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2022 NRL Round 16 Preview, Dragons Vs Raiders

Craig Cauchi previews the Sunday afternoon clash between the Dragons and the Raiders.

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MATCHDAY NEWS

MATCHDAY SCHEDULE

St George Illawarra Dragons Vs Canberra Raiders
Venue: WIN Stadium
Date: e.g., Sunday July 3, 4:05pm

MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS

Related: NRL Team List Tuesday

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Dragons: 1. Cody Ramsey 2. Mathew Feagai 3. Moses Suli 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Talatau Amone 7. Ben Hunt 8. Jack de Belin 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Jack Bird 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Tariq Sims 14. Moses Mbye 15. Francis Molo 16. Aaron Woods 17. Michael Molo 18. Josh Kerr 19. Tautau Moga 20. Jayden Sullivan 21. Jaiyden Hunt 22. Billy Burns

The Dragons have named all six players who appeared in representative round with Ben Hunt named to back up after his State of Origin performance. If the half is ruled out, Jayden Sullivan has been named in the replacements. The Dragons have named the same 17 that ambushed South Sydney in round 15.

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Raiders: 1. Xavier Savage 2. Nick Cotric 3. Matthew Timoko 4. Sebastian Kris 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Jack Wighton 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Josh Papali’i 9. Zac Woolford 10. Joseph Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Adam Elliott 14. Tom Starling 15. Ryan Sutton 16. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 17. Corey Horsburgh 18. Matt Frawley 19. Corey Harawira-Naera 20. Trey Mooney 21. Semi Valemei 22. Adrian Trevilyan

Jack Wighton returns to the starting side after his return return from Covid ruled him out of round 15 and the second Origin match. Origin representative Josh Papalii will back up after Sunday as will Joseph Tapine and Jordan Rapana, who played for the Kiwis. James Schiller has been ruled out through injury with Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad taking the vacant spot on the bench.

Referee: Peter Gough

MATCHDAY PREVIEW

These sides met twice last year with both teams winning their respective home games. Last years round 15 encounter is remembered for the swirling conditions most noted by a kick from Ben Hunt that at first travelled 30 metres forward before ending another 30 metres behind from where he kicked it. In that match the Raiders were leading 20-8 at the start of the second half before the Dragons pulled the lead back. Ben Hunt starred for the Dragons as did their young debutant Tyrell Sloan who scored a fantastic first up try. The match sealer came through a converted try to Corey Norman, giving the Dragons the two point victory. The Raiders were able to return serve 6 weeks later with a comfortable 20-12 victory at CBUS Stadium. While the Raiders don’t hold as big of a hoodoo as they used to over the Dragons, they have won five of the last seven matches between the two sides.

The Raiders have won four of their last six matches to place themselves on the brink of sneaking into the top eight – the team that they’re looking to replace is the Dragons. The streak includes victories over Sharks and Roosters but their old second half woes almost came back to haunt them during their last round match against Newcastle Knights. The Raiders led 14-6 at the break and allowed the Knights back into the match and only sealed their victory in the final minutes with a try to Hudson Young. The Dragons put in a disappointing performance after Origin I with a big loss to the Cowboys. They turned it around to put 32 points on South Sydney and place themselves inside the top 8 heading into the representative round.

One of the reasons the Dragons were able to pile on the points against Souths was because of the performance of the players around Ben Hunt – but once again the home side will find themselves relying heavily on their skipper. The last time these two teams played at WIN Stadium is was through Hunt’s kicking game that the Dragons were able to haul in the Raiders early lead. On the other side of the field a lot of attention will be on the returning Jack Wighton. The NSW centre missed Game 2 through illness and many expect him to return to the side. This matchup gives him the opportunity to show exactly what he’ll bring to Origin III regardless of where he’s named.

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INTERESTING FACT

Canberra has the worst winning record in the round after the second game of State of Origin II going back to 2010. The Green Machine recording one win from nine outings.

MATCHDAY PREDICTION

Raiders by 4.

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