The Raiders head up north for Round 1 to face the Gold Coast Titans at Cbus Super Stadium on Sunday night. Here are five things to look for.
Footy is Back
After a long wait, footy is finally back and the Raiders will look to start the season with a win.
Weekends haven’t been the same without any footy and after an underwhelming 2018 season for Canberra fans, the Raiders enter 2019 with a new forward pack after the departures of Junior Paulo and Shannon Boyd.
A number of young props will be vying for Round 1 spots, with new recruits Ryan Sutton and JJ Collins amongst them.
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and John Bateman are possible starters for this week’s clash. Nicoll-Klokstad could fill a void at fullback with the former New Zealander Warrior impressing in the role during pre-season trial matches.
John Bateman also looks for a start in the second-row, joining his fellow England internationals Josh Hodgson and Elliott Whitehead. Capable of playing in the forwards or at center, Bateman will be looking to cement his place in the side.
The Englishman won the 2018 Super League with the Wigan Warriors and was a nominee for the Steve Prescott Man of Steel.
A familiar face will be seen this weekend when ex-Raiders player Shannon Boyd takes to the field with the Titans. Boyd made his debut with Canberra in 2014 and played over 100 games for the club.
Sunday’s match will mark the first time that Boyd plays for his new side and will be eager to impress his new teammates.
Round 1 Revenge
In 2018, the Raiders travelled to the Gold Coast to commence their season and things started brightly as early tries saw the team take an 18-0 lead within the first 20 minutes.
However, the Titans fought back to claim a win in the dying moments to claim the two competition points.
The Raiders did claim a convincing 32-18 win when the two sides played at GIO Stadium but the side will be itching to start the season well and claim revenge for last year’s result in the process.
The Raiders are one converted try away from reaching a club total of 20,000 points since the side entered the Premiership back in 1982.
11% of the points scored have been by players with the last Croker with both Jarrod and Jason scoring prolifically for the club.
Jarrod, who will play his first Premiership game since he injured his knee in Round 18 against the Cowboys last year, has claimed 1,768 points – the most in the club’s history.
Jason, who is the club’s all time leading try scorer, scored 482 points in his career.