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NRL Match Preview: Raiders v Sea Eagles

The Toyota Forklifts Canberra Raiders travel to 4 Pines Park, as they seek to overturn back-to-back losses when they face an in-form Manly Sea Eagles outfit this Friday night. 

The Raiders enter this week fresh off their first defeat at home for the season and will be aiming to overturn a disappointing fortnight of results. 

Manly return home for the second week in a row and will be looking to claim their third consecutive win after victories against the Eels and Titans sees them inside the top four. 

Talking Points 

  • Albert Hopoate and Elliott Whitehead both return from injury with Chevy Stewart and Simi Sasagi making way.
  • Nick Cotric has been recalled on the wing in place of James Schiller. 
  • Ethan Bullemor replaces Haumole Olakau’atu who has been suspended for two weeks for a dangerous throw.
  • Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans has been cleared to play for his involvement in the same tackle.
  • Friday night will see the Raiders travel to 4 Pines Park for the first time since 2021. 
  • Manly enter this match in blistering form at home, scoring 139 points in their last four games at the venue. 

Last Time They Met 

The Manly Sea Eagles defeated the Raiders 42-14 last season at GIO Stadium, Canberra. 

Key Matchup 

Jake Trbojevic vs Morgan Smithies 

The battle between the lock forwards will be key for either side as they look to establish a strong advantage in the middle of the park.

Making his NRL debut in round one, Morgan Smithies has impressed Raiders fans with his tireless work ethic which has quickly established him as a reliable member of Ricky’s forward pack. 

The English international averages 107 running metres, while also averaging 41 post contact metres a game. Along with this, the Raiders lock averages 37 tackles a game with only one miss. 

Jake Trobjevic has been a leader of the Manly forward pack for the past decade and will be instrumental in the battle for forward dominance on Friday night. 

The NSW and Australian representative has added his name to State of Origin contention once again this season after a strong start which sees him average 89 running metres and 42 tackles a game at an efficiency of 94.75%. 

The battle for dominance in the middle of the park will see these two lock forwards instrumental in ensuring their side will have a strong platform to attack from. 

Head to Head 

The two sides have faced each other on 37 occasions, the Raiders have 15 wins while the Sea Eagles have 22. 

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.