The Raiders return home to GIO Stadium for Round 2 to face the Melbourne Storm. Here are five things to look forward to.
First Home Game
The Raiders are back in the Nation’s Captial this Friday night and the team will be looking for a win in front of a passionate home crowd at GIO Stadium.
John Bateman will be playing his first game in Canberra, with the Englishman looking to continue his impressive start to the season after starring in Round 1 against the Titans.
Bateman announced his arrival last week with 154 run metres and 36 tackles to go along with five tackle busts. The Canberra fans will no doubt be getting behind him and our other debutants from last weekend.
With a 21-0 win over the Titans, the boys will look to bring that same energy and intensity this Friday.
The Canberra defence was notable in the wet weather, the team made 290 tackles with an effective tackle rate of 87.6%. A completion rate of 74% meant the Raiders held 55% of the possession.
Match Highlights: Raiders
The bright start will be tested against the Storm, who also had an impressive win over the Broncos. The Storm still provide a strong back line even without the retired Billy Slater.
Battle of the Hookers
Once again two of the best hookers in the NRL will meet again. Co-captain Josh Hodgson was simply faultless against the Titans as he set up one try and forced two dropouts.
Cameron Smith has been an outstanding performer for club, state and country over the years and without Slater and Cronk will have an even greater influence throughout 2019 for the Storm.
The two hookers provide huge roles to their respective clubs and whoever can have a better performance will most likely keep their team undefeated early in the season.
Next Generation are Back
The Under 20’s will be making their start to the season this week at 3:45pm when they play before the main game.
The Under 20’s provide a look into the next generation of talented players coming through the system at the Raiders after the team performed under the Mounties banner last season.
The Raiders have a proud history of producing NRL talent from the local region with current stars such as Nick Cotric and Jarrod Croker being prime examples.
Talented winger Nick Cotric will be playing his 50th NRL game this week for the Raiders. Cotric has played every game since making his debut with club in March 2017.
The 20-year-old climbed through the ranks of the Raiders junior system and was named NRL Rookie of the Year in 2017, the first Raiders to do so since Mark McLinden in 1998.
Cotric has scored 28 tries and 112 points in 49 appearances with the club and led the NRL for tackle busts in 2018.