The Canberra Raiders will be looking to make it back-to-back wins when they host the Manly Sea Eagles at Campbelltown on Sunday. Manly were also last start winners after defeating the Brisbane Broncos. This battle has the potential to be a blockbuster, here are six things we are excited to see in round six!
There is no secret that both sides lift the intensity when they meet, and it has been witnessed over the past few years.
In 2017, both meetings between the sides were decided in Golden Point, with Manly picking up the victory on both those occasions.
Sea Eagles half Dylan Walker became public enemy number one after slotting the winning penalty goal which shaved the upright and his rivalry with a number of Raiders players, including Curtis Scott is no secret.
Last year, after picking up a thrilling win on enemy territory, Manly forward Addin Fonua-Blake taunted the Canberra faithful which will still be fresh in the memory.
Besides two valuable competition points on offer, there is also bragging rights and a chance to edge closer to the summit of the competition.
Ricky Stuart has a problem that needs addressing and that problem is who is in the best 17 after a huge performance from Ryan Sutton and with Hudson Young’s return, a decision must be made.
Sutton was huge off the bench in his first performance of 2020, the English prop ran for 122 metres and made 20 tackles.
Young is eligible for selection this week after serving his eight-week suspension. After a solid debut season in 2019, Young forced his way into the 17-man squad on a regular basis on the back of some solid performances.
It is a welcome headache for Stuart and one thing is for sure, whoever claims a spot in the line-up has earned it.
Green Brick Wall is back!
After conceding 34 points to the Newcastle Knights in round four, the Raiders flexed their muscle and held a dangerous Wests Tigers team to a single try.
After surviving waves of pressure from the Tigers, the Raiders goal-line defence looked to have found their mojo back as they continued their trend of conceding just six points in a game, in which they have done on four out of five occasions this season.
Conceding an average on 11.8 points per game and boasting the fourth best defensive record in the league, the Green Machine will need to be on-point as they face a dangerous Sea Eagles side.
Manly fullback Tom Trbojevic has been one of the game’s best performers this year with three tries and six try assists to his name, while also running for an average 160 metres per game.
The Raiders will need to minimise the Sea Eagles forwards and contain Trbojevic if they are to succeed this week.
Revenge is sweet and beating Manly will be even sweeter as the Raiders have not had a lot of luck against the Sea Eagles in recent times.
Before losing both battles last year, the Raiders claimed a heart stopping one-point victory in 2018 after former halfback Aidan Sezer slotted a last-minute field goal.
That’s where the luck for Canberra runs out as Manly have had the wood over the Raiders in recent times, winning five of the past seven clashes.
The Green Machine will be looking to erase Manly’s dominance over them with a victory that will boost their premiership credentials.
Both sides started this season the way they finished 2019 and if the recent form has anything to go by, this will be a classic.
After an impressive campaign last season which saw both sides make deep finals runs, there is more than just pride at stake.
Canberra can creep closer to the top of the competition as they currently sit in second place and if Manly win, they can jump inside the top four.
It may only be early days, but with a shortened season this year, every win matters and brings you closer to cementing a finals spot.
Jack Wighton has had an impressive start to 2020, with the potent half already bagging himself four tries in just five starts.
In only his second season as a starting half, Wighton has emerged as one of the most dangerous ball-running halves in the competition.
Wighton terrorised the Tigers last week with ball in hand, he ran for 83 metres and scored a memorable try dragging four defenders with him over the line.
Battered and bruised but most certainly not out, Wighton poses a serious threat in both attack and defence and will be keen to continue his stampede this week.