The Canberra Raiders will look to turn last week’s performance around when they travel to the northern beaches to take on the Manly Sea Eagles this Thursday night at 4 Pines Park.
The Raiders were defeated 44-6 by the Gold Coast Titans last Saturday night in what was a disappointing performance from the green machine.
Meanwhile, the Sea Eagles have displayed an impressive run of form over the past month, piling on 50 points in their last three consecutive matches.
The Raiders will showcase some younger talent for this Friday night's clash, with recently re-signed outside-back Xavier Savage to start at fullback and experienced forwards of Hudson Young and Ryan James to return to first grade.
Last Time They Met
The Sea Eagles recorded a 14-6 win over the Raiders in round 6 of the 2020 season at Campbelltown Stadium.
Coach's Comment: Stuart on Savage, Halves combination and game day travel
Emre Guler v Taniela Paseka
Emre Guler has had an outstanding 2021 season so far, starting in six games this season in the front row for the green machine.
Guler will need to take control and lead his forward pack around the park this Friday night with Josh Papalii absent with representative honours for Queensland.
Guler will match up with Manly big man Taniela Paseka who imitates similar qualities to his opposition prop. Paseka will look to use his size and strength to set the tone early in this contest and lay the platform for the rest of the game.
This match-up will be exciting to watch with both forwards only at the age of 23, this may be a spectacle for years to come.
Corey Harawira-Naera v Karl Lawton
Harawira-Naera has been a shining light for the Raiders over the past month, scoring two tries in his past three games.
Harawira-Naera has also shown plenty of upside since returning to the starting line-up, providing strong hit-ups and great offload ability on the right edge for the Raiders.
Although, he will have a tricky task this Thursday night when he matches up against red-hot backrower Karl Lawton who is in impressive form for the Manly side.
Lawton, who is typically a dummy-half, made his Manly debut in round 11 against Parramatta off the interchange bench, forcing his way into the starting side over the past three weeks.
Quite an unusual build for a backrower, Lawton is extremely strong and skilful boasting three tries in his first five games in the maroon and white.
This will be an interesting match-up between two agile backrowers who run the ball hard and enjoy crossing the stripe for a four-pointer.
Xavier Savage Highlights
Semi Valemei v Jason Saab
Fijian winger Semi Valemei will look to lockdown that starting wing position and repay the favour after the club extended his contract for a further three seasons in the Nation’s capital.
Valemei has had a good start to the season averaging 120 running metres a game but only has one try to show for it after 4 starts this year.
He will match-up against a similar style player in Jason Saab, who has showcased lightning speed and incredible strength on the right edge for Manly.
This match-up will be exciting for fans as both players stand over 6 foot tall and love scoring tries. Keep an eye on attacking kicks targeted towards Valemei and Saab, as both are great finishers in the air.
Xavier Savage debut presentation
Head to Head
The Raiders and Sea Eagles have faced-off 32 times with Manly taking 19 wins to the Raider’s 14. The Raiders will need to take-advantage of this Friday night’s opportunity to turn their season around ahead of finals football.