NRL Match Preview: Raiders v Broncos

The Canberra Raiders will head into Sunday afternoon’s game riding a wave of good form when they play against the Brisbane Broncos at GIO Stadium.

Canberra will be hoping their winning start to the season will continue and, in the process, break a six game losing streak against the Broncos.

The Raiders come into the match with the best defensive record in the competition after keeping the Eels scoreless and defeating them 19-0 last Sunday.

The Broncos will be looking to claim their second win of the season after losing in the dying stages of their match against the Tigers in round 5 in Brisbane.

The Green Machine have made one change to the side, with JJ Collins set to make his Raiders debut, replacing the injured Joe Tapine who damaged his ankle ligaments last week and sidelining him until round 17.

Last Time: The Broncos defeated the Raiders 26-22 in last year’s only clash between the two teams at Suncorp Stadium. The Raiders were up 16-0 at halftime, however a dominant second-half performance from the Broncos was enough to win in the end.

Key Match-Ups

Josh Hodgson v Andrew McCullough

Two of the most influential hookers in the NRL will go head to head this weekend when Josh Hodgson matches up against Andrew McCullough.

Hodgson will be wanting to continue leading his side to victory, after helping them to their best start to a season since 2005.

The England International was phenomenal in defence during last week’s win, making a total of 48 tackles, adding to his 191 for the season, as well as making 116 passes.

McCullough will be hoping to continue his dominant defensive performances for the Broncos and steer them to a win during his 11th season with the club, currently leading the NRL tally for tackles with 239.

Both players are hoping to contribute to their teams performance both on and off the ball and will be hoping their dictation in the centre of the park can inspire a victory.

Jordan Rapana v Corey Oates

Jordan Rapana will be hoping to add to his try tally, however it will be a challenge as he comes up against Corey Oates in what will sure be an explosive battle.

Rapana will be hoping his partnership with centre Joey Leulia can continue its dominant form as he looks to continue his impressive performances since coming back early from a shoulder injury.

The 2017 Dally M Winger of the Year will be looking to break his duck against the Broncos, only scoring once in his three meetings against the side.

Oates will be looking to continue to influence his Brisbane side, so far scoring five tries this season however also leads the error count with twelve.

The two exciting wingers will go head-to-head in what should be a tight contest if both get on the board at GIO Stadium.

Rapana reins in attacking flair in pursuit of premiership

Jack Wighton v Anthony Milford

It’ll be a tough match for the two five-eighths, with both Jack Wighton and Anthony Milford looking to guide their teams to a win.

Wighton has been impressive in his new position, developing a strong partnership with halfback Sam Williams and continues to be an important member in the Raiders build-up play.

The former fullback got his first try of the season last weekend, and will hoping to capitalise on his performance against the Eels last weekend.

Milford will be looking to inspire a Broncos victory after being relatively quiet to start of the season, however will be full of confidence returning to Canberra having not lost a game against his former side.

Both players will be hoping for the best possible outcome on Sunday night, both willing to help and motivate their sides to the win.

We've still got a long way to go and we've still got a lot of improvement in us

Elliott Whitehead

Head to Head: The Raiders and Broncos have come together on 33 occasions, with Canberra only winning 12 compared to the Broncos 20, with the teams drawing in one match 26-26 down in Canberra in 2001.