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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Raiders round 15 preview: Clash with the Titans

The Canberra Raiders will be looking to press their claims for the top four when they take on the Gold Coast Titans at Cbus Super Stadium tomorrow afternoon, 22 August.

The Raiders are coming off their biggest victory of the season with a 36-8 thumping over the Brisbane Broncos that brought them equal on points with the 4th placed Sydney Roosters.

After trailing 6-8 at half time, the Raiders attack clicked into gear with five unanswered tries thanks largely to the play of Englishmen George Williams and John Bateman.

Williams and Bateman connected beautifully on the Raiders right edge as their chemistry continues to improve with every game.

Corey Harawira-Naera had his best game for the club, running for 173 metres in 35 minutes off the bench as he builds up his match fitness.

The Raiders defeated the Titans 24-6 all the way back in round 1 before the season was suspended.

Jack Wighton was the star of the show that day as he ran in two tries, taking advantage of his matchup against the smaller Ash Taylor.

The Raiders will no doubt look to exploit Taylor in defence again, but the Titans are a much-improved side since that previous meeting back in March.

The Titans are 13th on ladder with only four wins this season, but that record doesn’t reflect their recent performances.

The Titans have recorded narrow losses to the Panthers, Roosters and Sharks in the past four weeks which shows they are no easy beats in 2020.

The Titans have been forced to reshuffle their forward pack with Kevin Proctor suspended for four weeks for biting, while Jai Arrow is out with a shoulder injury.

KEY MATCHUPS

Jack Wighton and George Williams (Raiders) vs Ash Taylor and Jamal Fogarty (Titans)

Wighton and Williams have both had good individual seasons for the Raiders but we’re yet to see them combine to dominate a match. They both posses a tremendous running game so it wouldn’t surprise to see them target the smaller Fogarty and Taylor throughout the match.

The Titans have looked a better side with Fogarty playing at halfback and Taylor shifting to five-eighth. It has allowed Fogarty to play a more controlling style and take the pressure off Taylor to be more creative.

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (Raiders) vs Alexander Brimson (Titans)

Nicoll-Klokstad has been outstanding at fullback for the Raiders this season. Last week he scored a try through quality support play and also made a try-saving tackle late in the game to illustrate his importance in both attack and defence for the Raiders.

Brimson returned to the Titans side three weeks ago and has made an immediate impact at fullback with his blistering pace. He has scored two tries and has three line-breaks since his return and the Raiders will need to make sure he has limited space to work in.

Full teams:

Raiders Titans 
    
1Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad1Alexander Brimson
2Jordan Rapana2Anthony Don
3Jarrod Croker3Brian Kelly
4Curtis Scott4Young Tonumaipea
5Nick Cotric5Phillip Sami
6Jack Wighton6Ashley Taylor
7George Williams7Jamal Fogarty
8Josh Papalii8Jarrod Wallace
9Siliva Havili9Nathan Peats
10Dunamis Lui10Jaimin Jolliffe
11John Bateman11Kevin Protor
12Elliott Whitehead12Keegan Hipgrave
13Hudson Young13Moeaki Fotuaika
 Bench Bench
14Tom Starling14Tyrone Peachey
15Joe Tapine15Sam Lisone
16Ryan Sutton16Beau Fermor
17Corey Harawira-Naera17Sam Stone
 Reserves Reserves
18Sam Williams18Corey Thompson
19Harley Smith-Shields19Tanah Boyd
20Kai O’Donnell20Jai Whitbread
21Matt Frawley21Erin Clark

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