29 August 2022

The Raiders are capable of creating havoc if they make the finals

| Tim Gavel
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Canberra Raiders

If the Raiders are in the eight, they could go deep into the finals. Photo: Facebook.

Call me the eternal optimist when it comes to the Canberra Raiders, but there is reason to be bullish this September.

As it stands, the Raiders are in the eight and there’s a possibility they will make the finals, irrespective of their remaining game against the Wests Tigers on Sunday if the Broncos go down to the Dragons on Saturday night.

In the run-up to the finals, if the Raiders defeat the Wests Tigers, they would have won seven of the past eight games with the only loss in the last two months coming against the Panthers.

It will also be their 14th win of the season.

To put this in context, when the Raiders made it through to the 2019 grand final, they won 15 regular season games.

In most seasons, 10 or 11 wins is usually enough to make the eight.

READ MORE Ricky Stuart remains the best fit for the Canberra Raiders

In analysing this season, the Raiders had four losses in games they had an opportunity to win, especially against the Warriors in round eight and the Dragons in Wollongong.

Optimism is generated by looking at the Raiders’ results against teams above them in the top eight.

They defeated the Sharks twice, including a 30-10 victory at Shark Park. The Raiders also had wins over the Melbourne Storm, the Roosters and South Sydney.

The Raiders went down 18-12 to the Cowboys in round six, and 28-20 to Parramatta.

The only team in the top eight that really put the Raiders to the sword is Penrith, with two comprehensive victories over Canberra in the regular season.

There is plenty to like about this year’s Raiders team.

They showed remarkable resilience after five losses in a row from round four. They also overcame the loss of coach Ricky Stuart for a game following the loss to the Panthers.

Hudson Young and Joe Tapine are two of the form forwards in the NRL, while we are starting to see the best of halfback Jamal Fogarty.

With the momentum created in the past two months since the controversial loss to the Dragons in Wollongong, the Raiders are capable of doing some damage in the finals series.

Original Article published by Tim Gavel on Riotact.

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