The Canberra Raiders will be hoping to return to the winner’s circle on Saturday when they face off against the North Queensland Cowboys at GIO Stadium for Indigenous Round.
Joe Tapine will be looking to help the cause after the New Zealand international was named on the bench for the first time since sustaining an ankle injury against the Parramatta Eels in Round 5.
With only two competition points separating the fourth placed Raiders and the ninth placed Sharks, the Green Machine will be looking to maintain their top four spot after close back to back losses.
After a narrow loss in Magic Round against the Roosters, the Raiders returned to GIO Stadium and produced a fantastic performance albeit in a 16-12 loss to the Rabbitohs.
The Cowboys will be searching for their second win on the trot after defeating the Parramatta Eels 17-10.
The two teams will be playing each other for the second time this season. The Raiders defeated the Cowboys 30-12 in Townsville with winger Jordan Rapana scoring a double in what was a hard fought match.
Williams vs Morgan
The two halfbacks have been in good form and will go head to head at GIO Stadium this Saturday.
Williams is coming off an impressive game last week against the Rabbitohs, scoring a try whilst also producing 243 kicking metres.
The Raiders halfback also racked up 24 made tackles with only two missed tackles.
Cowboys’ Michael Morgan will be looking to continue his solid kicking game this week, the halfback has nine forced dropouts this season whilst averaging 319 kicking metres.
Cotric vs O’Neill
After reshuffling the lineup last week, Raiders’ Nick Cotric will once again play in the centres, this time matching up against Cowboys’ Justin O’Neill.
Cotric will be looking to continue his form from last week as he produced six tackle breaks with 129 total running metres against South Sydney.
The 20 year old also was heavily involved in setting up a try for Sam Williams as his running game and ability to offload was on full display.
O’Neill will be looking to continue his try scoring form, the Cowboys’ centre has scored seven tries in seven appearances this season.
Sutton vs Taumalolo
An international lock battle will once again take place this week in Canberra, as English international Ryan Sutton meets Tongan international Jason Taumalolo.
Sutton has not lacked confidence in his first NRL season, the lock has 324 post contact metres in 2019 as well as a solitary try.
Jason Taumalolo hasn’t missed a step since returning from an MCL injury sustained in Round 2.
The Tongan international made 40 tackles last week against the Eels, he also ran for a total 223 metres in the win.
Sutton will need to continue his solid defence this week, as the Englishman has a tackle efficiency of 90% which will be needed to stop the deadly running of Taumalolo.
Head to Head:
The Raiders have met the Cowboys on 43 occasions, with Canberra winning 24 times and North Queensland winning 18 times, with the remaining match ending in a draw.