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NRL Match Preview: Raiders v Cowboys

The Toyota Forklifts Canberra Raiders return from the bye week for a contest against the North Queensland Cowboys on Friday evening at 6pm. 

Prior to the weekend off the Canberra Raiders secured an exhilarating golden point victory over the Dolphins away from home, while the Cowboys suffered a comprehensive 30-point defeat against the New Zealand Warriors. 

Talking Points

  • Hudson Young returns to the starting side this week after representing NSW in Game One and missing the golden point victory over the Dolphins in Round 13.
  • Cowboys representative players Murray Taulagi and Reece Robson have been named to return after being rested in Round 14.
  • The Raiders will be aiming for a strong defensive performance after conceding 84 points in their last two games at GIO Stadium. 
  • Jordan Rapana boasts an impressive try scoring record against the North Queensland Cowboys, crossing seven times in his last four games.
  • Interchange forward Trey Mooney will remain a Raider until the end of the 2027 season after signing a three-year contract extension this week. 

He's a great young player who's keen to learn. It's great he wants to stay at the club.

Joe Tapine on Trey Mooney re-signing for three more seasons. #336

Last Time They Met 

The Canberra Raiders suffered a one-point defeat against the North Queensland Cowboys at Country Bank Stadium in Townsville, 19-18. 

Key Matchup

Jordan Rapana vs Scott Drinkwater 

The battle of the fullbacks will be one fans will be looking on with intrigue and could be instrumental in deciding the outcome of Friday’s clash. 

Despite missing five weeks through a knee injury earlier this year, Jordan Rapana has been influential for the Raiders. 

Rapana’s leadership was evident in Round 13 after an inspiring performance which included two field goals that aided the Raiders to victory. 

Rapana has been a consistent performer throughout his eight appearances in 2024, scoring two tries, assisting three more and running for an average of 159 metres. 

Scott Drinkwater’s ability to break a game open will require the Raiders' defence to be alert when he goes near the football. 

The fullback has appeared in all 14 of the Cowboys games in the 2024 season, scoring seven tries and sits equal second for try assists in the NRL with 15, whilst also running for 159 metres. 

After leaking 84 points in the last two home games, stopping Scott Drinkwater will be instrumental in determining the outcome of Friday evening’s game. 

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.