You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
NRL Match Preview: Raiders v Dragons

The Canberra Raiders will host the St George Illawarra Dragons on Sunday afternoon at GIO Stadium Canberra looking to keep their finals hopes alive.

Following the Raiders 26-6 loss against the league-leading Panthers on Saturday, Canberra have fallen two competition points behind the eighth-placed Sydney Roosters and will need to secure a victory over the Dragons to remain in the hunt for September footy.

However, this is also a must win game for St George who have lost their last five games and are just one win behind the Raiders on the ladder.

Joe Tapine has been ruled out for the match after succumbing to a rib injury. Tapine will be replaced in the starting side by Emre Guler, with Corey Horsburgh returning to the bench after a successful return from illness last weekend through the Raiders NSW Cup match.

Xavier Savage returns to the team at fullback this weekend after recovering from an ankle injury, with Jordan Rapana shifting back to the wing.

Nick Cotric has taken the early guilty plea for his grade two careless high tackle charge, which means Albert Hopoate will retain his place in the team on the wing this weekend.

Ryan Sutton has been named in the team and will continue to undergo concussion protocols this week after failing his HIA against Penrith.

Team Lists


  • Fullback for Raiders is number 1 Xavier Savage
    Fullback for Dragons is number 21 Cody Ramsey
  • Winger for Raiders is number 2 Albert Hopoate
    Winger for Dragons is number 2 Mathew Feagai
  • Centre for Raiders is number 3 Matthew Timoko
    Centre for Dragons is number 1 Moses Mbye
  • Centre for Raiders is number 4 Sebastian Kris
    Centre for Dragons is number 4 Zac Lomax
  • Winger for Raiders is number 5 Jordan Rapana
    Winger for Dragons is number 5 Tautau Moga
  • Five-Eighth for Raiders is number 6 Jack Wighton
    Five-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Talatau Amone
  • Halfback for Raiders is number 7 Jamal Fogarty
    Halfback for Dragons is number 7 Ben Hunt


  • Prop for Raiders is number 8 Josh Papali'i
    Prop for Dragons is number 8 Jack De Belin
  • Hooker for Raiders is number 9 Zac Woolford
    Hooker for Dragons is number 9 Andrew McCullough
  • Prop for Raiders is number 10 Emre Guler
    Prop for Dragons is number 10 Blake Lawrie
  • 2nd Row for Raiders is number 11 Hudson Young
    2nd Row for Dragons is number 11 Josh McGuire
  • 2nd Row for Raiders is number 12 Elliott Whitehead
    2nd Row for Dragons is number 12 Jaydn Su'a
  • Lock for Raiders is number 13 Adam Elliott
    Lock for Dragons is number 3 Jack Bird


  • Interchange for Raiders is number 14 Tom Starling
    Interchange for Dragons is number 13 Michael Molo
  • Interchange for Raiders is number 15 Ryan Sutton
    Interchange for Dragons is number 15 Aaron Woods
  • Interchange for Raiders is number 16 Corey Horsburgh
    Interchange for Dragons is number 16 Tyrell Fuimaono
  • Interchange for Raiders is number 17 Corey Harawira-Naera
    Interchange for Dragons is number 17 Billy Burns


  • Replacement for Raiders is number 18 James Schiller
    Replacement for Dragons is number 20 Jaiyden Hunt

Match Officials

  • Referee: Adam Gee
  • Touch Judge: Liam Kennedy
  • Touch Judge: Nick Beashel
  • Senior Review Official: Chris Butler

Last updated:

Last Time They Met

The Raiders fell short in tough conditions going down 12-10 at WIN Stadium back in round 16.

Key Matchups

Jamal Fogarty v Ben Hunt

The battle of the two halfbacks in this match may decide the outcome of the game with both Jamal Fogarty and Ben Hunt being pivotal to the success of their team.

Fogarty has had an instant impact on the Raiders in his first nine appearances for the club, winning five of them whilst bringing a composed and experienced nature to the team.

Fogarty has shown his ability to create scoring opportunities for the green machine in all of his games this season, registering six try assists and 11 forced goal line drop outs.

Hunt on the other hand has had a standout year with the representative half putting up some impressive statistics. So far in 2022 Hunt has tallied six tries, 15 try assists, 27 offloads and is level with Fogarty on 11 forced goal line drop outs.

Come Sunday afternoon, these two halfbacks will play a significant role in guiding their sides towards a crucial victory.

Matt Timoko v Zac Lomax

Currently in the NRL there are only a handful of centres who can break the game open with their strength and evasive manoeuvres and both these players find themselves on that list. 

Matt Timoko has had a breakout season with the 22-year-old being one of Canberra’s leading try scorers and go-to options to get the Raiders out of trouble.

Timoko has registered seven tries, seven line breaks and a whopping 55 tackle breaks all whilst averaging 106 running metres.

Zac Lomax similarly has amassed five tries, four try assists, 58 tackle breaks along with an average of 120 metres.

There’s one thing that will certainly happen in this match and that is that both these players will be putting on a show and will be doing everything possible to get their side across the line.

Josh Papalii v Blake Lawrie

These two forwards are always hard to stop and that will be no different this Sunday at GIO Stadium Canberra when they clash for the second time this year.

Josh Papalii has had another wonderful season of rugby league with the damaging prop playing 19 games for the Raiders along with all of the State of Origin matches.

He continues to perform at a high level week in week out totalling 43 tackle breaks, 32 offloads, an average of 121 metres a game whilst keeping an impressive tackle efficiency of 98% in 2022.

Lawrie on the other hand has remained one of the most reliable players for the Red V, averaging 108 metres and 29 tackles per game.

This matchup is just the highlight of what will be a mouthwatering forward pack battle with both teams willing to do anything to get the victory.

Head to Head

The Raiders and Dragons have faced off 35 times and Canberra has historically been the victor, winning 21 to St George's 13. 

Acknowledgement of Country

Canberra Raiders respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.