Todd Warren preview Raiders vs Rabbitohs as both teams sit around the middle of the table.
Canberra got a big win last week in the rematch of the 2019 Grand Final in a game where not many of us gave them a chance. They lost to Melbourne the week before and lost in golden point to Parramatta in round seven so it’s been a tough draw for a team that has been hit hard by injuries.
Tough loss to Newcastle last week as Souths put 18 points on in less than 10 minutes to almost stage a great comeback. Souths have won four of their last six, but all their wins this season have come against bottom eight teams. They have lost games to Knights, Panthers, Storm, Roosters and the pre-covid Broncos.
Big news with John Bateman named on an extended bench. He returns to the Super League next season but has unfinished business at the Raiders and would be a massive boost for a team that has lost so many experienced forwards to injury this season.
1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Nick Cotric 3. Jarrod Croker (c) 4. Jordan Rapana 5. Semi Valemei 6. Jack Wighton 7. George Williams 8. Josh Papalii 9. Siliva Havili 10. Dunamis Lui 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliot Whitehead 13. Kai O’Donnell 14. Tom Starling 15. Joseph Tapine 16. Ryan Sutton 17. Harley Smith-Shields
Double blow for Souths with Ethan Lowe and James Roberts both out long term. Roberts will miss 12 weeks with a pec injury and Lowe has had to get surgery on his neck and will be out the rest of the season.
1. Alex Johnston 2. Corey Allan 3. Campbell Graham 4. Dane Gagai 5. Jaxson Paulo 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Reynolds (c) 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Tom Burgess 11. Jayden Su’A 12. Bayley Sironen 13. Cameron Murray 14. Mark Nicholls 15. Hame Sele 16. Patrick Mago 17. Jack Johns
Raiders have won six of the last 10 of these fixtures. It’s going to be a cold one in Canberra with the minimum temperature forecast to be -1 and a chance of rain.
BATTLE TO WATCH
Cody Walker and Jack Wighton are very similar is their styles with both also previously playing fullback and currently as a ball running 5/8th. Both guys are happy to let their halves partner handles most of the kicking duties so they can sniff around the ruck ready to pounce on a loose pass.
Souths finished strong against the Knights but the way they have struggled against the top teams this season is concerning. They’re up against a team who beat the defending premiers and could welcome back one of their best players from a long injury layoff.
Raiders by 10.
Date: Saturday July 25
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra