The Canberra Raiders will kick off their season at home against the Wests Tigers on Sunday 14 March at GIO Stadium, after the full 2021 NRL draw was released today.
After being forced to reduce the season to 20 rounds this year due to COVID, the NRL has returned to the usual 25 round fixture for season 2021, with each team to play 24 matches with one bye week.
The Raiders will play eleven matches at GIO Stadium with their other home game to be played at McDonalds Park in Wagga Wagga in Round 9 against the Newcastle Knights.
After another deep run into the finals, the Raiders will feature on Channel 9 seven times in 2021.
Notable free-to-air blockbusters include a clash against the Penrith Panthers on Friday night in round 5 at Panthers Stadium, before a Thursday night match against the reigning premiers Melbourne Storm in Melbourne in round 22.
Raiders’ fans will have to wait until the final round of the home and away season for the biggest clash of the season, with the Raiders set to play host to the Sydney Roosters in round 25.
The Raiders have developed healthy rivalries with the Storm and Roosters recently having played them in the finals in both 2019 and 2020. Those rivalries will each be renewed twice in 2021, with the Raiders to face off against the Storm in rounds 11 and 22, and the Roosters in rounds 12 and 25.
The other teams the Raiders will play twice are the Dragons, Eels, Knights, Sea Eagles, Titans and Warriors. The Raiders will play five matches on Thursday, four on Friday, 13 on Saturday and five on Sunday.
Another feature of the 2021 draw is the return of Magic Round in round 10 which will see all eight matches played at Suncorp Stadium over the course of one weekend.
The Raiders have been dealt a favourable hand for Magic Round with a game against the Canterbury Bulldogs set to count as an ‘away’ game. It will also be the first time the Raiders go up against Nick Cotric after he left the club and took up a lucrative deal to sign with Bulldogs.
While Raiders don’t play until Sunday in round one, the NRL will kick-off on Thursday night, 11 March with a blockbuster clash between the Storm and the South Sydney Rabbitohs which is just 105 days away, but who’s counting right?
FULL 2021 RAIDERS DRAW
|2||Sharks||Raiders||Netsrata Jubilee Stadium||Sunday||21-Mar||6.15pm|
|4||Titans||Raiders||Cbus Super Stadium||Saturday||03-Apr||7.35pm|
|7||Cowboys||Raiders||Queensland Country Bank Stadium||Saturday||24-Apr||7:35pm|
|12||Roosters||Raiders||HBF Park, Perth||Saturday||29-May||7:35pm|
|20||Knights||Raiders||McDonald Jones Stadium||Saturday||26-Sep||5.30pm|
|23||Raiders||Sea Eagles||GIO Stadium||Friday||20-Aug||6pm|
|24||Warriors||Raiders||Mt Smart Stadium||Friday||27-Aug||6pm|