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Opinion

Don’t count the Raiders out yet

13 Aug 20, 1:07PM 0 Comments

Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk

Photo by Getty Images

The 2020 season may not be going exactly how the Canberra Raiders had planned as the club currently finds themselves sitting 5th on the NRL ladder, when many had them as top four specials in the pre-season.

This has led to a widespread belief that the green machine are more pretenders then contenders at the moment, and it doesn’t help that the Panthers, Storm, Eels are all in form with the Roosters also still winning games despite not have their full roster available.

We must not count the Raiders out yet though.

Canberra only sit two points outside of the top four at the moment and a couple loses from the injury ravaged Sydney Roosters is not out of the realm of possibility, so if the Raiders can win most of their games in the run to October, then they may indeed find themselves guaranteed a spot in the finals beyond week one.

A season ending injury in round nine to Josh Hodgson was the point where many drew the line through Canberra’s season, and an injury to Siliva Havili last week has not helped either.

Luckily 22-year-old Tom Starling has stepped up to the plate in recent weeks.

In just four games this season he has made 137 tackles for an efficiency rate of 96.2% and has kept a calm and grounded demeanour in attack.

English import George Williams has surpassed the expectations of many with one of the best running games of any halfback in the competition, and despite not exactly playing at the level as they did in 2019, the likes of Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Josh Papalii and Jack Wighton have been sound too.

If they can raise their game to match last season then the Canberra Raiders will be a tough opponent come finals time.

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