Raiders Rumble! Raiders of Ngunnawal Country vs Roosters of Gadigal Land Round 12 Indigenous Round Preview

BY ROB

For a team doing so poorly in 2021 the Raiders have an awful amount of noise around them, a wailing din which which peaked yesterday with the sudden release of struggling half George Williams. While Williams certainly wasn’t the model of diplomacy he was nowhere near as appalling as the ham-fisted club officials and the craptacular “journalists” over at foxsports.

Anyone thinking that Williams sudden departure will provide immediate respite for the Milk needs a reality check. The teamlist is in tatters. Star fullback CNK only had surgery on his neck last night. Papa has two more games to sit out. Sticky is still fixated on having the most bizarre (useless) rotations in the league.

All we can do, as fans, is simply wait it out. Maybe accept that many things in life, including the fortunes of our football club, are beyond our immediate and direct control. This is the bit where you’re supposed to call me and Dan “Sydney Clowns”

Editors note: someone once critiqued one of our pieces by calling us “Sydney Clowns” and “journalists”. We are only some of those things.

Unfortunately for the Raiders the Roosters are not Sydney Clowns. They may be jerks, injured, suspended, Sydney Clowns but they are not pushovers. You can rest assured that their loss last round to the Broncos will just have them redoubling their efforts to beat Canberra.

Traditionally at this point in the Rumble I’d be breaking into the sub-headers but frankly the Raiders are such a schemozzle right now it’s not really appealing so instead let’s converse about Indigenous round.

Indigenous players have been fantastic contributors to the game, not just in the skills they bring to footy but in the enrichment they bring back to their communities and the wider community in general. The likes of Daley, Ferguson, Nagas, Wighton and Backo have been proud Indigenous players in the lime green.

While Indigenous round does a good job of highlighting what these players and their communities have done for league it also shows us how much more work needs to be done. Nowhere is this clearer than the loathsome and reprehensible comments left by some “fans” on official NRL posts during Indigenous round.

Football doesn’t exist in a vacuum free of wider social issues. Society and progress don’t stop when the ref blows time on. If you think things like Closing the Gap are to be mocked and ridiculed the moment the NRL starts talking about them, well, you’re being racist. Politics and sport are intrinsically woven together: from Jesse Owens in 1936 through to Colin Kaepernick in 2016. Hell rugby league was formed as a response to union’s inability to compensate working class players for wages lost while playing for their club.

Indigenous issues still need much redress, and if you don’t like the NRL engaging with them and trying to do their part then maybe rugby league isn’t for you.

THE FINAL SIREN

Maybe it’ll be a miracle and the 17 Raiders selected will put in a solid 80 minutes of footy to take a rare win and we’ll all feel better. Or maybe it’ll all fall in a heap 40 minutes in and the nuclear meltdown of a great club will continue unabated.

Raiders by minus 20

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