The Canberra Raiders will look to break their three-loss drought this Thursday night when they face the South Sydney Rabbitohs at GIO Stadium Canberra at 7:50 pm.
Ricky Stuart has made some tough changes to the side again to cover injuries and prepare his team to get the much-needed win over the Rabbitohs on Thursday night.
Sebastian Kris will shift into the centres to replace injured captain Jarrod Croker, forcing Bailey Simonsson back into his right-wing position after recovering from a concussion against the Paramatta Eels.
Canberra lock Joe Tapine will re-appear in Thursday night’s clash, replacing forward Josh Papalii on the interchange bench.
The side will face a red-hot South Sydney outfit who boast an unchanged line-up after their comeback win over the Gold Coast Titans last weekend. The Raiders will look to upset the Rabbitoh’s six-game win streak on Thursday night.
The last time they met
The Raiders and Rabbitohs last met in round 11 of last season, where the Raiders ran away with an 18-12 win at GIO Stadium.
Sebastian Kris and Dane Gagai
Sebastian Kris has had an outstanding start to the 2021 season however, it has been his versatility in the Raiders attack which has showcased his true ability.
Kris has lined up for the Raiders at wing, centre second row, and off the interchange bench in his short-seven appearances for the club this season.
He is a solid runner of the football and has amazing awareness to break tackles and find the try-line.
Kris will match-up against experienced centre Dane Gagai who is pivotal in South Sydney’s attack. Gagai will be a great test for Kris who will look to get the better of the Rabbitoh’s defence.
Ryan James and Thomas Burgess
Veteran forward Ryan James will look to back up last week’s performance at starting prop against an experienced South Sydney forward pack on Thursday night.
The former Gold Coast Titan has already made a huge impact in his short stint at the Raiders in 2021. Labelled as a workhorse, he is quickly becoming a fan favourite in the Nation’s Capital.
Standing at 193cm tall and 111kg, James will look to use his size and strength early to set the tone for a blockbuster clash on Thursday night.
James will line up against English international Thomas Burgess, who will also look to use his size to his advantage creating a physical match-up for Thursday night’s game.
Tom Starling and Damien Cook
Tom Starling will get his second start at hooker for the season on Thursday night, covering for the injured Josh Hodgson.
Starling is an explosive dummy-half who has outstanding awareness and can catch the opposing defence off-guard at will.
The young hooker will oppose the Australian dummy-half Damien Cook, showcasing two of the best ‘running’ hookers in the competition.
When the game begins to breakdown and the defence becomes staggered, keep your eye on both number nine’s as they are a big danger of breaking this game open with their speed and agility.
Head to head
The Canberra Raiders and South Sydney Rabbitohs have played each other 29 times, with the Raiders coming out on top with 16 wins to the Rabbitohs 13 wins.