NRL Match Preview: Raiders v Roosters

The Raiders will be aiming to celebrate Jarrod Croker's milestone in style as the side hope to leapfrog the second-placed Roosters on the ladder.

The red-hot Raiders currently sit in third place, while the Roosters sit one spot above them despite being on level points.

The Green Machine head into the bout off the back of an enormous win over the Warriors, defeating them 46-12 in Josh Hodgson’s 100th Raiders game.

The Roosters also won in a high-scoring match, defeating the Titans 58-6 up in Sydney.

The Raiders make two changes to their 17, welcoming back Nick Cotric from suspension and Ryan Sutton from a calf injury. Meanwhile, Joey Leilua has been named in the reserves after he was cleared to return after recovering form a neck injury he picked up in May.

Last Time: The Roosters defeated the Raiders 30-24 back in Round 9 earlier this year. Despite the Raiders being down 30-6 at one point, they fought back in the last 30 minutes to bring the game to within one converted try. However it wasn’t enough.

Key Match-Ups

Elliot Whitehead v Angus Crichton

It’ll be a monstrous battle in the forward pack when Elliot Whitehead faces off against Angus Crichton.

Whitehead has been a rock within the Raiders forward line, playing in every match of the season so far.

The 2017 Raider’s Coach Award winner has scored two tries in 2019, as well as making a whopping 635 tackles so far – the second highest in the club this year.

Crichton has been in solid form for the Roosters since joining this year, also scoring two tries this season.

Expect both these ball-running forwards to be eyeing off every chance they can get to be involved in each play.

Five Things: Raiders v Roosters

Nick Cotric v Latrell Mitchell

In what will be the biggest match-up of the weekend, two NSW representatives will collide when Nick Cotric clashes with Latrell Mitchell.

Cotric comes back into the side after serving a three-week suspension and is raring to go in the final stages of the season.

The 2017 Dally M Rookie of the Year has currently scored three tries and assisted two this season, and will be looking to get more.

Mitchell has been one of the Roosters best this season, currently leading the NRL leaderboards for most points (211) and most goals (77).

The two massive centres will be hoping to be influential in this weekend’s clash and will both be hoping to get on the board.

Aidan Sezer v Cooper Cronk

Aidan Sezer will be looking to continue his impressive form at halfback and comes up against one of the NRL’s best in Cooper Cronk.

Sezer was injured earlier on in the season, yet came back in Round 12 and has been a key part of the Raiders team ever since.

In his ten games this year, he has scored three tries and assisted five, as well as only losing two games with the Raiders this year.

Cronk has been influential in the Roosters charge towards the finals, with the veteran halfback taking over the captains armband from the injured Boyd Cordner.

With both halfbacks in tremendous form, expect to see both players playing key roles both on and off the ball hoping to inspire their teams to victory this Sunday.

If you told me I’d ever play 250 games for this club all that time ago, I would’ve laughed at you!

Jarrod Croker

Head to Head: The Raiders and Roosters have met on 63 occasions, with Canberra only winning 28 games compared to the Panthers 34, with the one remaining match ending in a draw.