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The Canberra Raiders S.G. Ball Cup side will take the field this Saturday in a sudden-death elimination final against the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs at HE Laybutt Field.

Raiders S.G. Ball Cup side head coach Ash Barnes believes his forwards will need back up last weekend’s performance to match the Bulldog’s strong forward pack.

“Our forwards did a fantastic job [on the weekend]. Caleb Esera and Trey Mooney really stood up for us through the middle third on the weekend,” Barnes said. “For us this weekend, our forwards are going to have to do a really good job against a strong Dogs pack.”

The Bulldogs suffered their first loss of the season, going down 28-18 to the South Sydney Rabbitohs over the weekend. However, Barnes isn’t taking that result lightly going into this weekend’s sudden-death match.

“They’re a quality side [the Bulldogs]. That was their first loss of the year. They’ve been in and around the top of the ladder for the entire year so I’m expecting them to come out firing,” Barnes said. “They’ve got a big pack of forwards and I expect them to really come after us in those early stages.”

Ash Barnes also touched on his side’s turning point after their 30-24 loss to the Sydney Roosters almost a fortnight ago and the way his side needed to improve going into finals football.

“The previous week against the Roosters was our first game in three weeks, there was a little bit of rust. But, on the weekend [against the Dragons] was a demonstration of what they’re capable of,” Barnes said. “We were able to play the style of football we wanted to and correct some things that we wanted to work on from the week before. I was quite pleased with the weekend’s performance.”

Although, the junior rep side is aware that anything can happen in finals football. Barnes will have his team prepared for what should be a block-buster game this Saturday.

“This stage of the season, it’s more about making sure the players have the energy for Saturday’s game,” Barnes said. “We’re just making sure we’re touching on the things that are important to us as a team and things that we value.

“We making sure they’re ready to go come Saturday. Everyone’s really excited.”

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Raiders is number 1 Jack Sandford
    Fullback for Bulldogs is number 1 Cameron Lawrence
  • Winger for Raiders is number 2 Xavier Savage
    Winger for Bulldogs is number 2 Louie Yehia
  • Centre for Raiders is number 3 Deakin Bright
    Centre for Bulldogs is number 3 Eli Clark
  • Centre for Raiders is number 4 Josh Billing
    Centre for Bulldogs is number 4 Diego Bravo-Graham
  • Winger for Raiders is number 5 Michael Asomua
    Winger for Bulldogs is number 5 Brendon Tapuai
  • Five-Eighth for Raiders is number 6 Mitchell Spencer
    Five-Eighth for Bulldogs is number 6 Khaled Rajab
  • Halfback for Raiders is number 7 Sione Moala
    Halfback for Bulldogs is number 7 Joseph O'Neill

Forwards

  • Prop for Raiders is number 15 Loghan Lewis
    Prop for Bulldogs is number 14 Lachlan Vale
  • Hooker for Raiders is number 9 Toby Thorburn
    Hooker for Bulldogs is number 9 Danny Ghantous
  • Prop for Raiders is number 23 Caleb Esera
    Prop for Bulldogs is number 15 Omar Yaghi
  • 2nd Row for Raiders is number 11 Noah Saddler
    2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 11 Lleyton Borg
  • 2nd Row for Raiders is number 12 Clay Webb
    2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 12 Charlie Lennon
  • Lock for Raiders is number 13 Trey Mooney
    Lock for Bulldogs is number 13 Lipoi Hopoi

Interchange

  • Interchange for Raiders is number 8 Mitchell Prest
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 8 Jack Todd
  • Interchange for Raiders is number 14 Connor Williams
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 10 Bayley Cox
  • Interchange for Raiders is number 16 Blake Martin
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 16 William Tuitupou
  • Interchange for Raiders is number 21 Wilson Hamblin
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 19 Bilal Yazici

Reserves

  • Reserve for Raiders is number 22 Joshua Pokoney
    Reserve for Bulldogs is number 21 Hayden Essery

Match Officials

  • Referee: Michael Ford
  • Touch Judge: Jake Walsh
  • Touch Judge: Ethan Murray

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