2024 NRL: Round 12 Preview, Raiders Vs Roosters

Check out the match preview and prediction for the round 12 clash between the Canberra Raiders and Sydney Roosters.



Canberra Raiders Vs Sydney Roosters
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
Date: Saturday May 25, 3:00pm


Raiders: 1. Jordan Rapana, 2. Nick Cotric, 3. Matthew Timoko, 4. Sebastian Kris, 5. Xavier Savage, 6. Ethan Strange, 7. Kaeo Weekes, 8. Emre Guler, 9. Danny Levi, 10. Joseph Tapine, 11. Hudson Young, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 13. Morgan Smithies, 14. Tom Starling, 15. Ata Mariota, 16. Trey Mooney, 17. Peter Hola, 18. Albert Hopoate, 19. Zac Woolford, 20. Simi Sasagi, 21. Michael Asomua, 22. Hohepa Puru

Roosters: 1. James Tedesco, 2. Daniel Tupou, 3. Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii, 4. Joseph Manu, 5. Dominic Young, 6. Luke Keary, 7. Sam Walker, 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 9. Brandon Smith, 10. Lindsay Collins, 11. Angus Crichton, 12. Victor Radley, 13. Naufahu Whyte, 14. Sandon Smith, 15. Egan Butcher, 16. Spencer Leniu, 17. Terrell May, 18. Fetalaiga Pauga, 19. Nat Butcher, 20. Siua Wong, 21. Zach Dockar-Clay, 22. Ethan King

Referee: Todd Smith

Embed from Getty Images


Five years on from their controversial grand final meeting, the Raiders and Roosters go head-to-head in a crucial match for both sides heading into the State of Origin period. The young Raiders side has followed up a pair of heavy losses with two good wins over Manly and Canterbury to sit sixth on the ladder, while the Roosters’ three-match winning run came to an abrupt end at the hands of Cronulla at Magic Round to sit in seventh.

The match will also be part of the NRL’s Indigenous Round, with both sides debuting new jersey designs to mark the occasion.

The Raiders jersey follows the theme “where the water meets the land” and features numerous landmarks from Ngunnawal country and each Indigenous players’ totems, along with multiple symbols representing men, women, and children for all Raiders fans around Australia.

The Roosters have adopted the name Gadigal Roosters for the third year in a row to mark the round, while also wearing a jersey that is dedicated to Ron Saddler, a Wiradjuri man who played 118 games for the club in the 1960s and ’70s and was the first Indigenous Australian to captain New South Wales.

Canberra coach Ricky Stuart has been forced into one change, with Josh Papalii suspended for one week due to his hip drop on Viliame Kikau, with his place taken by Peter Hola, who makes his first appearance in the top grade for 2024.

The same can’t be said for the Roosters, who welcome back Joseph Manu from concussion in place of Fetalaiga Pauga, but lose Connor Watson to a throat injury, replaced by Sandon Smith. Nat Butcher has also been dropped from the side, with Victor Radley moving to the edge and Naufahu Whyte starting at lock. In some good news for the club, Luke Keary passed his HIA in the final minutes of Saturday night’s loss.

Despite being written off regularly throughout 2024, the Raiders continue to perform and have six wins from 10 games: 20 seems to be the magic number for the Raiders, having passed that mark in each of their six wins, while scoring 10 points or fewer in three of their four losses. Of some concern for the Raiders is still their goal-line defence, having conceded at least four tries in six of their past seven matches, despite missing only 316 tackles, making them the sixth-best team on average in that stat. The Raiders also have one of the best home records in the NRL, with four wins from five home games (including Magic Round).

After a mixed start to the 2024 season, the Roosters have roared to life in attack in recent weeks, scoring 168 points in their last four matches. Their ordinarily miserly defence has also let them down, conceding at least 18 points in each of their past eight matches. Magic Round marked their first loss outside Sydney for 2024, after winning their first three games on the road.

The Roosters hold a slight overall advantage in matches between the two sides, claiming 38 wins to Canberra’s 32, although the Raiders have won four of their seven meetings since 2020. The Raiders have dominated matches at GIO Stadium, winning 15 of 23 overall, including six of the eight since 2012. Joe Tapine will make his 200th first grade appearance this weekend, having played his 100th against the Roosters in the 2019 Grand Final. The Raiders only have five players from that game who will take the field on Saturday afternoon, while the Roosters have seven.

Head-to-head stats can be found at Number Crunch Stats.


Check out all the NRL Predictions here.

Raiders by 4 points.

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