Fresh off the long weekend, the Canberra Raiders Cup returns with a crucial clash between the Queanbeyan Kangaroos and the Goulburn City Bulldogs, which headlines this round’s fixtures.
Queanbeyan Kangaroos v Goulburn City Bulldogs, Seears Workwear Oval 3pm Saturday 18th June
This weekend’s match of the round will see the sixth-placed Queanbeyan come up against the fifth-placed Goulburn City Bulldogs at Seears Workwear Oval on Saturday afternoon.
A win is crucial for both teams, as they look to maintain touching distance of a top four who seemed determined to maintain their current seedings.
After a brilliant start to the season, it has been a disappointing month for the Goulburn City Bulldogs. They currently sit on a four-game losing streak after failing to record a single victory against any of their top four opponents.
Saturday’s match is the perfect opportunity to turn their fortunes around, with assistant coach Adam McLaurie understanding just how important two points are this weekend.
“We are a young group. They are learning what first grade looks like and those eighty-minute performances,” he said.
“This week is really a do or die clash. We are four points out of the top four, it is a must win for us”.
After not collecting their first win until round six, the Queanbeyan Kangaroos have found the form that they lacked to begin the season.
Now sitting in sixth, outside-back Aiden Agnew has been pleased with the turnaround from his side, with the team looking to continue their momentum against the Bulldogs.
“We had a tough start to the season, but you don’t win premierships at the beginning of the year,” he said.
“Goulburn is a very good team, both of us are just trying to string a few wins together. I feel that they are a very tough opponent so hopefully we can get the win and the two points.”
Tuggeranong Bushrangers v Gungahlin Bulls, Greenway Oval 3pm Saturday 18th June
Fresh off an important victory against the Goulburn City Bulldogs, the Bushrangers will be keen to continue their form when they come up against the Gungahlin Bulls on Saturday afternoon.
With four wins from their previous five matches, the Bushrangers will be hoping that the long weekend break has not stifled the form that sees them placed comfortably inside the top four.
Liam Oakley will be looking to continue his recent efforts that see him sit second on the best and fairest ladder, while forward Zac Saddler will aim to continue his impressive season at prop.
The Gungahlin Bulls will instead be looking to snap a four-game losing streak when they travel south, with a win crucial if they are any chance of playing finals football in 2022.
Despite their recent defeats, the Bulls have been more than competitive, losing their last three games by a margin of ten points or less.
A strong defensive performance will be needed again this weekend, with the Bushrangers finding some serious attacking form over the past month.
Yass Magpies v Belconnen United Sharks, Walker Park 3pm Saturday 18th June
After a fortnight's break with the bye and long weekend, the Belconnen United Sharks will be looking to continue their hunt for a finals spot when they travel to Yass on Saturday afternoon.
Since their crucial win against the Bulls in round five, it has been a tough month for the Sharks, going down to league heavyweights' Queanbeyan Blues and Woden.
Currently sitting in seventh, a victory this weekend is crucial if Belconnen want to turn their season around.
Standing in their way is the Yass Magpies, who will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing loss to the Blues in round eight.
Currently sitting last in the competition with just one win, Yass will be hoping that a victory against fellow strugglers the Sharks, could be just what they need to push up the ladder.
West Belconnen Warriors v Queanbeyan Blues, Raiders Belconnen 3pm Sunday 18th June
In the only match scheduled for Sunday afternoon this weekend, it is a battle of the top four as the West Belconnen Warriors come up against the Queanbeyan Blues.
After a slow start to the season, the Blues have been completely rejuvenated since their round four bye, scoring 40 or more points in each of their last four matches.
Unsurprisingly, this turnaround has been spearheaded by their captain-coach Terry Campese, with the veteran contributing greatly to their current winning streak.
Standing in their way are the undefeated West Belconnen Warriors, who have well and truly proved to be the front runners so far in the Canberra Raiders Cup.
Alongside the incredible form of their halfback Robert Roberts, the Warriors will be looking to extend their lead at the top of the table, sitting a point ahead of Woden Valley with a match in hand.