Raiders Rumble! – Raiders vs Titans vs Referee Incompetence Rd24 preview

RaidersVStitans

BY ROB

I sit here still seething, the anger boiling just beneath the surface. It wasn’t bad enough that we got beaten by a team that earlier in the season we pummelled on a road trip to Albury, it’s that technically, we didn’t get beaten. I mean is it just me or is it ever since the NRL head honchos introduced the “No Criticisms” rule for refs that the quality of the refereeing has taken a downward slide?

I wonder about a great many things: Can the Raiders ever make a finals, let alone a grand final, when all the Sydney flavoured chips are stacked against them? Is Ricky on every anti-depressant and anti-psychotic known to mankind? Am I just padding out this paragraph to make it look like I even care at this point of our now spent season?

I hate Manly, and not just because they’re supported by a certain Prime Minister of who I’m not a fan. I hate them as much as Cowboys fans who had to sit through the “Hand of God” debacle. I hate them because after an atrocious start to 2015 they may actually make the semis ala Parramatta 2009. I hate them because I love Rugby League and I don’t go for Manly.

I REALLY, REALLY HOPE THAT THE ROOSTERS AND SHARKS DERAIL THEIR FINALS RUN.

Oh yeah, on Sunday the Raiders travel to Cbus Stadium to play the Titans, who have graciously sunk back down to 16th, just like we predicted.

Big Three – Raiders

Josh Hodgson: Dan wants to be best friends with Hodgson, and he may well find himself at the head of a very long queue. With Austin and Williams playing silly buggers in the halves Hodgson is the directional force for the Raiders right now. His passing, tactical kicking and general creativity are all to be commended. If he can develop a short kicking game in the off season he’ll be a truly lethal weapon.

Edrick Lee: Lee has matured a lot in 2015 – in the early rounds he was still the dispirited youngster, bored and lacklustre, doing just enough to not get dropped the following round. But somewhere along the way he had an epiphany, forming a strong bond with Wighton and Rapana. His defensive choices have improved, and when he does rush up out of the line it’s to snatch floating intercepts and lope a lazy 80 metres down field to score. I think the day Lee actually runs at 100% the fabric of space/time will be torn asunder.

David Shillington: Shillo will be a Titan next year, which is probably a good thing as he seems to be constantly zig-zagging between tremendous effort as a forward and the most woeful offload turnovers. I’m pretty sure Paul Vaughan will be praying there are no more surprise balls to be wrested away from him this weekend.

Big Three – Titans

Aidan Sezer: Sezer is out this weekend, which is a shame because it means the Titans are now fielding 2nd string halves. On the plus side he’ll be a Raider next year. And to clarify once and for all, it’s Sezer, not “Caeser”, or “Ceasar” – he’s not a bloody salad.

David Mead: Poring over the stats from the Dogs vs Titans game it quickly becomes apparent that Mead was the only Titan actually trying. He ran a nifty 180 metres from fullback, and managed a line break.

Greg Bird: Greg Bird has a face that can only be described as @#*&-like.

You Wot Mate?

NRL Referees. Seriously. In any other job incompetence of that kind would probably mean the end of employment. Which means that NRL refs would make for great MPs.

Crystal Ball

The Raiders smash the Titans again, and we all quietly whisper to ourselves that it’ll be better next year in 2016…

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