Early Season Strugglers Face Off

Photo: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
Co-captain Josh McCrone needs to lead the Raiders out of their rut. Photo: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
Last 5 Meetings

Round 17 2012 – Canberra Raiders 22 d St George Illawarra Dragons 18 at Canberra Stadium
Round 20 2011 – Canberra Raiders 24 d St George Illawarra Dragons 19 at Canberra Stadium
Round 24 2010 – Canberra Raiders 32 d St George Illawarra Dragons 16 at Canberra Stadium
Round 11 2010 – Canberra Raiders 22 d St George Illawarra Dragons 14 at WIN Stadium
Round 23 2009 – Canberra Raiders 24 d St George Illawarra Dragons 12 at Canberra Stadium

Current Form (most recent first)

Raiders – LL
Dragons – LL

Last week couldn’t possibly have been any worse for the Raiders  with a series off field dramas compounded by a humiliating 36-0 defeat to the Titans on Sunday afternoon. Things can only get better for Canberra however, and coach David Furner will be confident of turning things around in the clubs first home game of 2013. Experienced campaigners Brett White and Glenn Buttriss return from injury with Shaun Berrigan and Dane Tilse dropping onto the bench.

Nathan Fien has been retained by coach Steve Price at halfback despite being the main offender in an impotent attacking performance by the Dragons  last weekend, when they managed to score just one try from numerous opportunities against Brisbane. Michael Weyman and Trent Merrin both came off the bench despite being named to start in that match but could start this time around after being listed in the run on side.

1st Tryscorer

Jarrod Croker  didn’t have much to do on his return from injury against the Gold Coast last weekend but will want to be more involved in front of his home crowd this weekend. He crossed the tryline 15 times in 2012 and will want to lead by example as the most experienced back left in the Raiders squad.

Brett Morris  has had a slow start to the season and needs to get himself more involved if the Dragons are too remedy their problem of not being able to score points. He is just about the only St George Illawarra player capable of striking fear in the opposition defence.

Prediction – Both of these clubs have started 2013 poorly, but things will surely get worse for the Dragons against their bogey team on Sunday. Canberra has won ten in a row against St George Illawarra in the nation’s capital, while the visitors have won just three of their past 21 away matches. Canberra Raiders 1-12

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