The Canberra Raiders have named an unchanged team for their semi-final clash against the Sydney Roosters at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) this Friday night, 9 October.
Ricky Stuart has decided to run with the same 17-man team that got the job done in their elimination final against the Sharks, while the Roosters have a couple of big inclusions from the side that narrowly went down to the Panthers last week.
Roosters captain Jake Friend has overcome concussion issues and will take his place at hooker, while Sonny Bill Williams has been named on the bench after missing last week with a neck injury. Angus Chrichton has also moved into the starting spot, shifting Sitili Tupouniua to the bench.
There are stars named all over the park for both sides, but the most interesting battle will be between the five-eighths.
Jack Wighton is coming off a stellar performance last week, scoring two second half tries and turning the match in favour of the Raiders, while Luke Keary is likely to be the NSW five-eighth after another outstanding season.
Both sides famously met in last year’s grand final, with the Roosters running out 14-8 winners in a controversial decider.
This time they meet two weeks earlier in the finals, but there is still everything to play for with the winner to face the Melbourne Storm in a preliminary final, while the loser will face an early exit in the finals.
The Roosters have a tremendous record at the SCG in recent years, but the ground will hold no fears for the Raiders who defeated them there when they met in round 10 earlier this season. The Roosters won the second encounter between the sides 18-6 at GIO Stadium in round 17.
Raiders fans will breathe a sigh of relief with both referees from last year’s grand final missing out on the blockbuster clash; instead Ashley Klein has been named as referee.
|1||Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad||1||James Tedesco|
|2||Semi Valemei||2||Daniel Tupou|
|3||Jarrod Croker||3||Josh Morris|
|4||Jordan Rapana||4||Joseph Manu|
|5||Nick Cotric||5||Brett Morris|
|6||Jack Wighton||6||Luke Keary|
|7||George Williams||7||Kyle Flanagan|
|8||Josh Papalii||8||Jared Waerea-Hargreaves|
|9||Tom Starling||9||Jake Friend|
|10||Sia Soliola||10||Siosiua Taukeiaho|
|11||John Bateman||11||Boyd Cordner|
|12||Elliott Whitehead||12||Angus Crichton|
|13||Joe Tapine||13||Isaac Liu|
|14||Siliva Havili||14||Lindsay Collins|
|15||Dunamis Lui||15||Sitili Tupouniua|
|16||Hudson Young||16||Mitchell Aubusson|
|17||Corey Harawira-Naera||17||Sonny Bill Williams|
|18||Sam Williams||18||Nat Butcher|
|19||Matthew Timoko||19||Daniel Fifita|
|20||Kai O’Donnell||20||Matt Ikuvalu|
|21||Michael Oldfield||21||Lachlan Lam|