Date: Sunday September 6, 2015
Venue: Pirtek Stadium
Kick-Off: 2pm AEST
Eels: 1 Reece Robinson 2 Semi Radradra 3 Will Hopoate 4 Ryan Morgan 5 Bureta Faraimo 6 Corey Norman 7 Luke Kelly 8 Junior Paulo 9 Isaac De Gois 10 Tim Mannah (c) 11 Manu Ma’u 12 Tepai Moeroa 13 David Gower. Interchange: 14 Pauli Pauli 15 Darcy Lussick 16 Daniel Alvaro 17 Peni Terepo
Raiders: 1 Sisa Waqa 2 Edrick Lee 3 Jarrod Croker (c) 4 Brenko Lee 5 Jordan Rapana 6 Mitch Cornish 7 Sam Williams 8 Frank Paul Nuuausala 9 Josh Hodgson 10 David Shillington 11 Josh Papalii 12 Jarrad Kennedy 13 Shaun Fensom. Interchange: 14 Kurt Baptiste 15 Luke Bateman 16 Paul Vaughan 17 Shannon Boyd
The Canberra Raiders and Paramatta Eels will play their last game of season 2015 on Sunday afternoon, and with finals football out of reach, the two sides will be playing for pride.
The Raiders will be looking to end the season with consecutive victories, following a strong win against the Panthers last round, however the challenge will be difficult without the 2015 buy of the season, Blake Austin. Austin was injured against the Panthers, and as a result Mitch Cornish will slot in at five eight.
The Eels came close to victory last round against the finals bound Sharks, before a late field goal and try gifted Cronulla the win in a thrilling contest. Although they were disappointed with the result, the Paramatta faithful would surely be impressed with Michael Gordon’s performance in that game, as the Sharks fullback will join the Eels squad next season.
The game will be an interesting one for mutual viewers of the contest, as the game will be the first ever use of the shot clock rule in the NRL. Following the rule, the sides will only have 30 seconds to kick a line drop-out, and 35 seconds to feed a scrum. The introduction of the rule in the already frantically paced NRL will add an extra layer of entertainment to this game, especially given the attacking flair that both teams possess.
Not only will the Raiders be without the service of their star five-eight, they will also be missing talented young fullback Jack Wighton due to suspension, resulting in Sisa Waqa moving to fullback, and Jordan Rapana onto the wing.
Mitch Cornish and Sam Williams will both be looking to have standout performances, as the addition of the classy Aidan Sezer to the Canberra squad next season will result in Austin and Sezer forming the halves pairing. Although both may look for other club options during the off-season, Williams and Cornish can both use this game to increase their ranking on the Canberra halves pecking order.
The two clubs have met on 50 occasions in their decorated history, with an astonishing 25 wins each. The two last met in Round 26 of 2014, with the Raiders claiming victory 33-20 at their home ground.
This time it will be the Eels chance to claim victory, and the Parramatta faithful should add enough support to get their side across the line to finish off a solid 2015 season.
Prediction Eels by 10