Round 9 sees a return to GIO stadium for the Raiders and there’s no doubt that both the team and the fans would love to see the first home win of the year. To make that happen though they’ll have to take down an equally in form Titans outfit. The Titans have won their last three games, posting 30+ scores each time. The Raiders meanwhile have staged not one but two come-from-behind wins, with both games ending on 30-22 in the Raiders favour. With Greg Bird now suspended for 8 rounds the Titans find themselves missing a serious piece of personnel. Historically the Titans hold the upper hand but they now find themselves up against an almost entirely new Raiders side that is starting to find its groove.
Big Three – Raiders
Paul Vaughan: The Italian Stallion ran harder and further than any other forward in the Country side, proving that he has the hunger and desire for rep level footy. With Origin proper now looming Vaughan will more than likely be looking to rip into the Titans defence with gusto.
Blake Austin: He may have been on the losing side in City v Country but Austin was absolutely everywhere in support, bagging three tries for himself via brilliant support play. In fact Austin’s style of support should be a prime example for his teammates, who occasionally struggle with the concept of right place, right time.
Shannon Boyd: The Mountain that Walks has proved more than worthy of a bench spot in recent weeks, being the scorer of game turning tries against both the Tigers and Bunnies. His effort to get over the line against Souths showed some good footwork for a man his size, and once he gets moving he is near unstoppable.
Big Three – Titans
Aidan Sezer: Sezer gets a shot at his future club this weekend, and there’s no doubt that Raiders fans and staff will be watching him as closely as Titans backers. When on song he can notch good metres and try assists, but outside of Titans followers his kicking game is relatively unknown.
Nate Myles: Titans big bopper will be looking to muscle up against Canberra’s pack, and with Bird missing it’ll be up to him and his fellow forwards to win the midfield arm wrestle. With Origin potentially calling Myles needs to do as much as he can for the Titans before possible selection.
Will Zillman/Josh Hoffman: These two have been playing positional tag team for most of the season, and it seems to be working with some opponents struggling to keep up with the constant switching. Canberra’s fringe defence will definitely need to keep track of these two at all times.
You Wot Mate?
Back in our season preview we had the Titans pegged as spoon contenders for obvious reasons. The Gold Coast crew have hung in there and climbed in into 7th spot. Silly us.
The Raiders win comfortably after Austin discovers he actually has a kicking game. Sezer plays exceptionally well, making Raiders fans even happier. McCrone and Buttriss take a well-earned holiday to Bermuda, where they fly over a certain triangle…