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The Canberra Raiders look to take first position on the ladder as they brace for the under-siege Brisbane Broncos at GIO Stadium. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting at 4:05pm (AEST).
There is little doubt anymore. The Canberra Raiders are the real deal in 2019.
Their only blip being a 22-10 loss to Melbourne, the Green Machine have been otherwise faultless, shutting out the Eels 19-0 last week.
They now enter Round 6 with the best defensive record in the competition, conceding just 44 points from five games.
And a win by seven points or more on Sunday would see them surge up to top spot on the ladder.
Their strong form means that Aidan Sezer will have to work his way back into the side, returning via injury in the Canterbury Cup. Meanwhile, Joe Tapine is out with an ankle injury, replaced by JJ Collins on the bench.
This week they face a test in complacency when they take on the bumbling Broncos.
Brisbane have arguably been the competition’s biggest disappointment so far, having won only one of their opening five games to start the season.
Their defence has been shaky to say the least while much-maligned halves combination Kodi Nikorima and Anthony Milford have been continually criticised for lacking control.
The pair have been given another week to redeem themselves though, as has fullback Darius Boyd, who has been singled out recently for his efforts.
They will be without prop Matt Lodge, replaced by Payne Haas with David Fifita lining up at lock.
With the Sharks, Rabbitohs, Sea Eagles and Roosters to come in the next four weeks, they need to turn things around fast.
The bounce back factor will figure sometime soon for the Broncos but not this week. Only complacency will stop the Raiders from claiming another win.
Canberra by 16.
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting at 4:05pm (AEST).
Kick-off: 4:05pm (AEST)
Venue: GIO Stadium
TV: Live, Channel Nine, Fox League
Online: 9Now, Foxtel Go, Foxtel Now
Betting: Raiders $1.60, Broncos $2.30
Referee: Matt Cecchin, Adam Cassidy
1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Nick Cotric 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Joseph Leilua 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Jack Wighton 7. Sam Williams 8. Josh Papalii 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Dunamis Lui 11. John Bateman 12. Elliot Whitehead 13. Ryan Sutton 14. Siliva Havili 15. Hudson Young 16. Iosia Soliola 17. JJ Collins 20. Jack Murchie 21. Bailey Simonsson
1. Darius Boyd 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Jack Bird 5. Jamayne Isaako 6. Anthony Milford 7. Kodi Nikorima 8. Payne Haas 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Joe Ofahengaue 11. Alex Glenn 12. Matt Gillett 13. David Fifita 14. Gehamat Shibasaki 15. Jaydn Su’a 16. Thomas Flegler 17. Patty Carrigan 18. Shaun Fensom 20. James Roberts