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NRL Season Preview and Review

2015 Review: Canberra Raiders

Canberra Raiders
Position: 10th
Record (W-L-D):10-14-0
Top Pointscorer: Jarrod Croker (236)
Top Tryscorer: Blake Austin (14)


At the halfway stage of the season, the Raiders were perfectly poised to make a charge towards finals football. Instead of charging towards the top eight, The Green Machine stumbled throughout their campaign.

With off-season recruit Blake Austin at five-eighth, the Raiders were the third best-ranked side for points scored but their inability to finish off games cost them dearly. An abysmal home record that consisted of only three wins did not help their cause either.

With six of the Raiders games being decided by a converted try or less, the Canberra-based side plenty of competition points slip. Add that round 11 clash against the Bulldogs to the tally and that makes seven wins gone begging. If the Raiders were able to win just three of those games, it would have propelled them into seventh on the ladder.

Despite this, the Raiders were never in the mix for the finals. Only a couple of wins late in the season propped them higher up the table.

The form of Blake Austin at five-eighth was a bright spot for the Raiders. With Austin one of the leading players in tries scored and line breaks, he provides a focal point in attack that has been missed in the capital in past few seasons.

After a season of what if, the Raider’s relatively young squad will be strengthened for next season by halfback Aidan Sezer. With Sezer combining with Austin in the halves, and another year’s worth of experience for Ricky Stuart’s side, 2016 will hopefully be a more consistent year.

Jon Kroiter is studying a Bachelor of Sports Media at the University of Canberra. You can follow him on twitter at @JonKroiter.

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