The Canberra Raiders will be seeking back to back wins at Campbelltown Stadium this Sunday as they set out for redemption against rivals Manly Sea Eagles, in the Mark Hughes Foundation, Beanie for Brain Cancer round.
The Raiders will be out for revenge this weekend when they line up against the Sea Eagles, after letting them steal the win by a mere four points on the last two occasions that the sides met. If history is anything to go by, it’s set to be a thriller, right down to the final whistle.
Last weekend, both teams returned to the winners' circle, after losses in round four. The Raiders conquered the Tigers in the second half of the match for a 14-6 win. Manly also came from behind in the second half to defeat the Broncos by 20-18.
Both teams have been playing some of their best football and since the new rules were implemented, they’ve showcased their ability to be quick around the ruck and cause havoc.
The Raiders have made a few adjustments to last week’s winning side, with Corey Horsburgh returning at lock after missing last week due to gastro. Sia Soliola will start the match in the front row, which sees Dunamis Lui out of the 17 and on to the extended bench.
Hudson Young is set to make his return to the field, being named on the interchange after serving out his suspension and Bailey Simonsson has been named on the extended bench.
Manly has also made changes to their side, with Martin Taupau and Moses Suli joining the casualty ward, both with hand injuries. Meaning Brendan Elliot will move into the centres and Addin Fonua-Blake to prop.
Corey Waddell drops from the side to welcome back Curtis Sironen to the second row, returning from a bone bruise injury and Morgan Boyle joins the bench.
The last time the two teams went head-to-head was in round 23 of the 2019 competition when Manly managed to steal a bitter 18-14 win at GIO Stadium.
The Raiders came within an inch of the win in the final seconds of the match, but they crumbled to the defensive efforts of a strong Manly side.
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad v Tom Trbojevic
It'll be game on when these two rivals go head to head on Sunday, in what is sure to be an exhilarating matchup.
Both men play a crucial role in their teams attacking side, with the ability to produce something out of nothing and slip through the slightest of cracks in the defensive line, they'll be keeping each other on their toes.
Nicoll-Klokstad was a force to be reckoned with last season, with an impressive 109 tackle breaks, which left him in the top five of the competition. He's started the 2020 season in the same stride, already clocking up 16 tackles breaks and one try. He's proved his ability to make the opposition pay for the slightest of mistakes and he'll be applying the pressure to Trbojevic at Campbelltown Stadium on Sunday.
Trbojevic continues to live up to his nickname 'turbo' this season, his speed has already snagged him three tries, six line-break assists, six try assists, twelve tackle-breaks. Nicoll-Klokstad will have to be on his A-game to keep Trbojevic from getting away from him.
Raiders v Sea Eagles - Round 6
George Williams v Daly Cherry-Evans
It's the much-anticipated meet between the Raiders latest recruit, George Williams and Queensland State of Origin skipper and Kangaroos International representative, Daly Cherry-Evans. The Englishman is likely to have his hands full this weekend when he faces the Manly veteran for the first time.
Williams has looked to be right at home, since joining the Green Machine in the offseason. He's been the man behind the magic, with six try assists in just five appearances. It looks although Williams presence in the Raiders back row has only strengthened the side that made it to last years’ Grand Final.
Cherry-Evans’ kicking game is arguably one of the best in the league. The Raiders will need to be prepared for when the ball leaves the Manly captains' boot if they want to avoid another upset.
Josh Papalii v Addin Fonua-Blake
Get ready for a heavyweight showdown when these two hard-hitting props go head-to-head.
They're two of the leagues hardest men to tackle, known for their powerhouse performances and ability to make post-contact metres, which landed them both in the top five for post-contact metres last season.
Papalii has established himself as one of the toughest props in the league and plays a key role in the Raiders front row. So far this season he's racked up 302 post-contact metres, 18 tackle breaks and a try.
The two sit neck and neck in the stats, on the other hand, Fonua-Blake has six tackle breaks and leads the competitions post-contact metres with a whopping 421 accumulated so far.
It'll be a thrilling battle of strength and power come Sunday's match.
Virtual Viking Ambassador - Shaun Fensom
Head to Head:
History sides with the Sea Eagles, who have won 18 of the 31 matches against the Raiders. The Raiders will be hungrier than ever for the win.