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The Canberra Raiders and Canterbury Bulldogs face off in a clash likely to keep one team’s season alive in 2022. Join The Roar for live scores and commentary from 6pm (AEST).
Ricky Stuart’s Raiders are in a world of pain; off the back of five straight losses and after another second half fade-out against the Warriors in Round 8, the Green Machine is looking awful in 14th place on the NRL ladder.
Today they face a club well versed in long periods of winless play, yet also a team that defied the odds and claimed a brilliant win against the Roosters last weekend at Accor Stadium. The Bulldogs held on by the skin of their teeth against the Chooks, after a mid-week rev up from the maestro Phil Gould and their season may yet have some life in it yet should they be able to claim the two points this evening.
Three wins in nine may not sound like anything to write home about, yet for the Dogs, it would be a clear step in the right direction after a recent past that has featured nothing but anguish for their fans.
The Raiders simply need some confidence and the return of inspirational captain Jason Croker may well provide it, although the absence of Jack Wighton and the necessity of playing Adam Elliott at hooker may well offset any benefit of having the champion centre returning to the starting 13.
The Bulldogs have troops back for this clash, with captain Josh Jackson and Brent Naden returning to a side that does finally appear to be finding some fluency and cohesion. A successful trip to the nation’s capital will have the blue and whites cock-a-hoop and feeling they have finally turned the corner.
A loss for the Raiders will apply even more heat to Stuart, potentially disinterest fans and condemn them to the reality that finals are out of the question in 2022.
This could actually become something of an epic, with a tough forward battle likely and the team able to create the most opportunities in attack, despite both showing little for much of 2022, likely to claim the two points.
Something tells me that what we saw from the Dogs last weekend was real, progressive and sustainable and they may get the chocolates in Canberra by a single field goal late in the game.
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
Kick-off: 6pm (AEST)
TV: Fox League
Streaming: Kayo Sports, Foxtel Go
Odds: Canberra Raiders $1.85, Canterbury Bulldogs $1.95 – odds via PlayUp
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