The third-place Canberra Raiders will host the second-place Sydney Roosters in arguably the game of the round at GIO Stadium this Sunday. Here are five things to look forward to.
Super Sunday top four clash
It’s a taste of what we might see in the prelim finals with the top four sides all playing each other in round 21.
The Raiders are up against the Roosters while first place Melbourne Storm are up against fourth place South Sydney Rabbitohs.
The Raiders have beaten the Roosters three times from their last five clashes, a winning record the Green Machine will want to continue.
Ricky Stuart’s side will be coming into this weekend’s top of the table clash on a four-game winning streak but are yet to defeat one of the current top four teams.
With both sides in form and the pointy end of the season being so important, this game will be hard to predict.
Croker hits 250
This weekend will be a special one for Raiders co-captain Jarrod Croker celebrating his 250th match in the NRL in front of a home crowd at GIO.
Croker made his debut against the Sydney Roosters in 2009, 10 years later he’ll be running onto the field to face the same team with 250 games under his belt.
Since debuting for the Raiders, Croker, at just 28, has re-written the Raiders record books becoming the Canberra Raiders all-time leading points scorer and the clubs all-time leading try scorer.
There’s no doubt the Raiders co-captain will bring his usual maturity and professionalism to Sunday’s clash with the rest of the Raiders side looking to him for his leadership.
Nick Cotric is set to make his return this weekend after he was charged with a Grade 3 Dangerous Throw.
Cotric was charged by the NRL Match review committee for a dangerous tackle on Tim Lafai in the round 17 clash against the St George Illawarra Dragons forcing him to miss three matches.
The star centre has scored three tries in the 2019 season and will be hoping to make a big impact in this weekend’s game.
Biggest crowd this year
With this game set to be an unmissable blockbuster, GIO could potentially host the biggest crowd of the season for the Canberra Raiders.
There’s nothing better than running onto the field in front of a roaring home crowd, and Canberra do it best with the Viking clap adding to the exciting atmosphere.
Fans can expect to be treated to one of the best games of the season, hopefully paired with a warm sunny Sunday afternoon of football.
GIO winning record
Remarkably the Canberra Raiders have defeated the Sydney Roosters in every one of their last five matches held at GIO stadium.
The winning streak will hopefully boost the confidence of the boys in green hoping to continue the trend.
In round 23 in 2018 the Raiders narrowly defeated the Roosters 14 – 12, round 12 in the 2017 season the Raiders came out on top 24 – 16, and in round two in 2016 a field goal from Sam Williams in the 77th minute secured a 21 – 20 nail biting win.
The Raider's history against the Roosters at GIO can assure fans this Sunday’s match is going to be a show stopper.