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2021 NRL Round 12 Preview, Roosters Vs Raiders

Josh Mercer previews the round 12 clash between the Sydney Roosters and Canberra Raiders. This is what we have to look forward to.

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TEAM NEWS

Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Date: Saturday, May 29, Time: 7:35pm

Roosters Team

1. James Tedesco
2. Daniel Tupou
3. Josh Morris
4. Joseph Manu
5. Matt Ikuvalu
6. Lachlan Lam
7. Sam Walker
8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
9. Benjamin Marschke
10. Siosiua Taukeiaho
11. Angus Crichton
12. Sitili Tupouniua
13. Isaac Liu
14. Adam Keighran
15. Nat Butcher
16. Daniel Suluka-Fifita
17. Fletcher Baker
18. Tuku Hau Tapuha
19. Naufahu Whyte
20. Egan Butcher
21. Joseph Suaalii

Team Changes

IN: Daniel Suluka-Fifita, Josh Morris, Nauufahu Whyte, Tuku Hau Tapuha.
OUT: Victor Radley

Raiders Team

1. Caleb Aekins
2. Bailey Simonsson
3. Sebastian Kris
4. Curtis Scott
5. Jordan Rapana
6. Jack Wighton
7. Sam Williams
8. Dunamis Lui
9. Tom Starling
10. Emre Guler
11. Corey Harawira-Naera
12. Elliott Whitehead
13. Ryan Sutton
14. Josh Hodgson
15. Iosia Soliola
16. Corey Horsburgh
17. Ryan James
18. Elijah Anderson
19. Harry Rushton
20. Brad Schneider
21. Hudson Young

Team Changes

IN: Elijah Anderson, Harry Rushton, Iosia Soliola, Jack Wighton, Jordan Rapana, Josh Hodgson.
OUT: George Williams, Matthew Timoko, Semi Valemei.

Referee: Grant Atkins

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Roosters

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The Roosters went down to the Broncos at the SCG last weekend; while it didn’t help that Victor Radley was sin-binned twice, credit must go to the Broncos as they played well. Things just went the Broncos’ way, like a Sam Walker cut-out ball – that normally finds the mark – getting intercepted by David Mead, or James Tedesco being caught out of place for John Asiata to score. Things weren’t all bad for the Roosters, as Tedesco showed why he is one of the best players around; though he had an unhappy night, Walker still kept trying things to the final whistle. The Broncos looked good: Tevita Pangai Jr terrorised Walker and the Roosters defence, and Albert Kelly may be the key to them winning a few more games this season.

Raiders

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The Raiders got off to a great start against the Storm, scoring two tries in the first 15 minutes to race out to a 10-0 lead. Unfortunately it was downhill after that as the Storm scored 34 unanswered points to run out winners. The Raiders had some good points in the loss and Curtis Scott played well against his former club, while Sam and George Williams had two magnificent try assists though kicks.

PREVIEW

This is game is going to be an interesting one. Fans know the history between these clubs, but throw in suspensions, injuries, and a homesick player, and it’s a game to watch to see who comes out on top. Both teams are in desperate need of a win, the Roosters have Manly breathing down their neck for fifth position, while the Raiders are just two points outside of the top eight.

The Roosters have been hit hard by injuries again this season, but the mid-season crackdown saw two of their key players in Victor Radley and Angus Crichton (though Crichton was named in the side) suspended. Isaac Liu has been named to play at lock for Radley while Nat Butcher will most likely come into the side for Crichton. They will also welcome back Josh Morris, which is a bonus.

It’s been a pretty distracting week for the Raiders, with the George Williams saga playing out in the media. The Raiders will need to put all the noise behind them to get the win. The ever-dependable Sam Williams will line up as halfback for the remainder of the season for the Raiders. Josh Hodgson and Jack Wighton are back in the side after missing out on the loss to the Storm.

While both teams are down on troops, there should still be plenty of feeling in this game with everything that has gone down with them over the past few seasons.

KEY STAT

The Raiders do not have the best record at Central Coast Stadium: they are 0-6.

PREDICTION

Roosters by four. 

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