Match Preview | Round 2

Match Preview | Round 2

In Round 2 of the NRL Telstra Premiership, the Roosters will make the trip to Canberra for the first time since 2013 to take on the Raiders on Saturday afternoon.

It’s set to be a scorcher in the nation’s capital, but both teams played under hot conditions in the opening round of the competition which should make things all the more interesting.

While the Raiders are buzzing on the back of a Round 1 victory over the Panthers, the Roosters are looking to turn things around after a disappointing start to the season.

There are plenty of things to look forward to on Saturday, but perhaps nothing more than the mouth-watering match-ups on show.

KEY MATCH-UPS

1. Blake Ferguson | Jack Wighton

2. Daniel Tupou | Edrick Lee

3. Dale Copley | Jarrod Croker (c)

4. Shaun Kenny-Dowall | Joey Leilua

5. Latrell Mitchell | Jordan Rapana

6. Jayden Nikorima | Lachlan Croker

7. Jackson Hastings | Sam Williams

8. Kane Evans | Shannon Boyd

9. Jake Friend (c) | Josh Hodgson

10. Dylan Napa | Frank-Paul Nuuausala

11. Aidan Guerra | Josh Papalli

12. Mitchell Aubusson | Elliott Whitehead

13. Isaac Liu | Shaun Fensom

INTERCHANGE

14. Sio Siua Taukeiaho | Kurt Baptiste

15. Sam Moa | Sia Soliola

16. Ian Henderson | Paul Vaughan

17. Vincent Leuluai | Jeff Lima

Match Preview | Round 2

Centres of attention: Two speedsters that boast footwork and finishing ability are old teammates Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Joseph Leilua.

Leilua debuted for the Roosters in 2010, playing three seasons at the Club in the first grade squad.

After moving on to the Knights in 2013, Leilua finds himself in Canberra this season under the watchful eye of former Roosters coach Ricky Stuart.

Leilua is a damaging runner of the ball, with plenty of speed and power that makes him not just a tough target to tackle, but a defender that doesn’t give much room to breathe.

Kenny-Dowall was solid in his first hit-out of the season, and will be looking to build on that performance against his old teammate. 

Match Preview | Round 2

May not be mates… It’s teammates galore on Saturday afternoon, as a couple of Queenslanders go head-to-head wearing number 11 on their backs this weekend.

If there’s one thing that is certain, it’s that this is a big match-up, and not just in literal size.

When State Of Origin rolls around in 2016, these two will both likely be wearing Maroon and running on the same side of the field.

However, it isn’t May just yet, and this weekend it is guaranteed that these two will not be playing friendly from the moment the ball kicks off.

Both play a similar style of game, and can punish when given an inch. 

Match Preview | Round 2

Old friends hit the hardest: Another pair of former teammates are a pair that do plenty of bruising for their respective Clubs, Dylan Napa and Frank-Paul Nuuausala.

During his time at the Roosters, he was known as ‘Frank-Paul The Wrecking Ball’ and for good reason.

Nuuausala runs hard, fast and gets through a mountain of work on the defensive end.

His counterpart on Saturday will be the hard-hitting Dylan Napa, who has been steadily improving over his first three years at the top level.

These two will run hard at each other on Saturday, and we don’t envy either of them.

LAST FIVE CLASHES

2015 | Roosters DEF Raiders 34-6 | Allianz Stadium

2014 | Roosters DEF Raiders 26-12 | Allianz Stadium

2013 | Roosters DEF Raiders 28-22 | Allianz Stadium

2013 | Raiders DEF Roosters 24-22 | Canberra Stadium

2012 | Raiders DEF Roosters 24-20 | Canberra Stadium

VERDICT

There will be plenty of entertainment at GIO Stadium on Saturday, but a win is never a guarantee at the Radiers fortress.

The Roosters have their work cut out for them, and will need an improved performance to get the job done.

It’s a battle that can be won if the Roosters stick to their structures and play the kind of football that everyone knows they’re capable of playing, and will need to be weary of a much-improved 2016 Canberra Raiders outfit.

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