Round 2 already!? But we only just finished round 1!! Time waits for no man and the season grinds ever onwards, this week taking the Raiders home to face the Warriors at GIO Stadium. The Raiders have a stunning 100% win rate for the season so far, whilst the Warriors are yet to bag two competition points.
The Green Machine were good for the opening 25 minutes of their game against the Sharks, OK for the next 15 and then thankfully slightly less craptastic than the shire boys for the final 40 (I’m looking at you, McCrone).
The Warriors were labelled as “conservative” in their clash with the Knights, and were unfortunate enough to lose several players before the end of the game.
The Raiders have named an unchanged side for this game, whilst the Warriors have had several shifts due to the injuries picked up in round 1, most notably Konrad Hurrell.
Big Three – Raiders
Mitch Cornish: Solid start to the year, with 305 kicking metres and good involvement starting with Jack Wighton’s first try. More importantly his towering, swirling bombs are quite clearly the stuff of nightmares (at least for backline Sharks players).
Jack Wighton: Two tries, including that 80 metre sprint off the in goal restart. 176 metres run, including two line breaks and a try assist to boot. Also managed to score man of the match despite being binned for punching Feki in the face.
Sia Soliola: 137 metres, 40 tackles (only 5 less than Fensom!). The quiet achiever already looks to have been an astute buy, and Raiders fans will be hoping that he continues to lead by example.
Big Three – Warriors
Tuimoala Lolohea: the fullback ran over 200 metres against the Knights, and also notched a line break. He’ll need good distribution from his halves if he’s to inject himself into the game more.
Ryan Hoffman: The Storm import put together a full 80 minutes, including 14 hit ups, 129 metres run, 18 tackles, 2 line breaks and a try, whilst only conceding 1 missed tackle. Raiders big men will need to limit his space to move.
Simon Mannering: Didn’t break 70 metres with ball in hand, but put in 52 tackles with a tackle success rate of 100%. A defensive asset who mirrors Fensoms epic work ethic.
You Wot Mate?
There haven’t been any match previews yet (officially), so I don’t really have any subtle Canberra bashing to rage against, but the bookies are still tracking the Warriors at lower odds. The Warriors were the bogey side for Canberra in 2014, but one gets the feeling that a new look Green Machine at home may be too much for the ditch hoppers. The stats are a bit weird for the Warriors, they’ve beaten the Raiders three times recently with scores over 50, but struggle to win at the Raiders home ground.
Raiders by 10, McCrone falcons himself first touch of the ball… banished to Mordor.