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The Canberra Raiders desperately need a win as they travel to Suncorp Stadium to take on the last-placed Canterbury Bulldogs. Continue to follow along with Magic Round right here on The Roar with live scores from 3pm (AEST).
Five straight losses leaves Ricky Stuart’s team in dire straights heading towards the mid-point of the season. Far from the premiership threat many thought they’d be, the Raiders now appear hard-pressed to so much as make it to the finals.
Sitting 12th with a 3-6 record, anything less than a resounding win here would spell trouble for the Raiders, whose second-half fadeouts have started to heap pressure on Stuart. Former co-captain Josh Hodgson is a welcome returnee, though he will start on the bench: perhaps his experience can turn things around.
As expected, the Bulldogs have been calamitous for much of 2021. Just one win, and with a whopping -188 points differential, it’s no secret Trent Barrett’s men are the NRL’s worst side.
They will, however, know that the desperately out of form Raiders are vulnerable to an upset here. Having made a massive statement by dropping Kyle Flanagan, following his half-time hooking during their loss to the Dragons last week, expect the Dogs to come out snarling here. A close half-time scoreline would make for nervous times in the Green Machine sheds.
1. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, 2. Nick Cotric, 3. Will Hopoate (c), 4. Nick Meaney, 5. Tuipulotu Katoa, 6. Brandon Wakeham, 7. Jake Averillo, 10. Luke Thompson, 9. Sione Katoa, 16. Ava Seumanufagai, 11. Adam Elliott, 12. Chris Smith, 13. Renouf Atoni
Bench/Reserves: 14. Bradley Deitz, 15. Corey Waddell, 17. Matt Dorey | 20. Joe Stimson, 21. Aaron Schoupp, 23. Ofahiki Ogden
1. Caleb Aekins, 2. Bailey Simonsson, 3. Sebastian Kris, 4. Curtis Scott, 5. Semi Valemei, 6. Jack Wighton, 7. George Williams, 8. Josh Papalii, 9. Tom Starling, 10. Emre Guler, 11. Corey Harawira-Naera, 12. Elliott Whitehead (c)
Bench/Reserves: 14. Josh Hodgson, 15. Dunamis Lui, 16. Corey Horsburgh, 17. Ryan James | 18. Sam Williams, 19. Matthew Timoko