Watch Canberra Raiders vs Newcastle Knights Live Stream - Saturday 08 May 07:00

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Saturday 08 May 07:00

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NRL ROUND 9

CANBERRA RAIDERS VS NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS

SATURDAY MAY 8, 3 PM, MCDONALDS PARK, WAGGA WAGGA

Wagga Wagga takes it’s turn in hosting a Saturday afternoon clash, as the NRL continues to encourage teams to take the game to the bush, and Canberra tackle the Knights, in what promises to be an interesting affair, between two teams who have underwhelmed so far in 2021.  Canberra started the year with lofty ambitions, and have a 3-5 record after a third of the season, with their latest trouble coming against Souths, when they lost 34-20, last Thursday.  Newcastle too are 3-5, after making the top 8 in 2020, and suffered a terrible thrashing at the hands of the Roosters last Saturday, losing 38-4, which means both of these teams are well outside of the top 8.

Ricky Stuart continues to manage his forwards workloads, as this time, Ryan James misses out on selection, and is replaced by Josh Papali’i, as the Raiders need to start winning.  In a boon to their halves stocks, George Williams will play after missing out last weekend, but Hodgson and Croker are not fit yet, and neither is Nicoll-Klokstad, three vital cogs in their squad.  Kris is in doubt for this game, with the most logical solution being Whitehead at centre and Tapine to start, giving James a bench role, if changes are required.  Crossland will play for Newcastle, as they are dealt a blow, in the shape of Green not being fit after he suffered a rib injury last week, though Hunt returns at wing, in place of To’a.  Fitzgibbon and even Edrick Lee ought to be returning to the Knights team in upcoming fixtures, both adding plenty in their positions.

For just the 2nd time, Wagga hosts an NRL match, which will thrill many of the Canberra stars and even some of the Newcastle lads, as many of them are from the bush.  Newcastle were far too good for the Raiders, last June, and saw the likes of Best and Lee star with a pair of tries each, at Campbelltown, amidst the pandemic.  Both clubs have drifted in title markets, with Newcastle shot at $101, while the Raiders are still capable of returning to the contenders bracket of teams, at $21.  Canberra are $1.50 favourites to win, with a handicap market suggestion of 5 points to them, and the Novastrians are a good show at $2.50.

PREDICTION: Canberra to find form and win by 10.

BETTING TIP: $2.70 for the Raiders to win by 1-12 offers value.

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