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The Canberra Raiders host the Cronulla Sharks in a sudden-death NRL elimination final. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match from 5:40pm (AEST).
In a strange quirk of fixturing, these two faced off last weekend, although the Canberra side which runs out today will be markedly different from the Round 20 line-up, Ricky Stuart taking the opportunity to rest his key players ahead of today’s elimination final.
Even so, a relatively full-strength Cronulla outfit were unable to claim the win at home, the Green Machine getting up 38-28.
With today’s match being played in the nation’s capital and all of John Bateman, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Jordan Rapana, George Williams, Jarrod Croker, Jack Wighton, Elliott Whitehead, Josh Papalii and Joe Tapine returning for the Raiders, the hosts are scorching hot favourites to progress to the second week of the finals.
The Sharks have some good news in the return from suspension of Chad Townsend. With Shaun Johnson and Matt Moylan out injured, the halfback will carry all of the playmaking burden for John Morris’s men. Wade Graham hasn’t been at his best in recent weeks, but he’ll need to find a creative spark from the second row if Cronulla are to get up.
It’s a massive task which lies ahead for the men from the Shire. While they sealed their place in the finals with two rounds to spare, they haven’t beaten a top-eight side all season. If they’re to break that duck today, it’s going to have to be on the back of an incredible individual performance from someone.
Canberra, meanwhile, are rested and come into today’s match-up with the knowledge their B-team was capable of handling the Sharks. So long as complacency doesn’t rear its head, they will have no problems in notching an elimination final win.
Raiders by 16.
Kick-off: 5:40pm (AEST)
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
TV: Nine, Fox Sports
Live stream: Kayo Sports, Foxtel, NRL Live Pass, 9Now
Odds: Raiders $1.18, Sharks $5
1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 2. Semi Valemei, 3. Jarrod Croker, 4. Jordan Rapana, 5. Nick Cotric, 6. Jack Wighton, 7. George Williams, 8. Josh Papalii, 9. Tom Starling, 10. Dunamis Lui, 11. John Bateman, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 13. Joseph Tapine
Bench/Reserves: 14. Siliva Havili, 15. Iosia Soliola, 16. Hudson Young, 17. Corey Harawira-Naera, 18. Sam Williams, 19. Kai O’Donnell, 20. Michael Oldfield, 21. Matthew Timoko
1. Will Kennedy, 2. Sione Katoa, 3. Josh Dugan, 4. Jesse Ramien, 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo, 6. Connor Tracey, 7. Chad Townsend, 8. Braden Hamlin-Uele, 9. Blayke Brailey, 10. Aaron Woods, 11. Briton Nikora, 12. Wade Graham, 13. Toby Rudolf
Bench/Reserves: 14. Siosifa Talakai, 15. Scott Sorensen, 16. Andrew Fifita, 17. Jack Williams, 18. Teig Wilton, 19. Braydon Trindall, 20. Mawene Hiroti, 21. Bryson Goodwin