While Canberra haven’t reached the same heights so far this season as they did in 2016 there has been one thing that has stayed the same. The right side pairing of Joseph Leilua and Jordan Rapana remains as dangerous as ever, and with the Raiders fighting to keep their season alive they need the duo to be firing.
Rapana and Leilua have combined to score 23 tries and assisted 10. They have made 487 runs for a combined 4523 metres, 194 tackle busts and 28 line breaks between them.
However they’re not the only dominant duo on the right side. Manly’s Aku Uate and Dylan Walker have combined for 23 tries and 12 try assists, but they fall behind when it comes down to running with the ball. They’ve only made 435 runs (52 less) for 4040 metres (483 metres less). While they have only made two less line breaks they have 61 fewer tackle busts.
The next best have been Melbourne’s duo of the competition’s joint leading try scorer Suliasi Vunivalu and Will Chambers. Again they have scored a combined 23 tries and set up 10 but it’s the running game where they fall behind ‘Leipana’ making 52 fewer runs and 454 less metres. They have 28 line breaks but 109 fewer tackle busts than the Canberra duo.
The Raiders have a tough run to the finals facing the Warriors away, Penrith and Newcastle at home, before travelling to Melbourne in the final round. And being four points out of the top eight means they can still miss out on the finals even if they win their remaining matches, but if they are to have any chance Jordan Rapana and Joseph Leilua will have to show why they’re the strongest right-sided duo in the game.