Raiders In A Sticky Situation

Picture: Gregg Porteous/
James Segeyaro is a dangerous weapon for the Panthers. Picture: Gregg Porteous/

Canberra Raiders v Penrith Panthers
GIO Stadium
Sunday May 18 – 2:05 PM (AEST)

Raiders: LLWLL
Panthers: WLWLW


The Canberra Raiders  must be reviewing their decision to bring Ricky Stuart back to the nation’s capital. Following back-to-back hidings, “Sticky” needs his Raiders to start winning, or he may have to look for a new job. On the other hand, the Penrith Panthers  have finally found a way to score a try other than from a kick. If that trend continues, the Mountain Men should start stringing some wins together.

What can you say about the Raiders? One week they are beating Melbourne in a thrilling victory. The next, they leak 54 points in successive outings. Ricky Stuart took the blame, claiming he hadn’t pushed the players hard enough at training. So you would think the obvious thing to do would be to push the boys to the brink at training! Yet they came out in against the Warriors and seemed disinterested. Which raises another question - what did Stuart do at training? If the losses continue, the news might not be good for the veteran coach. The experiment of Jack Wighton at five-eighth has been canned, with Terry Campese shifting back there, pushing Wighton back to the centres. Josh McCrone has been given the the No.7 jersey, with Matt Allwood dropping to NSW Cup. Mosese Pangai hops on the wing for Bill Tupou, with Dane Tilse, Paul Vaughn and Joel Edwards being put on the bench for David Shillington, Josh Papalii and Jarrad Kennedy. Kyle O’Donnell, Mitch Cornish, Shannon Boyd and Sami Sauiluma make up the extended bench.

It was great seeing Jamie Soward and Peter Wallace finally running the ball. Scoring a scintillating solo try, Soward showed glimpses of his 2010 form which saw him win a Grand Final with the Dragons. Josh Mansour was a force, running over 200 metres and scoring a four-pointer. The only negative for the Panthers, they haven't managed back-to-back win this year. Nigel Plum is still out due to concussion, with Sam McKendry starting and Tim Grant returning to the bench.

Canberra’s record at home is not great. Having only won one of their past seven games in the ACT, the Raiders hardly have an advantage heading into Sunday's clash. Added to that, the Panthers' form last week was impressive, so the men from the foot of the Blue Mountains should come away with the goods.


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