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Round 12 of the NRL season continues this Saturday night as the Canterbury Bulldogs host the Canberra Raiders at ANZ Stadium. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 7:35pm AEST.
With State of Origin upon us, both sides are weakened by the absence of their Origin stars. Without doubt though, the Raiders are hardest hit losing three players, whilst the Bulldog’s sole representative is Dylan Napa.
After a disappointing 28-6 loss to the Melbourne Storm last weekend, the Bulldogs remain anchored to the bottom of the ladder. Their attack is the worst in the competition, scoring only 142 points over the first 11 rounds.
The pressure is firmly on Kieran Foran and Jack Cogger to create more chances, behind a pack that should be fancying its chances this week against a pack weakened by Origin and injury.
Dean Pay has resisted making sweeping changes to his squad, starting Ofahiki Ogden at prop with Dylan Napa on Origin duty, and promoting Raymond Faitala-Mariner to the bench. Lachlan Lewis, Adam Elliott, Kerrod Holland and Michael Lichaa all sit outside the 17.
The Canberra Raiders were sitting pretty a few weeks ago. However, after a magic round loss to the Roosters, a devastating defeat by the Rabbits and an upset loss to the Cowboys, the Raiders are now fighting just to stay in the 8.
And they will be up against it this weekend, losing Jack Wighton, Josh Papalii and Nick Cotric to Origin and Josh Hodgson to a potential eight-week injury.
This has led to a major re-shuffle, with Ricky Stuart starting Sebastian Kris at centre in his second NRL game, with Aidan Sezer returning at five-eighth.
Corey Horsburgh gets a well deserved promotion to starting prop with Joseph Tapine also starting. Hodgson’s place is taken by Siliva Havili with young hooker, Tom Starling, starting from the bench. John Bateman has been named amongst the reserves and is a chance to make his return.
Both sides will be desperate for a win tonight.
Although weakened, I still think the Raiders will have a good enough attack to score 20 points. If they do that, it will probably be enough to beat the struggling Bulldogs.
Canberra Raiders by 10.
When: 7:35pm AEST
Where: ANZ Stadium
TV: Fox League
Online: NRL Live, Foxtel app or Foxtel now
Betting: Canterbury Bulldogs $2.05, Canberra Raiders $1.78
1. Nick Meaney 2. Christian Crichton 3. Marcelo Montoya 4. Will Hopoate 5. Reimis Smith 6. Kieran Foran 7. Jack Cogger 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Ofahiki Ogden 11. Josh Jackson 12. Corey Harawira-Naera 13. Chris Smith
Interchange: 14. Rhyse Martin 15. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 16. Danny Fualalo 17. Sauaso Sue
1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Bailey Simonsson 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Sebastian Kris 5. Michael Oldfield 6. Aidan Sezer 7. Sam Williams 8. Corey Horsburgh 9. Siliva Havili 10. Dunamis Lui 11. Joseph Tapine 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Hudson Young
Interchange: 14. Tom Starling 15. Emre Guler 16. Iosia Soliola 17. Ryan Sutton