2018 NRL – Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs vs Canberra Raiders Preview

AT A GLANCE

When? Saturday 07th July, 10:35 (UK)

Where? Belmore Sports Ground

What channel is it on? UK - Sky Sports Arena
Australia - Foxtel, LIVE PASS

Where can I stream the match? UK - Sky Sports subscribers can stream the match online via Sky Go
Australia - https://www.telstra.com.au/tv-movies-music/sports-offer

Are tickets still available? http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/Show.aspx?sh=BUL1718

THE LOWDOWN

BULLDOGS

Head Coach: Dean Pay

Starting 13: Hopoate, B. Morris, Holland, Montoya, Smith, Lewis, Marshall-King, Tolman, Lichaa, Fualalo, Jackson, Martin, Elliott – Interchanges: Brown, Priest, Ogden, Eastwood – Reserves: Tualau, J. Morris

Unavailable: Kieran Foran, Raymond Faitala-Mariner, David Klemmer

  • Canterbury offered a glimpse of what is potentially to come as their young halves pairing guided a relatively inexperienced side to a solid victory over Newcastle last week. The Bulldogs ran in 24 unanswered second half points to claim a 16-36 win.

  • David Klemmer is away with the Blues so Danny Fualalo starts with Clay Priest coming onto the bench. Josh Morris is named in the reserves and could be a late call-up.

  • The Bulldogs have won two of their six matches played at ANZ Stadium this season whilst they’re 2-2 from their home matches at the same venue.

RAIDERS

Head Coach: Ricky Stuart

Starting 13: Abbey, Cotric, Croker, Leilua, Oldfield, Williams, Sezer, Lui, Hodgson, Boyd, Tapine, Whitehead, Havili – Interchanges: Austin, Paulo, Knight, Soliola – Reserves: Murchie, Garvey

Unavailable: Jordan Rapana, Jack Wighton, Luke Bateman, Josh Papalii

  • Canberra’s play-off hopes were left hanging by a thread after Brisbane’s late comeback broke the hearts of the Raiders last week. Leading the game heading into the final quarter, Brisbane scored 14 unanswered points to condemn Canberra to a 26-22 defeat.

  • Josh Papalii is away with the Maroons so Siliva Havili comes into the starting side at lock. In the only other change to last week, Blake Austin is dropped to the bench and Sam Williams comes in to the side at five-eighth.

  • The away form of the Raiders is what will stop them claiming a spot in the top 8 if they are to miss out with just two wins from seven fixtures on the road.

THE PREDICTION

This is an intriguing match-up following the respective results for both Canterbury and Canberra last weekend. The Bulldogs put in arguably their best performance of the season against the Knights whilst the Raiders couldn’t hold on against the Broncos, a result which leaves Canberra six points outside of the play-offs. Canterbury looked impressive with their new, youthful halves pairing but will likely face a tougher task here against a Canberra side that have been also been impressive since the return of hooker Josh Hodgson. This could go either way but preference is for the away side who can just about stay in touch of the top 8.