Date: 28th July, 2014
Venue: GIO Stadium
Kick-off: 7:00pm (local time)
Canberra Raiders: Anthony Milford, Reece Robinson, Jarrod Croker, Jarrad Kennedy, Sami Sauiluma, Terry Campese, Josh McCrone, David Shillington, Glen Butriss, Brett White, Josh Papalii, Joel Edwards, Shaun Fensom. Interchange: Kurt Baptiste, Paul Vaughan, Dane Tilse, Shannon Boyd, Matt Allwood
South Sydney Rabbitohs: Greg Inglis, Alex Johnston, Kirisome Auva’a, Dylan Walker, Bryson Goodwin, John Sutton, Adam Reynolds, George Burgess, Isaac Luke, Dave Tyrrell, Kyle Turner, Ben Te’o, Sam Burgess. Interchange: Luke Keary, Ben Lowe, Jason Clark, Thomas Burgess, Joe Picker, Joel Reddy
This week’s clash in the National Rugby League’s Monday Night Footy takes us to the home of the Canberra Raiders to see the lime-green take on the equal fourth placed South Sydney Rabbitohs.
The Canberra Raiders have gotten themselves into a season-long battle that wasn’t part of Ricky Stuart’s new years resolution. Every week they are desperate to edge off the Newcastle Knights and Cronulla Sharks following a season with 12 losses that has put them out of their finals contention hopes.
As well as poor results, their season to almost certainly forget has included; an unreliability to sign players from outside the border, a move to Brisbane for young-gun Anthony Milford, a Commonwealth Games worthy backflip from Tigers playmaker James Tedesco and the recent resignation of assistant coach Matt Parish.
But the Raiders will still have plenty to play for on Monday night as they have gone from in 2013 nearly undefeated at home, to this season where they have won 2 from 7 at GIO Stadium. With 4 of their last 6 games to be played within the capital state, if they want to make an impression they are worthy of big-things next year to the locals, winning must start now.
David Shillington will be the man in the lime green to watch after he notched up more than 160 meters in probably his best performance of the season just last week.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs are also in need of a courageous performance. The last time these two teams met it was in contention for the worst performance the boys from Redfern had put on in a while. The game in Round 4 can easily be described as a train wreck of communication for the Rabbitohs. They were all over the show in their offense and it sure provided a good laugh for all of those in Canberra.
On Monday night Ben Te’o will return to the second row position while Bryson Goodwin makes his return and replaces Lote Tuqiri on the wing. Caveman David Tyrell will make his 100th appearance in first-grade Rugby League for the Red and Green after he was scouted from the Queensland Cup at age 20 in 2009.
The players to watch for the Rabbitohs will be Adam Reynolds and Greg Inglis.
Following last week’s stellar win over the Parramatta Eels, Adam Reynolds has questioned coach Michael Maguire as to why he was substituted late in the second half for Luke Keary who seemed to give the Rabbitohs a winning edge.
With Reynolds placed in the starting lineup for Monday night and Keary on the bench, Reynolds will give everything he’s got to prove to coach Maguire he holds the future in the team’s halfback position.
Greg Inglis will come up against his most promising challenger for the QLD number one jersey on Monday night. It has been long assumed Greg Inglis would make the switch from center position to fullback when Billy Slater retired from the Maroons jersey, but it’s no word of a lie Anthony Milford at just age 20 could be putting those hopes into jeopardy.
Considering these factors and the powerful squad they have lined up for this upcoming clash, the Rabbitohs should have the performance edge over the Raiders and should take home the two-points in a close, intense, but comfortable win.
Rabbitohs by 6.
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