The Canberra Raiders are back at home for Round 14 as they host the Cronulla Sharks in what will be a gruelling match. Here are five things to look forward to:
Thursday Night Football
The Raiders will head out for their first Thursday night game of the season, and only, this weekend against the Sharks.
Canberra has only played two Thursday night games of football in the last three years, including a 26-10 win over the Bulldogs in Round 5 of last year.
After a dominant display last weekend from Ryan Sutton and the on-going strength from the defensive line, the Raiders will hope to make it three wins in a row against the Cronulla Sharks.
It’ll be a big match for Raider’s captain Jarrod Croker this Thursday, with one milestone and one record being possibly broken.
Croker will walk out for his 244th Raiders first-grade game, drawing him level with Raider’s legend Laurie Daley and bringing him ever closer to Jason Croker’s whopping 318.
On top of this, a try for the captain would see him equal Jason Croker’s all-time record of 120, with a double leading him to overcome and become the Green Machine’s all-time leading try-scorer.
Croker will be hoping his leadership and determination can help inspire his side to continue their winning form and take the victory on Thursday.
High Scoring Affair
If history tells us anything, Round 14’s match-up between the Raiders and Sharks will be a high-scoring one, to say the least.
Since 2011, only three games have been played that didn’t result in more than 40 points scored between the two sides.
The Green Machine will be hoping to continue their dominant defensive performances and take the victory this Thursday.
Michael Ennis – Good Guy?
The last time Michael Ennis was at GIO Stadium, he led the Sharks to a 16-14 victory and ‘mocked’ the Raiders faithful with an attempt of the Viking Clap.
This time, however, Michael Ennis finds himself supporting the home side, after joining the club this season as a coaching consultant.
At the start of the year, Ennis said he wanted to bring some enjoyment to the Raiders fans this year, with the Green Machine leading the way with the most Dummy Half runs in the NRL this season.
Battle for the Top 4
In what looks to be an amazing game, the Raiders have the opportunity to cement their place in the top 4, if they are able to defeat the Sharks this weekend.
The Raiders and Sharks currently sit both fourth and sixth respectively with 16 points each, however, the Green Machine find themselves ahead with a better points difference.
In the same round, league leaders the Melbourne Storm host the in-form Newcastle Knights, who are also level on points with the Raiders and Sharks.
With the return of Jordan Rapana and the continuing strength of the English core, the Raiders will hope their efforts on Thursday night can help continue their impressive 2019 form.