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NRL Match Preview: Raiders v Eels

The Canberra Raiders will travel to CommBank Stadium this Friday to take on the Parramatta Eels, with a spot in a grand final qualifier on the line.

The Raiders hope to continue their winning ways and book a ticket to the preliminary final, where the Cowboys await the winner of Friday's match.

It was a terrific performance by the green machine in the first week of finals, as they picked up a fifth straight win in Melbourne over the Storm.

Unfortunately for Canberra, Adam Elliott has been ruled out of Friday's clash after suffering a pelvic injury. Corey Harawira-Naera will replace Elliott at lock and Ryan Sutton comes onto the bench.

Meanwhile, the Eels lost the chance to have a week off and go straight to the preliminary final after suffering a 27-8 loss to the Penrith Panthers.

Surprisingly, this weekend is the first time in the NRL era that the Eels and Raiders will meet in a finals game despite, their recent success over the past few years.

One of these sides will be just one more win away from a spot in the 2022 grand final after Friday night, while the other team's campaign will come to an end.

Team Lists


  • Fullback for Eels is number 1 Clinton Gutherson
    Fullback for Raiders is number 1 Xavier Savage
  • Winger for Eels is number 2 Maika Sivo
    Winger for Raiders is number 2 Nick Cotric
  • Centre for Eels is number 3 Will Penisini
    Centre for Raiders is number 3 Matthew Timoko
  • Centre for Eels is number 4 Tom Opacic
    Centre for Raiders is number 4 Sebastian Kris
  • Winger for Eels is number 5 Waqa Blake
    Winger for Raiders is number 5 Jordan Rapana
  • Five-Eighth for Eels is number 6 Dylan Brown
    Five-Eighth for Raiders is number 6 Jack Wighton
  • Halfback for Eels is number 7 Mitchell Moses
    Halfback for Raiders is number 7 Jamal Fogarty


  • Prop for Eels is number 8 Reagan Campbell-Gillard
    Prop for Raiders is number 8 Josh Papali'i
  • Hooker for Eels is number 9 Reed Mahoney
    Hooker for Raiders is number 9 Zac Woolford
  • Prop for Eels is number 10 Junior Paulo
    Prop for Raiders is number 10 Joseph Tapine
  • 2nd Row for Eels is number 11 Shaun Lane
    2nd Row for Raiders is number 11 Hudson Young
  • 2nd Row for Eels is number 12 Isaiah Papali'i
    2nd Row for Raiders is number 12 Elliott Whitehead
  • Lock for Eels is number 17 Marata Niukore
    Lock for Raiders is number 16 Corey Horsburgh


  • Interchange for Eels is number 13 Ryan Matterson
    Interchange for Raiders is number 13 Corey Harawira-Naera
  • Interchange for Eels is number 14 Makahesi Makatoa
    Interchange for Raiders is number 14 Tom Starling
  • Interchange for Eels is number 15 Jake Arthur
    Interchange for Raiders is number 15 Emre Guler
  • Interchange for Eels is number 16 Oregon Kaufusi
    Interchange for Raiders is number 17 Ryan Sutton


  • Replacement for Eels is number 19 Bailey Simonsson
    Replacement for Raiders is number 18 Albert Hopoate

Match Officials

  • Referee: Ashley Klein
  • Touch Judge: Dave Munro
  • Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
  • Senior Review Official: Gerard Sutton

Last updated:

Last Time They Met 

These two sides met at GIO Stadium in round 12 earlier this year, with the Eels claiming a 28-20 win. However, when it comes to finals the stats are on the side of the green machine as Canberra have lost just two finals games compared to the Eels seven losses since 2017.

Key Matchups 

Jamal Fogarty v Mitchell Moses 

Jamal Fogarty has been in phenomenal form during the Raiders current winning streak and will be looking to take control again as he goes head to head with former Origin halfback, Mitchell Moses.

Fogarty keeps putting on career-best displays in every match since the Raiders big win over the Sea Eagles and that was no different than last Saturday. Against the Storm in last weekend's elimination final, Fogarty broke three tackles, made a line break and scored one of the best tries of the weekend after running over three Storm players.

Last week proved how valuable Mitchell Moses is to the Eels as Parramatta trailed just 13-8 before he left the field with a concussion in the 57th minute. It was then that the Panthers ran away with the match but Moses was key to the Eels success which saw them dominate field position and lead 8-7 just after halftime.

Both sides will be expecting their halfbacks to take control and whoever can stand up in the big moments will go a long way in securing their side a spot in the prelim.

Hudson Young v Shaun Lane 

Two of the best back-rowers over the past month will go head to head this weekend when Hudson Young and Shaun Lane meet in a matchup that could also decide who earns a spot in Australia’s World Cup squad.

Young has become one of the Raiders most important players over the past few months and put in another great performance against Melbourne. Young ran for 99 metres and scored a try off a Wighton grubber which saw Canberra go back in front. He was also huge in defence as he played a big part in containing both Jahrome Hughes and Cameron Munster.

Lane has also had a career-best month as he has secured his spot in the left back-row, keeping the likes of Ryan Matterson and Marata Niukore on the bench. While it's surprising that he has scored just two tries in 2022, he has 13 try assists, seven line breaks and running on average for 125 metres.

Both players are so important for their respective sides in both defence and attack and it may just be one run from either back-rower, that could create a match-winning play on Friday.

Josh Papalii v Reagan Campbell-Gillard 

These forwards packs may be the best in the competition and not only will Tapine match up against Paulo, but we will see an Origin One rematch as Papalii goes head to head with Campbell-Gillard.

While there is no doubt that Tapine established himself as one of the game's best players in 2022, Papalii proved against the Storm and during Origin why he has been one of the NRL’s best forwards for the past decade. Against the Storm, Papalii played a season-long 58 minutes and stood up big time with 168 running metres and made 29 tackles.

Despite the Eels loss, Campbell-Gillard was great in the qualifying final against the Panthers. Despite playing just 49 minutes, RCG ran for 133 metres and 52 post-contact metres against the likes of James Fisher-Harris, Viliame Kikau and Isaah Yeo.

The forward pack has been the biggest strength for the Raiders and Eels this season and both men will know that they will have to stand up for their sides to advance to a Preliminary final.

Head to Head 

The Raiders and Eels have met 37 times since 1998, with the Raiders having the advantage of winning 21 matches to the Eels 16.

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.