Out of the frying pan and into the fire (or an equally searing hot frying pan that’s burning on the adjacent element). The Raiders are currently running the equivalent of the Gauntlet from Gladiators, but Vulcan and co are now welding padded poles wrapped in barbed wire. A disastrous week that started with a loss to the Knights ended with an absolute mauling from the Panthers, replete with a capping moment that made Ricky look like an idiot.
The Raiders descent into Dante’s inferno continues with their round 6 trip to Suncorp to face the ladder-leading in-form Broncos. Larry David couldn’t write a more uncomfortable scenario. News emerged this week that the Raiders leadership group had commandeered the video sessions in an effort to identify their shortcomings and try to fix these now systemic issues. Fuck I hope they did.
Team list thoughts
Sticky has made changes, some forced by injury, others by form. Frawley breaking his hand wasn’t part of the plan, but it sees Brad Schneider make a welcome return to first grade footy, and given how the Raiders halves have gone this far it’s about bloody time. For those playing along at home this is already the fourth halves pairing this season, and we’ve only played five games.
Harley Smith-Shields finds himself bumped back to reserves and in his place appears Jarrod “hero of the people” Croker, taking another step closer to joining that very exclusive list of 300-games-at-one-club players. Game 293 will be an absolute cracker of a test for him, but he’ll have thousands of Raiders fans willing him onwards.
The other change is a positional one, with Corey Horsburgh being named at starting lock with his brother-from-another-mother Corey Harawira-Naera taking up a spot on the pine. I assume this is Stuart trying to get the most oomph out of Horsburgh’s recent form before he kills any momentum with whatever halftime speech he gives this round.
The outlook here is not great. If this is the same side that fronted up last week then the Raiders are in for a rough night. This is most apparent in the backlines, with the Broncos currently wielding a back five that excel at both structured and broken play. The Raiders are going to be bombarded with edge shift attacks and need to be at their best defensive behaviour.
There’s no point in sugar coating things, the Raiders season is probably going to get worse before it gets better. A growing injury list, apathetic form and players having to learn new roles are all taking their toll and it’s looking as though Canberra will be more worried about avoiding the spoon than making the 8 come season’s end. Don’t be too mad if they lose with effort and courage this week, but be afraid if they fold again.
Broncos by single digits (hopefully)
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Tactics/strategy…looks like the raiders are already burdened with a failing game plan..with Starling named at 14.
In a little over 50mins game time last week Tom was credited with 7 missed tackles.
Is this strategy worth pursuing/
Seems to be a cornerstone of Canb’s game with no upside.
Changes on the bench would be a welcome sight and provide more personnel for tactical variety
Grrr8 to see Croker back
But think Kris will struggle
and Ricky looks set to punish fans with the aforementioned “shock” tactic
Look forward to happier days again for the players & fans
*Rapana needs a rest –
no problem finding a replacement*