The Raiders face a stellar test this week as they look to bounce back against an Eels side who have won plenty of plaudits for their performances early on in the 2020 season.
Ricky Stuart has a relatively fit and healthy squad at his disposal with John Bateman the only absentee. Bailey Simonsson and Dunamis Lui were both rested from the side that lost to the Sea Eagles over the weekend as coach Ricky Stuart admitted he could look to rotate players to combat the Raiders heavy travel schedule.
The Raiders will be eager to get back onto the training field at the Huawei Raiders centre this week and look to iron out the creases from their previous game. Coach Ricky Stuart mentioned in his press conference that there was no cause for panic despite recent losses to the Knights and Sea Eagles, however the former halfback admitted that his side need to address the issues quickly if they are to get back to winning ways.
Play of the week: Horsburgh hit on Gosiewski
Return to Bankwest Stadium
The Raiders will return to Bankwest Stadium for the first time since last year’s 28-0 win over the Tigers. Ricky Stuart’s side put on an attacking and defensive masterclass that night as the joint venture side were no match for the green machine. The Raiders are yet to concede points at the new ground however they face a stern test this week as the Eels have cemented themselves as genuine competition favourites after their performances from the first few rounds.
Paulo v Papalii
Two great mates who were once teammates at the green machine will line up against each other in a fascinating battle between two of the games leading Props. Josh Papalii and Junior Paulo’s battle will go a long way to deciding which team will come out on top. Paulo’s form for Parramatta has been impressive with the Samoan international averaging 160 running metres and three tackle breaks per game. Papalii has had a similar impact for the Raiders, averaging roughly 150 running metres per game with 3 tackle breaks.
Sixes and Sevens
Saturday’s clash against the Eels will see two teams with exciting halves clash. Parramatta’s halves have been in scintillating form this season with Mitch Moses and Dylan Brown igniting much of the Eel’s attack. Wighton and Williams have been strong for the Raiders, with Wighton running in four tries so far this season while his halves partner George Williams has already conjured up six try assists.
Match Highlights: Raiders v Sea Eagles
Top of the table test
This week’s test against the Eels will be a real indicator in terms of where they sit amongst some of the leading teams. The green machine have shown how good they are with impressive wins against the Storm and Tigers recently while the Eels have won five of their first six games. A win for the Raiders will help strengthen their top four credentials.