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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Raiders name squad for finals showdown with Storm

The Canberra Raiders have named the same 17-man squad as last week, as they face the Melbourne Storm for a spot in the Grand Final at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night, 16 October.

Ricky Stuart has picked the same players who got the job done against the Roosters in their epic semi-final clash; however, Sia Soliola and Tom Starling have been named to start with Hudson Young and Siliva Havili shifting to the bench.

Stuart named Soliola and Starling to start last week, before two late changes saw them drop to the bench for Young and Havili, so it wouldn’t surprise to see more late changes this week.

While the Raiders were involved in a bruising encounter against the Roosters, the Storm should be refreshed after enjoying a week off since beating the Parramatta Eels in a qualifying final.

The Storm have made just one change to their side that beat the Eels, with Tom Eisenhuth coming onto the bench for Chris Lewis who drops to the reserves.

There was concern over the fitness of star playmaker Cameron Munster after he copped another knock to his knee against the Eels, but the Storm have always been confident he’ll play and with the extra week’s break, Munster will take his place at five-eighth. 

The other play of note for the Storm is Dale Finucane who is racing the clock to be fit with a calf injury and has been named as 18th man.

The two sides famously met in the finals last year, with the Raiders scoring a try in the dying minutes to secure a 12-10 victory in a qualifying final in Melbourne.

The teams split their matches this season, with the Raiders winning the first encounter 22-6 all the way back in round 3 at AAMI Park, while the Storm won their last matchup 20-14 at GIO Stadium in round 9.

Both sides feature a host of stars all over the park and with a spot in the premiership decider up for grabs, expect plenty of fireworks in this one.

Full teams:

 Raiders Storm
1Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad1Ryan Papenhuyzen
2Semi Valemei2Suliasi Vunivalu
3Jarrod Croker3Brenko Lee
4Jordan Rapana4Justin Olam
5Nick Cotric5Josh Addo-Carr
6Jack Wighton6Cameron Munster
7George Williams7Jahrome Hughes
8Josh Papalii8Jesse Bromwich
9Tom Starling9Cameron Smith
10Sia Soliola10Christian Welch
11John Bateman11Felise Kaufusi
12Elliott Whitehead12Kenneath Bromwich
13Joe Tapine13Nelson Asofa-Solomona
 Bench Bench
14Siliva Havili14Brandon Smith
15Dunamis Lui15Tino Faasuamaleaui
16Hudson Young16Tom Eisenhuth
17Corey Harawira-Naera17Nicho Hynes
 Reserves Reserves
18Sam Williams18Dale Finucane
19Matthew Timoko19Paul Momirovski
20Ryan Sutton20Ryley Jacks
21Michael Oldfield21Chris Lewis

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