The Canberra Raiders will take on the St George Illawarra Dragons this weekend in their round 16 clash at WIN Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The fixture is shaping up to be a crucial one, with both sides in need of a victory in their push for a finals berth.
Fresh off a last-minute win against the Knights, Canberra will be looking to continue the momentum which has seen them secure five victories in their last seven matches.
The team will be boosted by the return of Jack Wighton from Covid protocols, with the NSW representative regaining his five-eighth jersey as Matt Frawley moves to the reserves.
James Schiller has also dropped out of the side after suffering a shoulder injury during the Knights match, with the returning Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad taking his place on the bench.
This will be Nicoll-Klokstad’s first match back since he sustained a hamstring injury against the Rabbitohs in May.
The Dragons will also be looking to continue their recent success, seeking to maintain the momentum that saw them defeat the Rabbitohs 32-12 last round to move inside the top eight.
Match: Dragons v Raiders
Round 16 -
Fullback for Dragons is number 1 Cody RamseyFullback for Raiders is number 1 Xavier Savage
Winger for Dragons is number 2 Mathew FeagaiWinger for Raiders is number 2 Nick Cotric
Centre for Dragons is number 3 Moses SuliCentre for Raiders is number 3 Matthew Timoko
Centre for Dragons is number 4 Zac LomaxCentre for Raiders is number 4 Sebastian Kris
Winger for Dragons is number 5 Mikaele RavalawaWinger for Raiders is number 5 Jordan Rapana
Five-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Talatau AmoneFive-Eighth for Raiders is number 6 Jack Wighton
Halfback for Dragons is number 7 Ben HuntHalfback for Raiders is number 7 Jamal Fogarty
Prop for Dragons is number 8 Jack De BelinProp for Raiders is number 8 Josh Papalii
Hooker for Dragons is number 9 Andrew McCulloughHooker for Raiders is number 9 Zac Woolford
Prop for Dragons is number 10 Blake LawrieProp for Raiders is number 10 Joseph Tapine
2nd Row for Dragons is number 11 Jack Bird2nd Row for Raiders is number 11 Hudson Young
2nd Row for Dragons is number 12 Jaydn Su'A2nd Row for Raiders is number 12 Elliott Whitehead
Lock for Dragons is number 13 Tariq SimsLock for Raiders is number 15 Ryan Sutton
Interchange for Dragons is number 14 Moses MbyeInterchange for Raiders is number 13 Adam Elliott
Interchange for Dragons is number 15 Francis MoloInterchange for Raiders is number 14 Tom Starling
Interchange for Dragons is number 16 Aaron WoodsInterchange for Raiders is number 16 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
Interchange for Dragons is number 17 Michael MoloInterchange for Raiders is number 17 Corey Horsburgh
Replacement for Dragons is number 21 Jaiyden HuntReplacement for Raiders is number 20 Trey Mooney
- Referee: Peter Gough
- Touch Judge: Jon Stone
- Touch Judge: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
- Senior Review Official: Grant Atkins
Last Time They Met
The Raiders were able to hold on to a 20-12 victory against the Dragons in Round 21 at Cbus Super Stadium last year.
Ben Hunt vs Jamal Fogarty
Both Jamal Fogarty and Ben Hunt will be looking to control proceedings when they come up against each other this weekend in one of the main match-ups of the game.
After sustaining an injury in a pre-season trial, Fogarty has hit the ground running since his round 11 return against the Parramatta Eels. The crafty halfback has already picked up three try assists in his four games in 2022, alongside four forced dropouts.
It hasn’t just been in attack where Fogarty has shone, with the number seven averaging over 20 tackles per match in defence. It seems that the halfback is going from strength to strength and will likely only continue to improve on his already pleasing form this weekend.
Fogarty will need to be at his best however coming up against one of the premier players in the competition in Ben Hunt. The Dragon has been brilliant in 2022, leading the Dally M leader board before it went behind closed doors after Round 12.
The Queensland representative has been an attacking powerhouse, scoring three tries whilst setting up 13 others. His running game has also been of serious note, averaging over 100 run metres in his 14 games so far.
With the match likely to be played through their hands, it is likely that whoever comes out on top between the pair will go a long way to securing the victory for their team.
Sebastian Kris vs Zac Lomax
Two big centres who can break a game wide open, both Zac Lomax and Sebastian Kris will have a serious job on their hands controlling their opposite number this weekend.
Since finding a home at centre in round 10 after being the team’s fix-it man early in the season, Kris has been brilliant for the Green Machine.
His ability to find the try line is well known around the league, scoring six times so far in 2022. This included a four-match try scoring streak just a few rounds ago, with some spectacular individual efforts.
His destructive abilities with ball in hand will be something to watch for St George this weekend, with the centre breaking 13 tackles and averaging just shy of 100 run metres per match this season. Add to this his rock-solid defence and he is the definition of a modern-day game-breaking centre.
Up against him will be Zac Lomax, who since debuting in 2018 has cemented himself as one of the premier centres in the competition. The Dragon has provided four tries and four try assists for his team this season, being a consistent piece in a St George side looking to squeeze into the finals.
In a game as evenly poised as this weekend, a moment of magic may be what it takes to split the two sides and both Kris and Lomax can produce the spectacular.
Tariq Sims vs Adam Elliott
Two players who have found a consistent starting role after featuring off the bench at stages throughout the season, both Tariq Sims and Adam Elliott have proven to be crucial players for the respective sides.
After filling in at hooker during the mid-part of this year’s campaign Adam Elliott has found a home at the lock position, proving to be one of the competition’s most in-form players in the 13 jersey. His ability to make the most of the biggest moments has left him adored by the Raiders faithful, with Elliott playing a crucial role in many of the Raiders’ victories so far in 2022.
Over the past five rounds he has averaged over 120 metres, with many of those being post contact. His defensive workload has also been on full display, including his 41-tackle performance against the Knights.
Against him will be Sims, who is scheduled to play just his fourth game at lock this season. His versatility has been key for the Dragons so far in 2022, helping wherever he is required by head coach Anthony Griffin.
It will be crucial that Elliott and the rest of the Raiders do not allow Sims to ease into the match, as his destructive running game and line-breaking ability can quickly turn a game.
Whoever wins this battle will likely help to propel their side into a match winning position this weekend.
Canberra have won 21 of their 34 NRL matches against the Dragons, with the Raiders looking to extend their head-to-head record this weekend.