Canberra Raiders v Parramatta Eels Saturday, April 14, 7:30pm (AEST) GIO Stadium, Canberra
The Raiders finally got on the board with a determined 26-10 victory over the Bulldogs. The Green Machine had plenty of injuries to deal with during the match and will take plenty of confidence into this clash against the Eels. Jack Wighton, Blake Austin and Josh Papalii all come back into the 17. The Eels have suffered a massive blow in the lead-up to the clash against the Raiders, with their best forward Nathan Brown ruled out with an ankle injury. The news isn’t all bad, with the impressive Clint Gutherson playing his first match of the season after his ACL injury last season.
FormCanberra opened the season with four straight losses before a grinding victory over Canterbury at home ended that losing streak. The Raiders sit 13th on the ladder but still have the fourth best attack. Their defence ranks 11th. Three of their losses have been by two points or fewer. Parramatta are winless through five rounds. They are averaging an abhorrent 8.8ppg while they have conceded 78 points in their two games away from ANZ.
Key MatchupAiden Sezer v Mitchell Moses: Sezer has struggled early in the season, but produced his best match of the season by far against the Bulldogs. He had a hand in three of the Raiders tries and will hopefully back it up with another strong effort against the Eels. Like Sezer, Moses has had a shocker to start the 2018 season, but his effort was on show against the Panthers last week. He ran the ball more and did everything he could to try and get the Eels across the line for their first win of the season. It’s a tough ask for him this week, with the Eels best forward and metre-eater in Nathan Brown sitting on the sidelines.
Stats That Matter– Canberra are 1-4 ATS with a 3-2 over record while Parramatta are 0-5 ATS with a 3-2 under number. – The Raiders have won three straight and nine of the last 11 meetings. – Canberra have won seven straight at Canberra Stadium v Parramatta since 2007. – In the last 11 meetings, Canberra have recorded a double digit win in seven. – The last six matches have all tallied 38 or more. – The Raiders have covered just 3 of their last 11 at Canberra Stadium while they are 12-14 ATS with an 18-8 over record when favoured by 4 or more. – The under is 7-1 when the Raiders are at home at night off a win. – The Eels have covered just 4 of their last 12 away from ANZ with seven of their non-covers coming by double digits.
Final ThoughtsThe Wolf thinks the Raiders might have turned the corner in their gutsy win over the Bulldogs last week. It’s also a tough ask for the Eels coming up against this big Raiders pack without Nathan Brown. The Raiders have won three straight and nine of the last 11 meetings, and should keep the Eels winless for the season.
How It’s Shaping UpCanberra by 10
Recommended BetsBest: Canberra -3.5 ($1.91) Value: Canberra -3.5 and Over 40.5 ($3.30) First Tryscorer: Joseph Leilua ($13)