Dunamis Lui has been impressive in starting off games this season.

The Raiders middle will be up against a big task this weekend with all three of the Burgess boys looking to get their side back in the winner's circle.

Blake Austin v Cody Walker

Two of the livewire five-eighths of the competition will be on show in Canberra on Saturday as Blake Austin plays his final home game ahead of his departure to Warrington.

Austin will no doubt be out to give the Canberrans a warm farewell with a determined performance and such a performance from the 2015 Dally M five-eighth of the year will go a long way to the Raiders grabbing the two points.

Cody Walker, like Damien Cook, has been one of the form players over the competition with 16line breaks and having 11 try assists but hasn't been at the standard he would have liked over the past two weeks.

The two may not come face to face often on the weekend but the excitement will be high when either of them has ball in hand.

Quote of the week: "It will definitely be a big challenge as the Rabbitohs have a great side this year. Their big forward pack and great outside backs will make it a good challenge for us to see how we go against them" – Nick Cotric

Head to head: The Raiders hold the advantage over the Rabbitohs winning 31 of the 54 clashes and South Sydney grabbing the remaining 23 victories.