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NSW Cup Preview: Raiders v Magpies

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.

Key Match-Ups

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.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Magpies is number 1 Zac Cini
    Fullback for Raiders is number 1 Xavier Savage
  • Winger for Magpies is number 2 Allan Fitzgibbon
    Winger for Raiders is number 2 Manase Kaho
  • Centre for Magpies is number 3 Reece Hoffman
    Centre for Raiders is number 3 Brigham Moeakiola
  • Centre for Magpies is number 4 Fetalaiga Pauga
    Centre for Raiders is number 4 Toby Marks
  • Winger for Magpies is number 5 Kiah Cooper
    Winger for Raiders is number 5 Elijah Anderson
  • Five-Eighth for Magpies is number 6 Billy Walters
    Five-Eighth for Raiders is number 6 Matt Frawley
  • Halfback for Magpies is number 19 Jock Madden
    Halfback for Raiders is number 7 Adam Cook

Forwards

  • Prop for Magpies is number 8 Stefano Utoikamanu
    Prop for Raiders is number 8 Leo Thompson
  • Hooker for Magpies is number 9 Jake Simpkin
    Hooker for Raiders is number 9 Siliva Havili
  • Prop for Magpies is number 13 Tom Amone
    Prop for Raiders is number 10 Ata Mariota
  • 2nd Row for Magpies is number 11 Michael Chee Kam
    2nd Row for Raiders is number 11 Kai O'Donnell
  • 2nd Row for Magpies is number 12 Kelma Tuilagi
    2nd Row for Raiders is number 12 Clay Webb
  • Lock for Magpies is number 24 Shawn Blore
    Lock for Raiders is number 13 Harry Rushton

Interchange

  • Interchange for Magpies is number 7 Zach Dockar-Clay
    Interchange for Raiders is number 14 Adrian Trevilyan
  • Interchange for Magpies is number 15 Tom Freebairn
    Interchange for Raiders is number 15 Darby Medlyn
  • Interchange for Magpies is number 16 Austin Dias
    Interchange for Raiders is number 16 Caleb Esera
  • Interchange for Magpies is number 17 Tukimihia Simpkins
    Interchange for Raiders is number 17 Trey Mooney

Reserves

  • Reserve for Magpies is number 14 Joseph Taipari
    Reserve for Raiders is number 19 Josh Billing

Match Officials

  • Referee: Cameron Paddy
  • Touch Judge: Tom Cambourn
  • Touch Judge: Nick Beashel

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