After a washout last week, the Blumers Lawyers Canberra Raiders Cup resumes this weekend with an exciting match of the round between the Goulburn City Bulldogs and the Queanbeyan Blues.
Goulburn City Bulldogs v Queanbeyan Blues, 3pm Sunday August 1 at Workers Arena
The fifth-placed Goulburn City Bulldogs sit just outside the top four, and a victory this weekend will give their finals hopes a massive boost.
But they’ll come up against arguably the form side of the competition, the Queanbeyan Blues. The Blues are coming off dominant victories against the third-placed Warriors and fourth-placed Roos, where they scored a total of 86 points while only conceding 22.
Goulburn, on the other hand, are coming off back to back draws, against the Rams and the Bulls respectively. However, Bulldogs captain-coach Tyson Greenwood said the tie against the first-placed Gungahlin Bulls has given his team a significant boost in confidence.
“Having a 22-all draw against them, being the top of the comp, is very reassuring for myself and my boys”, Greenwood said.
Although Greenwood noted that Blues will be a hard side to beat, they’ll have to match them in the middle of the field to win.
“The Blues are a very skillful side. Campo (Terry Campese) is back in the side directing traffic, so they have a lot of composure with him back in the team. They are a very big pack and quite skillful in the backs. So if we go out and match them in the middle, hopefully our backs can get the job done,” Greenwood said.
In a boost for the Bulldogs, Raiders player Adrian Trevilyan will be joining the team. Trevilyan plays hooker and is a former Queensland under 18’s representative player. His experience playing NSW Cup will show Goulburn’s talented youngsters what it takes to play at the next level.
“It’s good for the younger boys to see what you need to do and what you are capable of doing”, Greenwood said.
Tuggeranong Bushrangers v Yass Magpies, 3pm Saturday July 31 at Greenway Oval
With only five rounds left to go, both teams sit outside the top four and will need a big victory this week to keep their finals hopes alive.
The Bushrangers are coming off an impressive 32-22 win over the Belconnen Sharks and will want to capitalise on the momentum. They will look to experienced five-eighth Michael Brophy to guide them in this crucial matchup.
Tuggeranong have shown they put on the points quickly, as they scored four tries in 25 minutes in their last clash. But they have been inconsistent this season and will need to put in an 80-minute performance to win.
Yass are coming off a close loss to the West Belconnen Warriors and will take confidence they can compete with a top-four side. However, Yass conceded two tries against the Warriors in the first ten minutes and will have to ensure that they come out firing in defence to keep Tuggeranong at bay.
Yass beat Tuggeranong in round two earlier this year in a thrilling 42-40 clash, and with a loss to either team ruling them out of finals contention, expect this game to be another thriller.
Queanbeyan Kangaroos v Woden Valley Rams, 3pm Saturday July 31 at Seears Workwear Oval
The fourth-placed Queanbeyan Kangaroos were riding a three-game winning streak until they ran into a red-hot Queanbeyan Blues side in their last outing. With Goulburn City Bulldogs right behind them on the ladder, the Roos can’t afford too many more losses.
The Roos’ had their chances against the Blues, but struggled to come away with points. So this week, they’ll want to make sure to score points at every opportunity.
The Rams won’t make that easy though, and after forcing a last-minute draw with Goulburn in their last outing they come into round 14 with renewed confidence.
The Rams will also be boosted by the inclusion of Raiders’ development players, Albert Hopoate and Clay Webb, which will make this clash all the more exciting.
West Belconnen Warriors v Gungahlin Bulls, 3pm Sunday August 1 at Greenway Oval
It is always must-see rugby league when the top teams clash, and the match between the Bulls and Warriors is sure to be a cracker.
The first placed Bulls are coming off a draw to the Bulldogs, conceding a last-minute try. They’ll want to re-establish themselves as the competition’s front runners with a strong performance against the third-placed Warriors.
The Bulls’ spine has been the key to their impressive seasons so far, with only one loss for far. Five-eighth Tre Holten-Williams and fullback Tristan Eldridge have been standouts this season and are the key to the Bulls potent attack.
West Belconnen will want to push for a top-two finish and will need to have one of their best performances of the season to get the win over the Bulls. The Warriors were very close to beating the Bulls in round three, but lost 32-30.
Joshua Ayers will be crucial in the Warriors hunt for victory. He has been the form forward of the entire competition, and always steps up when his team needs him to.