Through green eyes 2019

All the news on the Canberra Raiders NRL team, all in one place

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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » June 30, 2019, 9:13 pm

I'm worried now!
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greeneyed
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » July 11, 2019, 4:07 pm

Through green eyes: The hoodoo

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The State of Origin series is over for another year and all the attention now goes back to the NRL Premiership. And for the Canberra Raiders, the business at hand is the clash with the St George Illawarra Dragons in Wollongong on Sunday night.

The Raiders have won just one of the past six matches against the Dragons. But between 2003 and 2013, the Raiders were the Dragons' "hoodoo" team, with Canberra losing just one of the 16 matches played.

How good was the hoodoo? As regular readers would know, I love a bit of Canberra Raiders history. So here's my top four hoodoo wins over the Dragons.

Number 4: On any given Sunday

The Raiders had been the surprise packets of the 2003 season. But they headed into the Round 18 clash with the Dragons on a losing streak of three games.

Clinton Schifcofske, unknown to the coach, decided upon some unusual preparation for the match. He headed to a Canberra television station and spent several hours in the editing suite, putting together a five minute inspirational video, cutting together highlights of the season to date and the famous speech from Al Pacino in On Any Given Sunday.



"The players didn't know about it until I turned up to training," Schifcofske said later. The coach in the movie speaks about the hurdles in the game... One of the things in the speech is that they were not playing as a team, but as individuals - something that might also be applied to us, and also that a game of footy is about inches."

There were certainly hurdles to overcome. In the lead-up, Simon Woolford, Luke Davico, Ian Hindmarsh and Jamahl Lolesi were all ruled out late with injury. Brad Drew, suffering a hamstring injury, came into the team at hooker - the first time he'd played at dummy half in four years. But there was no other choice. He had to play. With 12 minutes remaining, the match was level, 18-18. And Drew stepped up, kicking a field goal.

"I was surprised the Dragons didn't put more pressure on me as I was going for the kick," Drew said after the match. "I knew as soon as it left the boot that it was going over".

Just minutes later, the Dragons had their chance to take the match. John Wilshere could have passed to an unmarked Nathan Blacklock, but chose instead to take on Clinton Schifcofske. The reliable defender took him out over the sideline. A one point win thanks to Drew and Schifcofske.

"We were pretty desperate," Drew said. "We needed the win and that was probably one of the most exciting games I've been involved in. The desperation and courage that all of the players showed was inspiring."

2003 Round 24 - Canberra 19 (A. Mogg, R. O'Hara, C. Schifcofske tries; C. Schifcofske 3 goals; B. Drew field goal) defeated St George Illawarra 18 (M. Riddell, R. Simmonds, J. Wilshere tries; B. Firman 2, M. Riddell goals) at Kogarah Jubilee Stadium. Crowd: 14,204

Number 3: The Dragons hoodoo grows

Up until Round 18 of 2010, Canberra had won just five matches. The Raiders were 13th on the competition ladder and had lost four straight matches. But in Round 18, Canberra came from behind at Brookvale Oval, to win narrowly over the Manly Sea Eagles, 24-22. It was the start of a late surge, led by Terry Campese. In Round 24, the St George Illawarra Dragons visited Canberra, winless in the national capital for a decade. But they had been running in first place on the competition ladder since Round 5. The Raiders, still outside the top eight, had to win to maintain their finals hopes.



The Dragons put on a show of their typical impenetrable defence in the first half, and they led 4-0 at half time. But the Raiders blew the match apart in the second half. It started with a Daniel Vidot try eight minutes after the break. Terry Campese quickly took control, scoring under the posts. "He's invented a new grubber kick... it's like a grubber, chip kick!" commentator Gary Belcher marvelled. Adam Mogg followed up.

Then Canberra scored two classic tries. Josh Dugan defused a dangerous Jamie Soward chip kick, bumped out of a Neville Costigan tackle, and just emerged out the other side of a group of Dragons defenders. He ran 80 metres to score under the posts. Shortly after, Jarrod Croker made a break wide out, 80 metres from the line. He flew and Joe Picker was backing up on the inside. He pushed Jamie Soward to one side with ease and scored in the corner. Terry Campese swarmed in, taking Picker to the fence to the arms of the fans. It was five tries in 12 minutes. The commentary was ecstatic: "The Green Machine is rolling again! The glory days are back here in Canberra!"

''Everyone wants to play finals football,'' Terry Campese said after the match.

''If we can bring the attitude that we brought in the second half you never know what we can do. If we make the semis, if we make the top eight we're going to give it a real crack. We've got a very good squad and on our day we can beat anyone. We're starting to get the confidence and that's big in this game.''

It was an inspirational 32-16 win over the eventual premiers.

Dragons coach Wayne Bennett admitted Canberra was ''certainly as good as anyone we've played''.

The Raiders had posted 11 wins in their past 12 matches against the Dragons - and the "hoodoo" continued to grow.

It is no wonder many Raiders fans still ask themselves about the 2010 season: "What if?"

2010 Round 24 - Canberra Raiders 32 (Glen Buttriss, Terry Campese, Josh Dugan, Adam Mogg, Joe Picker, Daniel Vidot tries, Jarrod Croker 4 goals) defeated St George Illawarra Dragons 16 (Neville Costigan, Mark Gasnier, Brett Morris tries, Jamie Soward 2 goals) Crowd: 20,445

Number 2: Do you believe in hoodoos? Do you believe in miracles?

The St George Illawarra Dragons visited Canberra Stadium - winless in the national capital since 2000 - in Round 20 of 2011. The Dragons led 18-6 at half time, and Jamie Soward surely thought he had won his team the match when he landed a 40 metre field goal with just a minute left - giving the Dragons a 19-18 lead. But the Raiders' "hoodoo" was still to play its part.

Canberra regained the ball from the kick off and Josh Dugan scored an incredible last ditch try, chasing a Josh McCrone kick. The moment will live on through the classic call: "Do you believe in hoodoos? Do you believe in miracles?!" It gave Canberra the 24-19 victory.

"Duges called for the ball. All credit goes to him," Josh McCrone said after the match. "We'd seen Ben Creagh rush up outside, we thought there was an opportunity, we had the numbers on them, he shouted for it, I kicked it, he flew through and put it down. As soon as he got there I knew it was down."



"To be 18-6 down at halftime, and then get back in the arm-wrestle and keep them to one point in the second half... They are one of the best attacking teams, and one of the best defensive teams, so to score three tries in the second half to their none, it was a great feeling," Josh Dugan said later.

"As soon as Jamie kicked his field goal, I knew it was going over. I ran to the ball boy on the sideline and grabbed the ball so we could kick off. I saw a bit of space behind, Josh's first couple of kicks in the first half went a bit long, but he was pin-pointing them in the second half and that's when they counted."

2011 Round 20 - Canberra Raiders 24 (Josh Dugan 2, Blake Ferguson, Josh McCrone tries, Jarrod Croker 4 goals) defeated St George Illawarra Dragons 19 (Matt Cooper, Ben Creagh, Mark Gasnier, Brett Morris tries, Jamie Soward 1 goal, 1 field goal) at Canberra Stadium Crowd: 10,425

Number 1: Classic fiery clash with Dragons

It was expected to be a routine day at the office for the St George Illawarra Dragons, who were cruising to the minor premiership in 2009. Easily the best defensive unit all season, they came to Canberra Stadium and faced a hostile crowd of over 19,000 - and once again proved impenetrable. There were hostilities on the field as well, with Terry Campese in the thick of it.





A try either side of half time had the joint venture club up 12-0 and it was expected that the Dragons would simply suffocate the Raiders out of the game. Inconsistent all season, the Raiders then turned on undoubtedly their best thirty minutes of the season. An amazing try from a scrum by Jarrod Croker got the Raiders on the board, and only one set later boom winger Daniel Vidot had crossed in the corner. Immaculate kicking by five-eighth Terry Campese levelled the scores - and when Dane Tilse collected a grubber only minutes later, the Raiders were somehow in the lead.

Providing the blueprint to rattle the Dragons, ill-discipline gave the Raiders the chance to seal the victory with a string of penalty goals. It was an exceptional victory, one that the Dragons never recovered from in 2009.

2009 Round 23 – Canberra Raiders 24 (Jarrod Croker, Daniel Vidot, Dane Tilse tries, Terry Campese 6 goals) defeated St George Illawarra Dragons 12 (Darius Boyd, Brett Morris tries, Jamie Soward 2 goals) at Canberra Stadium Crowd: 19,350

Is one of your favourite wins over the Dragons missing? Tell us about it!

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Let's hope a bit of the "hoodoo" returns on Sunday. The Dragons started the week as surprise favourites in this clash - but clearly the money has been flowing to the Green Machine over the past few days. The Raiders are now paying $1.85 and the Dragons $1.95. The Dragons also now have the start in the line betting, to the tune of 1.5 points. That is probably a fairer reflection of the two teams' prospects in this contest.

But this is not going to be an easy match for the Raiders, not by any means. The Dragons have a great record in Wollongong - and don't forget how they accounted for the Raiders in Mudgee last year. The Raiders' form in the clash with the Eels also left something to be desired, to put it politely. But I think they can leave that behind and get back to their best this week. I'm tipping the Raiders by four.

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The Canberra Raiders NSW Cup affiliate, Mounties also take on the Dragons at Wollongong on Sunday - so if you're heading to the Raiders' clash, make sure you get to the stadium early. Mounties are in a bit of a slump at present - given they've been affected by suspension and injury - but let's hope they can turn that around this week.

There's also some great Canberra Raiders Cup action this weekend, with the match of the round being the southern derby - a replay of the 2018 Grand Final - between the Woden Valley Rams and Tuggeranong Bushrangers at Phillip. Make sure you get out to a local ground!

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Every week I rate the Raiders players on a scale of 0-10... and here are the total points and average points per match after the clash with the Sharks. Let us know if you agree with the ratings... or not!

Total points

Josh Papalii 109
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 106
Elliott Whitehead 102
Jack Wighton 102
Ryan Sutton 96
Sia Soliola 96
Jarrod Croker 95
Siliva Havili 89
John Bateman 88
Nick Cotric 88
Dunamis Lui 85
Josh Hodgson 80
Corey Horsburgh 61
Sam Williams 59
Jordan Rapana 58
Bailey Simonsson 56
Hudson Young 48
Joey Leilua 47
Joe Tapine 42
Aidan Sezer 36
Michael Oldfield 29
Sebastian Kris 15
Tom Starling 15
Emre Guler 14
Jack Murchie 6
JJ Collins 4

Average points per match

John Bateman 7.3
Josh Papalii 7.3
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 7.1
Elliott Whitehead 6.8
Jack Wighton 6.8
Joey Leilua 6.7
Josh Hodgson 6.7
Ryan Sutton 6.4
Sia Soliola 6.4
Jarrod Croker 6.3
Nick Cotric 6.3
Bailey Simonsson 6.2
Corey Horsburgh 6.1
Aidan Sezer 6.0
Jack Murchie 6.0
Siliva Havili 5.9
Sam Williams 5.9
Jordan Rapana 5.8
Michael Oldfield 5.8
Dunamis Lui 5.7
Hudson Young 5.3
Joe Tapine 5.3
Sebastian Kris 5.0
Tom Starling 5.0
Emre Guler 4.7
JJ Collins 4.0

*Points for the Raiders Origin representatives were awarded for Origin I and are incorporated. Origin II is excluded due to the general bye.

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RedRaider
Steve Walters
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by RedRaider » July 11, 2019, 5:18 pm

GE for the Eels match EW missed 7 tackles and ran for 60 mtrs over the full 80 minutes. TGEs has him rated a 7 for that game. Is that one for each missed tackle? I am a fan of EW but I think a 6 is too high for him on that performance.

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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » July 11, 2019, 5:32 pm

I didn't rate him a 7, I rated him a 6. Might be a bit generous, given his tackle efficiency was down. But he always tends to miss a lot, because he always makes a lot of tackles.
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by RedRaider » July 11, 2019, 6:29 pm

GE, Low run meters too. Maybe the humidity got to him. A 6 was generous. Not that Sticky would ever single out a player publicly but he was a long way short of expectations in a match we needed our rep players to stand up in.

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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » July 15, 2019, 9:09 am

Through green eyes: As I saw it

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Round 17 2019. Canberra Raiders 36 - St George Illawarra 14. It was a comprehensive victory for the Canberra Raiders at Wollongong. There was a short period in the second half when the Dragons played well and put on some points. But the thoughts of a comeback were quickly extinguished, when the Raiders steadied and went back to their game plan.

Not even the loss of Nick Cotric, sent off for a dangerous tackle with 20 minutes left on the clock, disrupted the Green Machine. The 12 men finished the match off in a courageous fashion. The Dragons scored a long range consolation try to Matt Dufty. But the spirit of the team was embodied in the chase from Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and John Bateman - who never gave up in their attempt to stop the try.



It's difficult not to be distracted by the Nick Cotric dismissal. But let's spend some time first on the performance of the team. It was nothing like the final 45 minutes that we saw in Darwin. The team was committed in attack and defence. The defence was intense, and the scramble was very good. But the difference in this game was that the attack was unrelenting. Even with 12 men, the team kept up the pressure. The match simply didn't look like it was 12 against 13. Some rueful Dragons supporters sitting near me said, "It wouldn't matter if we had four more players". It was that sort of night.

After the match, Ricky Stuart's press conference was dominated by the send off for Nick Cotric. This is part of what he said:

"Whoever thinks that's a spear tackle doesn't know the game of rugby league. It was unintentional. It got away on him a little bit and I understand that. That's an accident. The kid [Lafai] played on. Nick has got no malice in him at all. It ended up with him on the wrong end of it as far as being sent off. I just thought it was very harsh.

The reaction was probably the case of what has been said and what has been heard about eye-gouging, whacks to the head and late hits. None of those guys are being sent off, yet one of my guys gets sent. I just thought it was very harsh.

He [Cotric] is shattered, he is a young boy, no malice in the kid. My heart went out to him because I know how much it is hurting him. All he is asking me is what’s going to happen, what’s going to happen. The kid just wants to play footy. We’ll fight it anyhow.

I don't believe that was a foul. I believe that was an accident and there is a big difference between a foul shot and an accident. In our game, with the collision and the velocity we play at you are always going to have accidents. That’s got to be argued, and we will argue it.




Ricky Stuart was understandably unhappy with the inconsistency of the officiating and the reactive nature of the NRL. Nick Cotric did not make a old fashioned spear tackle, but it certainly was a dangerous tackle. It definitely wasn't intentional. Nick Cotric is not that sort of player. Did it deserve a send off? Not by recent standards of the officials. There have only been two send offs in four years. We recently saw Jordan Rapana's nose broken, blood flowing everywhere - the result of a stiff arm. The offender was not even sin binned. We've seen an intentional eye gouge, in plain view, with no send off. The inconsistencies of the NRL officials and match review committee (MRC) have been there for all to see. And it very much looks like the NRL is now in their usual reactive mode.

It will be interesting to see if this is the new standard. Fair enough if it is. But I somehow very much doubt that it will be. It also remains to be seen what charge the MRC produces for Cotric's tackle. Ricky Stuart said last night the club will "fight". The MRC will take Cotric's clean record into account, no doubt. But it will probably result in a charge that comes with a suspension. Hopefully we at least get some consistency from the MRC this time.

Stats that mattered?

The Raiders completed at 80 per cent (Dragons 73 per cent) and ended with a 52 per cent share of possession. Canberra made more runs (191-161), more running metres (1691-1389), more post contact metres (474-334), more metres per set (42.3-37.5), more kick return metres (206-167), more offloads (9-6), more tackle breaks (54-26) and more line breaks (9-3). Those sorts of numbers produce seven tries to three.

The Raiders' discipline and defence was also superior. The Dragons made more errors (10-7) and conceded more penalties (7-4). The Dragons had to make many more tackles (385-317), and missed many more (54-26). They also produced more ineffective tackles (16-8). Canberra produced a very impressive effective tackle rate of over 90 per cent (Dragons 85 per cent).

The Dragons kicked more (20-17) and got more kicking metres (467-415) - and to some degree, that was forced on them by the Raiders. But the Dragons also produced more grubbers (8-5), bombs (5-3) and forced drop outs (3-1).

Memorable moments? There were seven tries, but one went down into history. It was the second try of the match, this one to Jarrod Croker - and it was the 121st of his career. It was the moment that Croker broke Jason Croker's record for the most number of tries for the Canberra Raiders. He also broke through the 1900 points barrier in the match, and became the youngest player ever to do so. I'll say it was the best try of the match, but there was one other that challenged. It came just after half time, and Jarrod Croker was at the the centre of it - producing a stunning offload for Bailey Simonsson, who crossed in the corner. For those who would like to prosecute a shift for Jarrod Croker to the wing... I give you Exhibit A for the defence.

In defence, it is hard to go past what we saw in the 42nd minute. It summed up the intensity of the Raiders on the night - when a gang tackle, led by John Bateman and Corey Horsburgh, forced the Dragons back into the in goal. Extraordinary effort.

Best performers?

Josh Hodgson. Six runs for 41 metres, 36 dummy half run metres, three line break assists, three try assists, two one on one steals, five dummies, 39 tackles, 100 per cent tackle efficiency, four kicks for 142 metres, one forced line drop out.

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad. Two tries, 22 runs for 227 metres, 97 kick return metres, 83 dummy half metres, 39 post contact metres, two line breaks, six tackle breaks, five kicks defused.

Jarrod Croker. One try, 10 runs for 99 metres, one line break, two line break assists, one try assist, five tackle breaks.

It was a difficult decision not to have Aidan Sezer and John Bateman in the top three. Ricky Stuart described it as Sezer's best game in green. I'm not sure about that, but he was very good, producing a try saving one on one steal and five tackle breaks. Bateman, as usual, was everywhere.

Top tacklers: Josh Hodgson 39, John Bateman 38, Josh Papalii 30.
Most metres gained: Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 227, Bailey Simonsson 170, Jordan Rapana 165.

My player ratings:

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 8
Bailey Simonsson 7
Jarrod Croker 8
Nick Cotric 0*
Jordan Rapana 6
Jack Wighton 5
Aidan Sezer 7
Sia Soliola 6
Josh Hodgson 8
Dunamis Lui 6
John Bateman 7
Elliott Whitehead 6
Joe Tapine 7

Josh Papalii 7
Siliva Havili 6
Corey Horsburgh 6
Emre Guler 5

* Player sent off.

Do you agree or disagree with the ratings? Let us know!

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TongueFTW
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by TongueFTW » July 15, 2019, 9:22 am

As always, enjoyed the write up.

It is hard to believe what CNK and Bateman have added to this side. Their chase on Dufty at the end typifies everything about them - team first, effort on effort. It also helps that they have the talent to go with the effort.

It would be good to see Hodgson now put together a few good games in a row now. If he is firing, it makes such a difference to our attack.

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Don Furner
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by T_R » July 15, 2019, 8:00 pm

Good write up - thanks

Sent from my SM-G975F using The Greenhouse mobile app powered by Tapatalk

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Son, we live in a world that has forums, and those forums have to be guarded by Mods. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Nickman? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Lucy, and you curse GE. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know -- that GE’s moderation, while tragic, probably saved lives; and my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, keeps threads on track and under the appropriately sized, highlighted green headings.
You want moderation because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that forum -- you need me on that forum. We use words like "stay on topic," "use the appropriate forum," "please delete." We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very moderation that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather that you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you get a green handle and edit a post. Either way, I don't give a DAMN what you think about moderation.

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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » July 15, 2019, 9:21 pm

Thanks guys! Up at 6:30am to write it before coming home from Wollongong!
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Walter
Clinton Schifcofske
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by Walter » July 15, 2019, 9:31 pm

greeneyed wrote:Thanks guys! Up at 6:30am to write it before coming home from Wollongong!
All thanks go to you GE it is always a great read - win or lose.


Sent from my iPhone using The Greenhouse mobile app powered by Tapatalk

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greeneyed
Don Furner
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » July 15, 2019, 11:19 pm

Thanks Walter! Hopefully, I've now ironed out the last proof reading errors!
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Don Furner
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » July 18, 2019, 3:12 pm

Through green eyes: Remembering 1989

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This Saturday night, the Canberra Raiders celebrate the upcoming 30th anniversary of the 1989 Grand Final and their maiden premiership.

The match is now the stuff of legend. It is still widely regarded as the best Grand Final of all time.

At last year's Men of League Foundation annual gala dinner, it was again confirmed as the greatest - based on a public vote. It is remarkable how lasting an impression the match has made in the rugby league community. Usually, public votes go the way of the most recent event - and some thought that the golden point decider between the Cowboys and Broncos in 2015 might win out. But ultimately, 1989 retained its No. 1 crown.



Clearly, it is a match well remembered not just by Canberra Raiders fans. That is probably partly because the game was played in a golden era of rugby league. The days of "Simply the best". The days before there were wrestling coaches. The days of open, attacking football and crunching defence.

But, of course, the match was a fairy tale and an epic all rolled into one.

A fairy tale, as the Raiders were the first team from outside of Sydney to win the premiership. They had to win nine straight matches to do it. They had to be the first team to win from fourth or fifth place. They were clearly underdogs. When you look at the team list today, you see a list of Raiders representative stars. But in those days, a lot of Sydney people didn't even know their names. At the official Grand Final breakfast, the MC only knew the names of a handful of them.

It was an epic because of the extraordinary way in which the match unfolded. It was full of incredible moments.

Dean Lance's crunching tackle on Steve Roach. Paul Sironen's freakish try just before half time - which produced an almost insurmountable lead for the Raiders to overcome. Mal Meninga's ankle tap on Mick Neil which saved a certain Tigers try. A dropped ball from Tigers' captain Wayne Pearce with the line wide open. A Benny Elias field goal attempt that hit the cross bar and bounced away. It would have taken the match out of the Raiders' reach, surely. The last gasp try from John "Chicka" Ferguson to set up extra time. A Chris O'Sullivan field goal to give Canberra the lead. And then the famous Steve Jackson try to seal the result. It produced the classic line of commentary from Ian Maurice. "What strenght! What power! What a Grand Final! What a premiership!"





It is difficult to believe, really, that it is almost 30 years ago. I was still in my 20s. I've written before about some of my personal memories of that year, that game. So I won't repeat the story of how the whole city stopped for the game, how the fans partied that night. But I will say this. I've been living in Canberra since the year that the Raiders entered the competition in 1982 - and following the club since then. And I don't think I've seen Canberra so swept up in joy and emotion, so united in community spirit, than when the Raiders won that Grand Final.

You can still see a hint of it, when the Raiders make the finals. We saw it last in 2016, when the Raiders played to a sold out Canberra Stadium twice. When the fans travelled en masse to Melbourne for the first Preliminary Final in a generation, taking over the whole of the Richmond Club Hotel and then the whole of Swan Street. No team stirs the emotions of Canberrans like the Raiders.

The 1989 premiership will always be special, as it was the first. It is impossible to replicate that first time. But how I would love to see Canberra swept up in Raiders fever again in September and October this year. To see the Raiders go one better than 2016 - and maybe, just maybe, we'll get close to that feeling we had 30 years ago.

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Let's not forget that there is a game of football to win on Saturday night! The ideal script is that the Raiders again defeat the Tigers - and hopefully, not in extra time. One worrying thing is Benji Marshall's record at Canberra Stadium. He's never lost to the Raiders at the venue. He played his 300th NRL match last week, but the Wests Tigers couldn't get him a win. They'll no doubt be doing their best to get him that win this week, and spoil Canberra's party.

However, if the Raiders play to their potential they should take the competition points. They held the Tigers scoreless at Western Sydney Stadium, and scored 28 points of their own, just over a month ago. If they are to win this weekend, the Raiders will need produce the sort of intensity in defence and attack that we saw in that match. I'm tipping they can do it. Raiders by eight.

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The Canberra Raiders Jersey Flegg team make their return to the field on Saturday - after a two week break. They will also face the Wests Tigers as part of a double header at Canberra Stadium. They had a good 28-16 win over the Eels in their last start, and hopefully that victory has the team back on the right track. Make sure you get to the ground early and support the first graders of tomorrow.

There are also some great Canberra Raiders Cup matches this weekend - headlined by the match of the round between the second placed Goulburn Bulldogs and fifth placed Woden Valley Rams. Unfortunately, three of the matches are on Saturday afternoon, and clash with the Jersey Flegg match. However, all matches kick off at 2pm, which would still allow you to get to Canberra Stadium for the NRL match.



In any event, there is a good clash on Sunday afternoon as well - when the West Belconnen Warriors host the Queanbeyan Kangaroos. The Warriors will be desperate for a win, so as to keep their finals hopes alive. It should be a great afternoon at Kippax!

It has also been great to see the ASSRL Under 18s National Championships hosted at Kippax this week. These tournaments have regularly featured a host of future NRL stars. So if you can, get along tomorrow to the finals from 9:30am! The championship match between Queensland Secondary Schools and NSW Combined Catholic Colleges should be a great. They are two very good footy teams.

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This is how the matches line up on the final day:

Game 1: 9.30am Australian Capital Territory v NSW Combined Independent Schools
Game 2: 11.00am NSW Combined High Schools v Combined Affiliated States
Game 3: 12.30pm Queensland Secondary Schools v NSW Combined Catholic Colleges

At 2:15, the Australian Schoolboys team to play New Zealand U19s will be announced.

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Every week I rate the Raiders players on a scale of 0-10... and here are the total points and average points per match after the clash with the Dragons. Let us know if you agree with the ratings... or not!

Total points

Josh Papalii 116
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 114
Elliott Whitehead 108
Jack Wighton 107
Jarrod Croker 103
Sia Soliola 102
Ryan Sutton 96
John Bateman 95
Siliva Havili 95
Dunamis Lui 91
Josh Hodgson 88
Nick Cotric 88
Corey Horsburgh 67
Jordan Rapana 64
Bailey Simonsson 63
Sam Williams 59
Joe Tapine 49
Hudson Young 48
Joey Leilua 47
Aidan Sezer 43
Michael Oldfield 29
Emre Guler 19
Sebastian Kris 15
Tom Starling 15
Jack Murchie 6
JJ Collins 4

Average points per match

John Bateman 7.3
Josh Papalii 7.3
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 7.1
Josh Hodgson 6.8
Elliott Whitehead 6.8
Joey Leilua 6.7
Jack Wighton 6.7
Jarrod Croker 6.4
Ryan Sutton 6.4
Sia Soliola 6.4
Bailey Simonsson 6.3
Aidan Sezer 6.1
Corey Horsburgh 6.1
Jack Murchie 6.0
Siliva Havili 5.9
Sam Williams 5.9
Nick Cotric 5.9
Jordan Rapana 5.8
Michael Oldfield 5.8
Dunamis Lui 5.7
Joe Tapine 5.4
Hudson Young 5.3
Sebastian Kris 5.0
Tom Starling 5.0
Emre Guler 4.8
JJ Collins 4.0

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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by The Rickman » July 18, 2019, 3:26 pm

Another great article, Ferg!
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by RedRaider » July 18, 2019, 6:48 pm

According to Big League magazine EW missed 6 tackles against the Dragons. Low run meters too. Do you know if he is injured GE? Two weeks in a row an uncharacteristic performance.

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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » July 18, 2019, 7:21 pm

He's being passed as fit to play... Elliott has always been more a tackle workhorse than a runner... and he always misses more tackles than the average forward as he makes so many. His tackle efficiency is in the same ball park as the last couple of years. His average metres per game is down a bit this year.

https://www.raiders.com.au/teams/telstr ... whitehead/
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by BadnMean » July 18, 2019, 11:27 pm

His kick chase is good. He was part of some nice backline moves with his good hands. He's absolutely hurting guys in defence and I don't remember any glaring misses.

If we weren't making huge yards it might be more of a worry. I suppose he could do some of those carries we rely on our back 5 for but that seems to be a game plan we never change. Back 5 do 3 or 4 hit ups a set out of our end.

More than metres to his game so I'm not worried really.

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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by -PJ- » July 19, 2019, 6:37 am

If Elliot was stinking the joint up we'd notice.

I haven't noticed.

The blokes a machine.

Unless someone wants to start a thread...
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by zim » July 19, 2019, 11:39 am

He had a slower start to the year than usual (where the 1 percenters weren't quite there) but Whitehead is never going to be the guy that just munches metres. He will be the guy that dives on the loose ball, gets across in cover, adds that touch of class in attack and backs up effort on effort in defense.

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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by Finchy » July 19, 2019, 11:54 am

zim wrote:
July 19, 2019, 11:39 am
He had a slower start to the year than usual (where the 1 percenters weren't quite there) but Whitehead is never going to be the guy that just munches metres. He will be the guy that dives on the loose ball, gets across in cover, adds that touch of class in attack and backs up effort on effort in defense.
And legally injures opposition players...

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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by zim » July 19, 2019, 12:01 pm

He's been a beast this year.

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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by The Rickman » July 19, 2019, 1:00 pm

Elliott Whitehead is a simply amazing player that you sometimes don’t notice he’s there and the little stuff he does, but if he wasn’t there, you’d certainly notice him then
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » July 21, 2019, 12:43 pm

Through green eyes: As I saw it

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"I hope the Raiders old boys were proud of the effort, an ugly win but we scrambled our way back to two points tonight. We knew what how important the game was and we knew how desperate the Tigers would be and where they are on the table in regards to their game and we got away on them a bit in the first half.

We probably weren't ruthless in the first half, we kept inviting them back into the fight and in the second half we were ruthless in defence given we didn't have any field position. It gave us some good education about hanging in and winning a really tight one."


Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart

Round 18 2019. Canberra Raiders 20 - Wests Tigers 12. The opening 10 minutes was flashy, and certainly the second half was ugly. The Raiders didn't score a try after the 20th minute and didn't score a point after half time. But the Canberra defence hung on desperately for the final 37 minutes. The Tigers scored just three minutes into the second half - and the they followed up with some dangerous line breaks, but the Raiders' scramble covered up each time.



Canberra probably deserved to be leading by more than they did at half time. They had almost 60 per cent of the ball in the first period and there were times when they dominated territory. There were some tantalising opportunities in the final 10 minutes of the half. First Michael Oldfield made a big break, but the play broke down. Later, Bailey Simonsson charged at the corner, before his off load inside was correctly ruled forward. The Raiders were not able to convert their chances - and there were almost enough errors in the first half for an entire regular game. There were too many turn overs to the Tigers. But ultimately, it did not matter - and the Raiders' defence was just too good.



Stats that mattered?

The Raiders ended the match with a 52 per cent share of possession, on the back of a 78 per cent completion rate. The Tigers posted a completion rate of just 67 per cent - and that is one area that their coach Michael Maguire will be unhappy about. They ended up making more errors than the Raiders (14-12), though they were more disciplined, conceding just four penalties (the Raiders six).

The Tigers made more runs (185-173), more running metres (1634-1589) and more line breaks than the Raiders. However, the Raiders made more tackle breaks (32-25), more post contact metres (540-504), more kick return metres (183-148) and average metres per set (43-38). The Raiders produced more kicking metres (607-566) from their 24 kicks (22 for the Tigers). The Tigers also forced two line drop outs, to the Raiders' one.

The effective tackle rates were similar for the two teams (Raiders 90.5 per cent, compared with 89.4 per cent for the Tigers). The Tigers missed more tackles (32-25) and made more ineffective tackles (13-11), but also made more (380-342).

Overall, that tells a story of a tight, close game, and that is what it was. The Tigers were desperate and they were a tough team for the Raiders to beat. It was again a match that was won on the basis of Canberra's defence. Ricky Stuart clearly has the team practising to win in grinding contests. And that is critical for winning competitions. They have the second best defensive record in the league, behind the Storm - and they are conceding less than the "magic" 16 points per game (14.6 on average, at present). Premiership teams generally don't concede more than 16.

But the Raiders will need to grow in attack over the final stages of the regular season as well. When Canberra got their chances in the second half, the attack did look a bit clunky. They may not be able to afford that against the better teams. The positive is that the Raiders still have Nick Cotric to come back into the team - and, who knows, maybe Joey Leilua.

Memorable moments? Two of the best moments of the match were try savers in the final five minutes. With three minutes remaining, Tigers winger Paul Momirovski made a break, kicked ahead and Michael Chee Kam regathered. However Aidan Sezer was chasing just as hard and wrapped him up in an incredible, desperate tackle. Seconds later, the Tigers spread it wide and Jarrod Croker took down David Nofoaluma in another desperate tackle. The referee went to the bunker, saying he offloaded for a Tigers try... but the pass was off the ground and Croker had stopped the play.

In attack, Dunamis Lui will definitely remember his try. It was his first in five years! It was set up with a good pass from Josh Hodgson, putting the prop over under the posts. Aidan Sezer was at the centre of the Raiders' other two tries. First, he produced a very skillful kick back inside for a flying Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, who pounced on the ball in the in goal. Then in the 20th minute, he threw a sensational, long, looping pass for Jordan Rapana to cross in the corner. For me, that was the Raiders' try of the match.

The other memorable thing was the celebration of the coming 30th anniversary of the 1989 Grand Final, the best of all time, and the Canberra Raiders first premiership. It was great to see so many former players at the game, and at the Hall of Fame Gala on Friday night. I was lucky enough to attend the Platinum Members Brunch on Saturday morning, and heard the stories from Steve Jackson, Matthew Wood, Paul Sironen and Tim Brasher about 1989. The club did itself proud with how it celebrated their maiden premiership!

Best performers? I don't often do this... but this week, I'm splitting my points!

Josh Hodgson. Four runs for 22 metres, one line break assist, one try assist, two tackle breaks, two one on one steals, 44 tackles, 98 per cent tackle efficiency, six kicks for 191 kicking metres. One of those kicks ended one centimetre from the corner post, in the field of play, at a critical time. That's kicking for the corners! Those one on one steals were critical in changing momentum.

Aidan Sezer. Six runs for 24 metres, one line break assists, two try assists, 19 tackles, eight kicks for 192 metres, one forced line drop out.

Josh Papalii. 18 runs for 202 metres, 81 post contact metres, two tackle breaks, one offload, 31 tackles.

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad. One try, 16 runs for 151 metres, 87 kick return metres, 42 post contact metres, four tackle breaks, four kick defusals. He showed a lot of courage, and copped a battering in the match, but did everything he could to win every moment when he was involved.

Top tacklers: Josh Hodgson 44, John Bateman 37, Josh Papalii 31.
Most metres gained: Josh Papalii 202, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 151, Sia Soliola 147.

My player ratings:

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 7
Bailey Simonsson 6
Jarrod Croker 6
Michael Oldfield 6
Jordan Rapana 7
Jack Wighton 6
Aidan Sezer 8
Sia Soliola 7
Josh Hodgson 8
Dunamis Lui 7
John Bateman 7
Elliott Whitehead 6
Joe Tapine 6

Josh Papalii 8
Siliva Havili 5
Corey Horsburgh 7
Emre Guler 5

Do you agree or disagree with the ratings? Let us know!

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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by gangrenous » July 21, 2019, 12:55 pm

I disagree. 10 for my man CNK please

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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by Rick » July 21, 2019, 1:02 pm

Seizer is a bit high for mine.


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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » July 21, 2019, 1:18 pm

Rick wrote:
July 21, 2019, 1:02 pm
Seizer is a bit high for mine.
I concede it could be, but as always he turned up in defence. That try saver was special. And there's the forced line drop out... and the thing you want from a half is try assists and he delivered two in very good fashion. I thought he deserved some credit for all that.
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Through green eyes 2019

Post by gangrenous » July 21, 2019, 5:54 pm

Where’s the concession that CNK should be a 10? Man left nothing in the tank despite aching all over.

On a serious note, don’t see how he can be under an 8. The Raiders can’t pull off that defensive effort without him imo. Excellent work defusing kicks, particularly the one he earned two lots of knees to the upper body for. Scored a try. Took his share of dirty hit ups when we were under the pump and he was injured.

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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » July 21, 2019, 5:58 pm

gangrenous wrote:
July 21, 2019, 5:54 pm
Where’s the concession that CNK should be a 10? Man left nothing in the tank despite aching all over.

On a serious note, don’t see how he can be under an 8. The Raiders can’t pull off that defensive effort without him imo. Excellent work defusing kicks, particularly the one he earned two lots of knees to the upper body for. Scored a try. Took his share of dirty hit ups when we were under the pump and he was injured.
I seriously considered an 8 for him, but he was a shade below the other three, IMO.
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by RedRaider » July 21, 2019, 7:17 pm

I agree with all your 8's GE but can you take one off Jack and give it to CNK. Jack loses one for his kick out on the full and pass over the side line. I know he always has some errors in him, but CNK left nothing in the tank during this game and played busted at the end to see the Raiders home. Heart as well as skill level should see him with an 8 mate.

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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by RedRaider » July 21, 2019, 7:29 pm

Can you provide HorsPowers stats please?

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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » July 21, 2019, 9:06 pm

RedRaider wrote:
July 21, 2019, 7:29 pm
Can you provide HorsPowers stats please?
https://www.nrl.com/draw/nrl-premiershi ... ts-tigers/
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Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » July 25, 2019, 4:34 pm

Through green eyes: Rivalry and respect

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Last weekend was a wonderful celebration of the coming 30th anniversary of the Canberra Raiders first premiership.

I was fortunate enough to attend the Platinum Members Brunch last Saturday morning - which featured appearances from members of both of the 1989 Grand Final teams. The Raiders were represented by winning try hero, Steve Jackson and Matthew Wood, while Paul Sironen and Tim Brasher came along from the Tigers.

There was almost not a single story that they told about the greatest ever Grand Final that I hadn't heard before. But it didn't matter. Who ever gets tired of those stories - especially about that Steve Jackson try in extra time? And to hear those stories first hand made it special.

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One story I hadn't heard was told by Tim Brasher.

In 1989, Tim Brasher was still in high school when he was called up to the Tigers' first grade team, aged just 18. That famous day in September, he played in the centres.

He told us how, as a young man, he almost took the Grand Final appearance for granted. And when the Tigers didn't win, he consoled himself with the thought that there would be plenty of opportunities ahead of him to play in a Grand Final, to win a premiership.

However, 1989 was the only Grand Final in which he would play.

In the mid to late 1980s, Balmain regularly appeared in the finals. In 1988, the Tigers made the Grand Final, but were defeated by the Bulldogs. But after they again finished as the "runners up" in 1989, their premiership window closed. In 1990, they finished fifth. And after that, they spent a decade as also rans, before merging with the Magpies.

Brasher also told this story at the Canberra Raiders Hall of Fame Gala on Friday night - when the Raiders' inaugural coach, Don Furner Snr, inaugural captain, David Grant and the most capped Raider, Jason Croker were new inductees.

It was a great story for the Raiders of 2019 to hear.

It underlined how you must always take your chances, to convert your opportunities. It is what the Tigers couldn't quite do in that 1989 Grand Final.

The Raiders have worked hard to get themselves into the top four, as the race to the finals begins in earnest. Now is the time to convert that opportunity.

***

Steve Jackson and Paul Sironen also did us the honour of appearing on The Greenhouse Live after the Canberra Raiders win over the Tigers.



It must be difficult for the Tigers' players to speak about a game they lost in such extraordinary circumstances. They were heavily favoured to win and the club had been waiting since 1969 for a premiership.

When Sironen was asked why he'd come to Canberra, 30 years on, to talk about it, yet again, his response was: "Respect."

And that's a key part of any rivalry.

The Raiders and Tigers are great rivals because of that game in 1989.

The Raiders also have a great rivalry with their opponents this weekend, the Penrith Panthers.

It was first built in the Grand Finals of 1990 and 1991. The Raiders, of course, won back to back in 1990 - and we don't much like to talk about 1991.

The rivalry has re-built in recent seasons - after the Raiders met the Panthers in the 2016 finals series at Canberra Stadium. The Sydney media was backing the Panthers, who were on a six game winning streak. But the Raiders knocked them out of the finals, defeating them 22-12 in front of an almost sold out stadium.

After that, the Raiders suffered a four game losing streak against the Panthers, starting with one of Canberra's worst ever losses. In that game at Bathurst the Raiders led 20-12 with two minutes remaining - but lost, conceding two rapid fire tries.

Then last year at Canberra Stadium, the Raiders led 22-16 with just over five minutes remaining. A Panthers try leveled the match, and a Nathan Cleary field goal with less than two minutes left delivered a 23-22 win for the visitors.

Canberra broke the losing streak to Panthers earlier this year, defeating Penrith at Wagga Wagga. But the Raiders still owe the Panthers a few defeats!

The Panthers are now on a seven game winning streak, aiming to equal their club record, set in 2003, of eight straight wins. Can the Raiders stop their streak, just as they did in 2016? Here's hoping so! And I'm tipping they can!

Remarkably, if they do it, both the Raiders and Panthers will have recorded 38 wins, and one draw, in matches between the clubs.

***

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad. What a revelation he's been. When he arrived at the Raiders from the Warriors, just before the start of the season, I thought he was a good player, but that wing was really his best position. How wrong I was! He has made the Raiders No. 1 jersey his own.

He ranks equal first amongst fullbacks for total tries (nine, with James Tedesco). He only has three try assists, compared with 12 for Clint Gutherson and 10 for Jahrome Hughes and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. His nine line breaks rank equal fifth amongst fullbacks, behind the bench marks of Tedesco with 16 and Kalyn Ponga with 15). He ranks sixth for tackle breaks (four per match, compared to six for Trbojevic).

But his total running metres are second only to Tuivasa-Sheck, and he ranks fourth for average running metres per game with 167 metres (behind Tuivasa-Sheck 186, James Tedesco 177 and Tom Trbojevic 177). And he ranks first for kick return metres (63 per match), ahead of Tedesco.

He's now won the man of the match, three games in a row in voting for the Canberra Raiders' Fans' Choice Player of the Year. He's been judged man of the match six times this year - and he sits on top of the leaderboard, eight points clear of his nearest rival, Josh Papalii.

The way in which he was battered and bruised - and got up and played on every time - against the Tigers was inspirational. He gives his all in everything he does.

After the game, he was asked by ABC Canberra sideline eye Tim Gore: "Is there any part of your body that isn’t injured at this stage?"

His reply? "My heart."

As revealed in The Greenhouse Facebook group this week, he was out giving more of himself on Tuesday night, when he and Ata Hingano visited a Gungahlin Bulls junior training session. It wasn't organised by the Raiders, it was just something the players did.

No wonder he's already such a fan favourite.

It's great to see that the Raiders announced this week they're looking to upgrade and extend his contract. Hopefully he plays in green for a long time to come.

***

The Canberra Raiders Jersey Flegg team and NSW Cup affiliate Mounties also play Penrith on Sunday at Panthers Stadium. So make sure you get there early for the old fashioned triple header. It is just like the old days and just as I like it! The Flegg team is back in good form and are a team well worth watching. Mounties are in a bit of a slump, so they'll hopefully be able to turn that around this weekend.

The Queanbeyan derby on Saturday shapes as the match of the round in this weekend's Canberra Raiders Cup action. Try to get out to one of the local grounds! But if you can't, this week's live stream game sees the Yass Magpies celebrate 100 years when they meet the Goulburn Bulldogs at Walker Park.



***

Last week I saw a few days of the action in the ASSRL Under 18s National Championships at Kippax. There was some great footy played and there was a great atmosphere at Raiders Belconnen. The Queensland Secondary Schools team took out the title - and it was great to see one of the Canberra Raiders signings, Xavier Savage in action in that game.

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He's still just 17, but it looks like the Raiders will have him training alongside the top squad over this summer. He played at centre in the final for Queensland, and scored two tries. He also scored a hat trick earlier in the week.

Savage is lightning fast. Not so long ago, he won the under 17s 100 metre sprint title in 10.95 seconds at the Queensland junior athletics championships. You know the old adage... you can't coach speed. Well you can, actually, but he's clearly got some natural talents that point to a good footy career. He's an exciting prospect, so watch out for him in the Raiders' lower grades once he gets here.



***

Every week I rate the Raiders players on a scale of 0-10... and here are the total points and average points per match after the clash with the Tigers. Let us know if you agree with the ratings... or not!

Total points

Josh Papalii 124
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 121
Elliott Whitehead 114
Jack Wighton 113
Jarrod Croker 109
Sia Soliola 109
John Bateman 102
Siliva Havili 100
Dunamis Lui 98
Josh Hodgson 96
Ryan Sutton 96
Nick Cotric 88
Corey Horsburgh 74
Jordan Rapana 71
Bailey Simonsson 69
Sam Williams 59
Joe Tapine 55
Aidan Sezer 51
Hudson Young 48
Joey Leilua 47
Michael Oldfield 35
Emre Guler 24
Sebastian Kris 15
Tom Starling 15
Jack Murchie 6
JJ Collins 4

Average points per match

Josh Papalii 7.3
John Bateman 7.3
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 7.1
Josh Hodgson 6.9
Joey Leilua 6.7
Elliott Whitehead 6.7
Jack Wighton 6.6
Jarrod Croker 6.4
Sia Soliola 6.4
Ryan Sutton 6.4
Aidan Sezer 6.4
Bailey Simonsson 6.3
Corey Horsburgh 6.2
Jack Murchie 6.0
Jordan Rapana 5.9
Sam Williams 5.9
Siliva Havili 5.9
Nick Cotric 5.9
Michael Oldfield 5.8
Dunamis Lui 5.8
Joe Tapine 5.5
Hudson Young 5.3
Sebastian Kris 5.0
Tom Starling 5.0
Emre Guler 4.8
JJ Collins 4.0

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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by The Rickman » July 25, 2019, 4:35 pm

Great writeup, as always, Ferg.
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by BadnMean » July 25, 2019, 6:37 pm

Nice article. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

I wonder if when Siro answered, "Respect"- did he mean for occasion of the GF? For his opponents? For the game itself?

It's really good of him and Brasher to come down, 30 years on, to a rival fan day to boot and share their time. Hope they were well looked after.

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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by greeneyed » July 25, 2019, 8:21 pm

BadnMean wrote:
July 25, 2019, 6:37 pm
Nice article. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

I wonder if when Siro answered, "Respect"- did he mean for occasion of the GF? For his opponents? For the game itself?

It's really good of him and Brasher to come down, 30 years on, to a rival fan day to boot and share their time. Hope they were well looked after.
Thanks. I think he meant for the opponents and the game. Said he hates the Raiders players and loves them... all except Steve Jackson! The players would have interacted a bit in rep teams.

Looks like Fox Sports will have another doco, where the players from both teams are interviewed while watching the replay of the 89 decider.
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Re: Through green eyes 2019

Post by BadnMean » July 25, 2019, 9:25 pm

greeneyed wrote:
July 25, 2019, 8:21 pm
BadnMean wrote:
July 25, 2019, 6:37 pm
Nice article. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

I wonder if when Siro answered, "Respect"- did he mean for occasion of the GF? For his opponents? For the game itself?

It's really good of him and Brasher to come down, 30 years on, to a rival fan day to boot and share their time. Hope they were well looked after.
Thanks. I think he meant for the opponents and the game. Said he hates the Raiders players and loves them... all except Steve Jackson! The players would have interacted a bit in rep teams.

Looks like Fox Sports will have another doco, where the players from both teams are interviewed while watching the replay of the 89 decider.
Ok, nice. If Balmain have a reunion gig ever I bet it's the kind of thing Sticky turns up to, if asked. When he says he does a lot to promote the game- from what I hear he does all those kinds of little things too.

I'm guessing Siro loved Jacko? Poor bugger seems to have been popular but his demons got to him in the end.

Anything else you picked up from the Q and A as a fan?

Hmmm I live in Singapore at the moment so I only have the Watchnrl overseas pass. I wonder if that show will be available. I get most fox league shows.

I've actually never seen anything replays of '89 except the 30-40 youtube highlights- at the time I was watching it on TV in Weston Creek (Rivett) on the day. Then dad took me out to the reception in civic as a kid. We had season tickets that year of '89 and kept them until the Super League era. Not that we were anti- SL, it was just time had passed and it was a damp squib.

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