The Raider Raise Returns!

BY Dan

It had been a quite offseason for the Canberra Raiders. After being the linked to every damn player in the cosmos last offseason, a relatively settled roster for 2020 had kept things quiet. Then Curtis Scott idioted (it’s a verb as much as adulting is), and all of a sudden the floodgates opened.

In recent years the term Raider Raise was coined (copyright @jackkcronin on twitter @sezerspalace on insta) after the way a smidge of interest from Canberra was used to drive up the price of talent that clearly wanted to stay in Sydney. Sometimes the Raiders didn’t even have to be interested, their name was just invoked in the assumption that if a relatively talented player was available the Green Machine would want them, because they didn’t have many.

As mentioned earlier, December and January of this offseason had been uncharacteristically quite on the ‘Raider Raise.’ A roster coming off a grand final appearance had added a potential young star in Scott and were working out what to do with what they considered (incorrectly in my view) the surplus talent of BJ Leilua. Now BJ has gone to Tigerland, Scott could be gone for ages and the Raiders are again being linked to player agents trying to scrounge up a bit more coin for their clients.

Case in point is Adam Doueihi. Don’t get me wrong, the kid has talent. He’s been told he’s surplus at South Sydney, which just proves Ricky Stuart isn’t the coach capable of misreading which player to keep. Doueihi has already told his Souths teammates he’s leaving, the only sticking point being the money offered by Wests.

And that’s where the Raiders new “need” post Curtis Scott’s ‘incident’ comes in handy. According to some reports, Canberra are suddenly players in the chase for Doueihi’s signature.

This should surprise you. The Raiders had to let Aidan Sezer and Jordan Rapana go due to cap pressures, and presumably were happy to let BJ go in order to free up a little bit of skrilla to upgrade John Bateman’s or Jack Wighton’s potential upgrades. Doueihi’s best position (fullback) is already manned by the people’s hero, with Bailey Simonsson nipping at his heals. Doueihi can definitely fill a position they need (either centre or wing), but it’s likely those positions are better filled by Nic Cotric (centre), or have had resources expended on them already in the form of Michael Oldfield or Harley Smith-Shields (wing/utility back).

Doueihi has already expressed his preference for the Tigers to up their deal. If the Green Machine are interested (as per usual in Raider Raise cases there’s no comment from Sticky or recruitment guru Peter Mulholland), then it’s unlikely they’re going to prioritise the depth Douehi provides at the expense of finalising deals with John Bateman or Jack Wighton.

So in my view you can put that cue in the rack for the time being. Curtis Scott is going to get suspended for some period, but Adam Doueihi is not going to fill the gap. The answer for the Green Machine is already on the roster.

Just another win for the Raider Raise.

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