The Canberra Raiders will be hungry for a win when they take on the Western Suburbs Magpies at 3:45pm this Saturday at Lidcombe oval.
The sixth-placed Raiders are coming off two close losses to the Knights and Eels respectively. In both games, the Raiders looked excellent in patches. They will have to put together one of their best performances of the season to beat the second-placed Magpies.
The young outside backs of the Raiders have been particularly impressive over the last fortnight. Xavier Savage and Manase Kaho have looked like game-breakers in the making.
The Magpies will be a massive test for the Green Machine. They have won their last seven games, and this week their forward pack will get a boost with the likes of Zane Musgrove and Micheal Chee Kam coming into the side.
Last Time They Met
The Raiders had a 32-18 victory over the Magpies in round one this season.
Xavier Savage v Zac Cini
Xavier Savage had a debut to remember last week. He scored three tries and racked up 156 running meters. His devastating speed makes him electric with the ball in hand and a constant threat to the opposition defence.
Savage will move from the wing to fullback this week. If the Raiders can get him the ball in space, he’ll be able to show off the speed that won him junior sprint championships as a Queensland schoolboy.
The Magpies will bring the own speedster to the fullback position - Zac Cini. Cini has already become a Wests Tigers cult hero, thanks to his strawberry blond mullet and scoring a try on debut. He’ll bring that NRL experience to the Magpies side, and the Raiders will have to shut him down early to stymie the Magpies’ attack.
Trey Mooney v Tukimihia Simpkins
After winning the SG Ball Cup with the Raiders, Trey Mooney aims to bring that championship-winning form into NSW Cup.
Mooney will come off the bench this week, and if last week was anything to go by, he’ll have a huge impact. Against the Eels, Mooney had 127 running meters, 29 tackles and led the team in post-contact meters in only 45 minutes of football. Mooney has the potential to be a dominant force through the middle of the field, and he’ll be eager to prove himself against an experienced Magpies pack.
Coming off the bench for the Magpies is their own young gun, Tukimihia Simpkins. The 19-year-old forward was a top prospect coming out of New Zeland and has not disappointed in his first season in the NSW Cup. Averaging over 117 running meters a game, Simpkins will be a handful when he gets on the field.
Fullback for Magpies is number 1 Zac CiniFullback for Raiders is number 1 Xavier Savage
Winger for Magpies is number 2 Allan FitzgibbonWinger for Raiders is number 2 Manase Kaho
Centre for Magpies is number 3 Reece HoffmanCentre for Raiders is number 3 Brigham Moeakiola
Centre for Magpies is number 4 Fetalaiga PaugaCentre for Raiders is number 4 Toby Marks
Winger for Magpies is number 5 Kiah CooperWinger for Raiders is number 5 Elijah Anderson
Five-Eighth for Magpies is number 6 Billy WaltersFive-Eighth for Raiders is number 6 Matt Frawley
Halfback for Magpies is number 19 Jock MaddenHalfback for Raiders is number 7 Adam Cook
Prop for Magpies is number 8 Stefano UtoikamanuProp for Raiders is number 8 Leo Thompson
Hooker for Magpies is number 9 Jake SimpkinHooker for Raiders is number 9 Siliva Havili
Prop for Magpies is number 13 Tom AmoneProp for Raiders is number 10 Ata Mariota
2nd Row for Magpies is number 11 Michael Chee Kam2nd Row for Raiders is number 11 Kai O'Donnell
2nd Row for Magpies is number 12 Kelma Tuilagi2nd Row for Raiders is number 12 Clay Webb
Lock for Magpies is number 24 Shawn BloreLock for Raiders is number 13 Harry Rushton
Interchange for Magpies is number 7 Zach Dockar-ClayInterchange for Raiders is number 14 Adrian Trevilyan
Interchange for Magpies is number 15 Tom FreebairnInterchange for Raiders is number 15 Darby Medlyn
Interchange for Magpies is number 16 Austin DiasInterchange for Raiders is number 16 Caleb Esera
Interchange for Magpies is number 17 Tukimihia SimpkinsInterchange for Raiders is number 17 Trey Mooney
Reserve for Magpies is number 14 Joseph TaipariReserve for Raiders is number 19 Josh Billing
- Referee: Cameron Paddy
- Touch Judge: Tom Cambourn
- Touch Judge: Nick Beashel