Canberra Raiders vs South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL Preliminary Finals Tips, Predictions and Tips - Raiders target first Grand Final since 1994

Andrew Hendrie 25 Sep 2019
  • Canberra Raiders meet South Sydney Rabbitohs in the NRL preliminary finals on Friday
  • Souths have won two of their last three encounters
Raiders face Rabbitohs on Friday (PA Images)

Canberra Raiders look to reach their first NRL Grand Final since 1994 when they play host to South Sydney Rabbitohs in the preliminary finals on Friday night.

Raiders vs Rabbitohs kicks off at 7.50pm AEST at GIO Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports and Channel 9 in Australia.

Prediction

Match Preview


The nation’s capital will be buzzing with nervous energy on Friday night as Canberra stand one win away from a first NRL Grand Final in a quarter of a century.

It’s been a tremendous season for the Raiders - one deserving of a chance to play for the premiership - and they will be fresh and raring to go after earning a week off after their brilliant win away to Melbourne in week one of the finals.

That was their second victory over the Storm at AAMI Park in the space of two months, which highlights their premiership credentials in itself. Ricky Stuart has improved his team’s defence significantly and he will reinforce that mindset into his troops coming into the biggest game of most of their careers.

Joey Leilua returns to the starting side this week, with Bailey Simonsson dropping back to the bench, while Nick Cotric has been named to play despite suffering a bad cut to his face against Melbourne.

Meanwhile, the Rabbitohs will be aiming to return to their first Grand Final since their drought-breaking premiership triumph over the Bulldogs in 2014.

However, Souths will need considerable improvement from their first two finals games if they are to ambush Canberra on Friday night.

The Rabbitohs have conceded 56 points in their finals fixtures against the Roosters and Manly, and if they don’t tighten up at the back, things could get ugly for Wayne Bennett’s men. Souths have named the same 17 players that got the job done agains Manly.

Souths were somewhat lucky to escape with victory, with Jake Trbojevic’s sin-binning in the last 15 minutes helping them significantly. I don’t think the Rabbitohs have been at their best since the Origin period, and it will be a big ask for them to step it up now. Canberra have been building to this moment all season and I expect them to lift and come away with the win and a spot in the Grand Final.

Match Odds


Canberra Raiders - $1.40
South Sydney Rabbitohs - $2.95

Stats


  • Souths have won two of their last three meetings
  • Rabbitohs prevailed 16-12 in Round 10
  • Souths have won their last three meetings at GIO Stadium

Teams


Raiders: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Nick Cotric 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Joseph Leilua 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Jack Wighton 7. Aidan Sezer 8. Josh Papalii 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Iosia Soliola 11. John Bateman 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Joseph Tapine 14. Bailey Simonsson 15. Emre Guler 16. Corey Horsburgh 17. Dunamis Lui 18. Sam Williams 19. Ryan Sutton 20. Siliva Havili 21. Sebastian Kris

Rabbitohs: 1. Adam Doueihi 2. Alex Johnston 3. James Roberts 4. Dane Gagai 5. Campbell Graham 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Thomas Burgess 9. Damien Cook 10. Liam Knight 11. John Sutton 12. Sam Burgess 13. Cameron Murray 14. George Burgess 15. Tevita Tatola 16. Ethan Lowe 17. Mark Nicholls 18. Jaydn Su’A 19. Corey Allan 20. Dean Britt 21. Mawene Hiroti

Tips



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Canberra Raiders vs South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL Preliminary Finals Tips, Predictions and Tips - Raiders target first Grand Final since 1994

Canberra Raiders look to reach their first NRL Grand Final since 1994 when they play host to South Sydney Rabbitohs in the preliminary finals on Friday night.

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