Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
The Canberra Raiders have firmly established themselves as one of the NRL’s top clubs in recent years, making the Grand Final in 2019 and the Preliminary Final in 2020.
Some of the best matches last season involved the Raiders, including their round seven clash with the Eels, their round ten game against the Roosters and their Semi-Final encounter with the tri-colours.
Let’s hope that the following fixtures can live up to the standard Canberra set in 2020.
PENRITH PANTHERS – ROUND 5
Both the Raiders and Panthers came close to a premiership last season but ultimately came up short, with both clubs losing to the Melbourne Storm deep into the finals.
These two sides will likely be in or around the top four again this year, with the winner of this game to receive a monumental momentum boost for the rest of the season.
Friday the ninth of April will have a finals footy feel to it at the foot of the mountain, and it’s safe to say that the Panthers and Raiders will ensure it lives up to expectations on the field.
SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS – ROUND 8
Alongside the Melbourne Storm, Penrith Panthers and Sydney Roosters, the Raiders and Rabbitohs are two of the top contenders for the premiership in 2021.
Getting a win in this game will be crucial for both sides’ push for the top four at the back end of the season, due to how close the competition will be at the top of the table.
We will also be treated to a star-studded matchup, as both sides will boast representative talent, with England’s hooker Josh Hodgson facing off against Australia’s hooker Damien Cook.
Another week done ✅
📸 More photos: https://t.co/ixMh1Nw7eh
— Canberra Raiders (@RaidersCanberra) January 22, 2021
MELBOURNE STORM – ROUND 11
The Melbourne Storm have already been mentioned multiple times in this article as they will be alongside the Raiders towards the top of the table in 2021; however, that is not the only reason as to why you need to watch this game.
Canberra and Melbourne’s rivalry has been one of the most entertaining grudge matches in the National Rugby League since 2019, with the two clubs either putting on a memorable matchup or facing each other in the postseason.
Whether it’s the Raiders coming back late to upset the Storm away from home in the first week of the finals, or George Williams putting on a career-defining performance, there’s always a headline following this fixture.
SYDNEY ROOSTERS – ROUND 12
It’s safe to say the Raiders will experience a tough couple of weeks at the midway point of 2021, as after the Green Machine face the defending premiers they will go up against another rival and title contender in the Sydney Roosters
Since these two met in the 2019 NRL Grand Final, an understrength Raiders side upset the Roosters 24-20 in round 10 last year, they versed in Sonny Bill Williams’ NRL return, and the Raiders prevented the Roosters from winning three straight premierships in the second week of the 2020 Finals Series, defeating the tricolours 22-18.
Sydney will be out for revenge in this one, while Canberra will look to maintain bragging rights in this feud.
MANLY WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES – ROUND 17
Ever since the Raiders hit their stride in 2019, the Sea Eagles have well and truly been Canberra’s bogey, with the maroon and whites last losing to the Green Machine in May 2018.
Not only will the fact that the Raiders have failed to defeat the Sea Eagles in recent years motivate them, but the fashion in which they have lost these games.
The final score between the two teams has been eight points or less in their last four meetings, setting this one up to be a near-guaranteed match of the year candidate.