2024 NRL: Round 13 Preview, Dolphins Vs Raiders

Check out the match preview and prediction for the round 13 clash between the Dolphins vs Raiders.



The Dolphins Vs Canberra Raiders
Venue: Kayo Stadium, Redcliffe
Date: Saturday June 1, 7:35pm


Dolphins: 1. Trai Fuller 2. Jamayne Isaako 3. Jake Averillo 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Jack Bostock 6. Kodi Nikorima 7. Isaiya Katoa 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Mark Nicholls 11. Connelly Lemuelu 12. Euan Aitken 13. Max Plath 14. Josh Kerr 15. Kenny Bromwich 16. Ray Stone 17. Anthony Milford 18. Oryn Keeley 19. Sean O’Sullivan 20. Jarrod Wallace 21. Kurt Donoghoe 22. Edrick Lee

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

Referee: Adam Gee

Embed from Getty Images


The Dolphins return to their traditional home in Redcliffe on Saturday night for an important clash against the Canberra Raiders, in which both teams will be looking to bounce back from losses last weekend.

It’s fair to say that both these teams have overachieved in 2024, with Canberra among the favourites for the wooden spoon but currently sitting in eighth place with a W6 L5 record. And some worried about the second season syndrome for the Dolphins, but with almost half a season gone they have a W7 L4 record, have led the competition for a few glorious weeks and have been in the top four for all but two weeks since round 4. The Dolphins have been helped with nine of their 11 games so far being in Queensland, but they have also secured some good wins over sides who thrashed them in their inaugural season – Manly and Parramatta. A loss here would mean two in a row and bad momentum to take into the Origin period where they can take advantage over other sides more affected by the big interstate series.

Both Canberra and The Dolphins have lost players to the upcoming first State of Origin, with Hudson Young making the bench for the NSW Blues, and Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow making the Maroons side again, with Felise Kaufusi returning to the Queensland squad as 18th Man. Young has been replaced for the Raiders by Ata Mariota in the starting line up with Simi Sasagi coming onto the bench. Some good news for the Raiders as Josh Papalii returns from suspension which pushes Emre Guler back to the bench.

Tabuai-Fidow is replaced by Trai Fuller at fullback, who made quite the impression while filling in for “The Hammer” when injured. There was even talk among Dolphins fans of moving Tabuai-Fidow to the centres to accommodate Fuller staying put, such was his impact. Fuller has spent a number of seasons at Dolphin Oval as he plied his trade for the Queensland Cup side, so will have more experience than anyone at the ground, which should more than make up for the loss of the Dolphins’ regular fullback. One of the other team changes for the Dolphins is quite the surprise – with (former Raider) Anthony Milford named to make his second start of the season, coincidentally his only other game this season was against his other former club the Broncos. Milford wasn’t great in his only 2024 appearance, and it wouldn’t surprise to see the livewire Jarrod Wallace or the versatility of Kurt Donoghoe unleashed instead.

One interesting head-to-head for this game is the match-up of two of the most experienced and outwardly grumpy coaches. You could argue that the two gentlemen in the coaches’ boxes can take a lot of credit for the over-achievement in 2024, which you can see in some of the Raiders’ come-from-behind wins this season, and how Wayne Bennett gets the maximum out of a Dolphins squad which is still coming together. Although from a neutral’s viewpoint, a controversial game would lead to a couple of good press conferences, so stand by.

The on-field sides look evenly matched on paper, with the Dolphins edging the halves battle with Kodi Nikorima’s experience and Isaiya Katoa who matured quickly into a key player for the Dolphins. That’s not to say that Canberra don’t have a great combination too, with Ethan Strange the darling of many a SuperCoach side with his breakout 2024 season, and halfback Kaeo Weekes making his mark just in time to play at his namesake ground (Kaeo/Kayo Stadium). Centres looks a good battle and evenly matched, with the Dolphins fielding their two big off-season recruits and Canberra with their powerful pairing of Matthew Timoko and Sebastian Kris. Herbie Farnworth had arguably his best game of the season for his new club last weekend despite the Dolphins’ loss. Canberra’s front row of Josh Papalii and Joseph Tapine are on paper the better combination than the reliable but slightly predictable Dolphins pairing.

The head-to-head is a win-a-piece, with the Dolphins’ win coming at this very ground in round 2 last season, which was a statement of the good times to come for the Dolphins in their first season. Canberra won 31-30 in round 9 at Wagga Wagga. On the back of the Jack Wighton news (signing with South Sydney during Canberra’s round 8 bye), the Raiders led 24-12 with 30 minutes left, but the Dolphins came back to take it to Golden Point. Jamal Fogarty won it for Canberra with an 83rd minute field goal.

The Dolphins’ home at Redcliffe – Kayo Stadium – is a happy hunting ground so far, with their first game in 2024 seeing a 38-0 thrashing of the Dragons, and overall the record is W3 L1 with the loss coming against Penrith. Canberra’s record in Queensland is mixed, winning three of their last four games, all of which have been at Suncorp Stadium. If you remove The Cauldron, their record slips to winning just one of their last six games in Queensland.

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


Check out all the NRL Predictions here.

Dolphins by 6 points.

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