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2022 Season Review: Wingers

This season saw seven different players in the wing position, including two debutants. 

Nick Cotric and Jordan Rapana were the mainstays on the wing but James Schiller, Albert Hopoate, Xavier Savage, Sebastian Kris and Semi Valemei also got opportunities on the edge this year. 

Having returned to the Raiders this year after playing the 2021 season at the Bulldogs, Cotric nailed down the right winger spot, missing just five games all season. 

Cotric played round one on the wing, before a quad injury forced him to miss rounds two and three. Cotric returned in round four, playing sixteen of the next 17 on the right edge. He missed round 22 due to a high tackle charge, as well as round 24 against the Sea Eagles before returning for the final three games of the season. 

He scored seven tries this season, and made 11 line breaks, 77 tackle breaks and averaged 109 running metres. 

Cotric's defence was also impressive this season, making a number of crucial tackles including a try saver against the Sharks in round one. 

2022 Best Moments: Cotric try-saver against Sharks

Jordan Rapana provided valuable experience on the wing this year, playing 19 games on the left flank and building a dangerous combination with Sebastian Kris. 

Amongst a young and relatively inexperienced backline, Rapana was the leading voice and led by example, with many big plays and crucial tackles. 

Rapana try saver halts chance of golden point

Rapana missed the first two games of the season due to suspension, with his first game of the year against the Titans in round three. 

The 32-year-old played the next four games on the left wing, before shifting to fullback for rounds seven and eight to cover an injured Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad. 

Rapana returned to the wing in round nine, playing 15 of the last 18 games of the season. He missed rounds 14, 19 and 20 through suspension. 

Rapana remained dangerous in attack throughout the season whilst also carrying the ball out of his own end well and making big defensive plays. 

He finished the season with six tries, five try assists, 10 line breaks and averaged 3 tackle breaks, 45 post contact metres and 137 run metres per game. 

That's using the old noodle

This season saw a number of debutants at the club including James Schiller who played three games on the wing. 

Schiller made his NRL debut in round one in the centres, before shifting to the wing in round two against the Cowboys. Rapana returned to the side in round three, forcing Schiller out of the team but he returned in round 14 against the Broncos.

He also played on the wing against the Storm in round 18, where he scored that spectacular match winning try. 

Moment of the Week: Spectacular Schiller try

Albert Hopoate was the other winger to make his Raiders debut this season. The 21-year-old came off the bench in his debut game against the Storm in round 18, before going on to play four games on the wing in rounds 19, 20, 22 and 24. 

Hopoate was impressive on the wing, scoring three tries and recording 12 tackle breaks, averaging 50.5 post contact metres and 167 run metres in four games. 

Hopoate scores first NRL try

Xavier Savage played rounds seven and eight on the wing, before cementing his spot at fullback in the second half of the year. 

Similarly, Sebastian Kris spent two matches on the wing in rounds two and three, before shifting to the centres from round ten onwards. 

Semi Valemei played round one on the wing, moving to the centres for his other seven games of the year. 

With plenty of youth coming through this season the competition will be high during the pre-season to nail down a spot on the wing in 2023. 

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.