Josh Mercer previews the semi-final match between the Sydney Roosters and the Canberra Raiders. This is what we have to look forward to.
After starting the game fast and scoring the first two tries, it looked like the Roosters’ experience was going be too much for the young Panthers side. The Panthers were able to overcome the Roosters through the brilliance of Nathan Cleary (who scored a hat-trick) and Jerome Luai. The Roosters were able to come back from 18 points down and level the scores to set up an exciting final three minutes: however it wasn’t to be, as they went down by a point.
The Raiders got off to a good start, with Joe Tapine scoring after nine minutes. Sharks fans could be forgiven for thinking it was going to be a long night in the capital, but their team surprised the Raiders, racing out to an eight-point lead. The Raiders were able to change the momentum when halfback George Williams took an intercept to race and score and put Canberra only four points behind at half time. Jack Wighton took control of the game in the second half and scored two tries to get his side in front; Williams (with his second try) and Hudson Young finished it off for the Raiders to get the victory.
The Roosters have Jake Friend and Sonny Bill Williams coming back into the side, with Nat Butcher and Freddy Lussick missing out.
1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Josh Morris 4. Joseph Manu 5. Brett Morris 6. Luke Keary 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Jake Friend 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho 11. Boyd Cordner 12. Angus Crichton 13. Isaac Liu 14. Lindsay Collins 15. Sitili Tupouniua 16. Mitchell Aubusson 17. Sonny Bill Williams 18. Nat Butcher 19. Daniel Fifita 20. Matt Ikuvalu 21. Lachlan Lam.
No change for the Raiders this week.
1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Semi Valemi 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Jordan Rapana 5. Nick Cotric 6. Jack Wighton 7. George Williams 8. Josh Papalii 9. Tom Starling 10. Iosia Soliola 11. John Bateman 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Joseph Tapine 14. Siliva Havili 15. Dunamis Lui 16. Hudson Young 17. Corey Harawira-Naera 18. Sam Williams 19. Matthew Timoko 20. Kai O’Donnell 21. Michael Oldfield.
Both teams have only conceded an average of 16 points this season, so it may not be a high scoring game.
BATTLE TO WATCH
Josh Papalii vs Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
This will be the battle to watch. Both players will need to get their teams on the front foot if they are to get a victory. Papalii comes up with the big play when needed and it will be needed if they are to win.
Waerea-Hargreaves will need to watch himself this week, after only incurring a fine for his high shot on Dylan Edwards, but his aggression will be what the Roosters need for them to be successful.
Roosters by one.
Date: Friday, October 9th.
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground.