Raiders Rumble! Round 3 vs the Sharks


The Raiders have managed to find themselves in their somewhat familiar new season position – anchored in the bottom 9 with two L’s on their ledger. To their credit they have played 80 minutes of half decent footy, but unfortunately this has been in two halves in two games.

The capitulation against the Dolphins was depressingly routine and a repeat of last week’s effort will see the Green Machine dismantled at the hands of the Sharks. Cronulla went down to a strong Bunnies outfit in round one before edging the Eels in round two. It’s annoying they’ve been good without Nicho Hynes. Someone should probably steal Braydon Trindall.

The extremely pertinent issue for Canberra is attacking structures, or rather a lack of anything that resembles structure. It’s one thing to defend until you drop, but defence needs to be reinforced by having points on the scoreboard, and most importantly, having more points than your opponents when the game ends.

Team list thoughts

Big Papa is still absent, a fact that is now compounded by one of his understudies also getting injured. Mariota finished round two with a broken hand, which means Trey Mooney has been called up for another go at first grade footy. Mooney has the hallmarks of a future star forward and we are excited to see what he can produce against a hefty Sharks pack.

Zac Woolford remains missing from the named 17, which given the offerings on show from Levi last week, is an utterly mind boggling decision. If the Raiders are to rectify their attacking red zone ineptitude they need Woolford crafting plays at the try line, given that most teams can repel repeat crash ball attempts. Woolford also doesn’t run backwards, a cardinal sin that Levi committed twice against the Dolphins.


Cameron McInnes vs Tom Starling is a terrifyingly interesting prospect. I suspect that McInnes has the edge head to head, so it’ll be up to Starling to see if he can produce something more than just scoots and tackles to be effective in the ruck.

Hudson Young had a very forgettable outing against the ‘Phins, so hopefully he’s motivated to aim up and terrorise the opposing Sharks edge. He’s currently nowhere near his peak form of last year and an improvement from him would certainly bolster the Raiders attack.

Lastly, everyone vs the heat. It’ll be 35° in Canberra on Sunday, which means by kick-off it’ll still be in the high 20s if not low 30s. Rotation management is key here, and Sticky needs to make sure he doesn’t leave his starting forwards out too long (if the NRL has sense they’ll be stopping for quarter time drink breaks).


We here at the Sportress really, really want the Raiders to win, we’re just not sure how they can manage it with the stunted attacking options they’re currently serving up. The lack of structure in the opponents red zone is stifling scoring opportunities and it’s up to Wighton and Fogarty to get that ball in hand with some sort of plan in mind. Possession and completion are particularly pressing in this game as extended defensive sets will simply be too tiring in the heat.

Raiders by a very hopeful and optimistic 2!

Like our page on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or share this on social media and I’ll give you a lollypop. Don’t hesitate to send us feedback ( or comment below if you want to call us names.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s