The Raiders travel to ANZ Stadium this week to take on the Bulldogs in what is shaping up to be an important game for the Green Machine, who face a heavy injury toll and players in Origin teams who are unavailable.
Here’s the five big taking points heading into Saturday nights game.
Change to the Spine
With Josh Hodgson out with injury and Jack Wighton named for NSW, the Raiders will take a new spine into Saturday night. The big positive for the Raiders is they don’t lose much in experience, with Aidan Sezer and Siliva Havili already well equipped to come in and do the job. Sezer has been waiting for his opportunity and will be keen to make a statement, while Havili showed on Saturday he’s lost nothing at nine.
The Raiders have already shown with wins over the Titans and Cowboys that they can secure a good win on the road and they’ll be looking to replicate this on Saturday against the Bulldogs. The Raiders pulled one out of the fire in last years match with a late try to Joey Leilua at Belmore Oval, so they know a win on the road against the Dogs is possible.
More minutes for Tapine
With Josh Papalii on Queensland duties Joe Tapine will be looking to step up this week after making a successful return from injury against the Cowboys. On his day, Tapine is one of the most destructive young forwards in the game and he will be playing with more confidence after his return last week.
Two to go for Croker
Jarrod Croker has been consistently ticking off personal milestones all season and he needs just two more tries to equal Jason Croker’s record of 120 tries for the club. If Croker can manage to get a double against the Bulldogs it well go a long way to helping the team get the two points.
Young guns to shine
With experience stuck on the sideline, Saturday is a chance for several young players to make their mark. With the team finalised later this afternoon we could see Hudson Young, Corey Horsburgh and Seb Kris all named, which would see three rookies all vying to make a name for themselves on the big stage. A huge chance to make a name for yourself in the NRL.