Having had last week off the Raiders officially begin the second half of their season when they host one of the form sides of the competition, the Cowboys. The Cowboys had an abysmal start to 2015, followed by hot streak that has so far lasted ten games. As anyone will knows all good things must come to an end, and it’s a good chance it will be the Raiders who end the Cowboys run of form. The Cowboys welcome back four Origin players, whilst the Raiders are the 17 best available, rested and renewed after a week off.
If there’s one thing more troublesome than a rejuvenated Green Machine it surely has to be the woeful weather. Regardless of how good the drainage of the pitch at GIO stadium is it’s still going to be somewhat damp, as it has rained nearly nonstop since the start of the week. The Saturday afternoon will be sunny and mild, but temps will struggle to hit eleven degrees before plunging as the shadows lengthen.
Big Three – Raiders
David Shillington: Shillo is quickly returning to career best, as demonstrated by his monster 200 run metres against the Knights (avg 10 metres per run). His future may be somewhat cloudy, but his presence is definitely being felt in the present.
Sam Williams: Against the Knights Williams notched four try assists through pinpoint passing timed to perfection. He was the subtle link between Hodgson and Austin for the first try, kicked it just right for Lee’s second try and was the astute middle man for both Wighton and Papali’s efforts. More please Sam.
All 17: Someone go and get the gold star stickers – against the Knights the Raiders managed an impressive 90% completion rate. You can’t do anything with the footy if you’re not holding it, and hold it they did.
Big Three – Cowboys
Jonathon Thurston: Legend. Genius. Hero. Blah blah blah. He just better hope that Shannon Boyd doesn’t fall on him.
Matthew Scott: You thought I was going to write something here but I’m dead tired and have to get up at like 6.20am for work and it’s been raining here for three days straight.
Jason Taumlolo: Seriously, why are you still reading? Just skip ahead to You Wot Mate and the Crystal Ball.
You Wot Mate?
The Raiders are favourites, despite the apparent curse that is GIO stadium. Having fallen foul of two Origin affected sides already hopefully the Raiders have learnt their lesson.
The Raiders put in a freakish solid 80 minute effort, destroying NQld in defence and attack – The Cowboys beat the spread. I’m too tired to even write something mean about McCrone.