Raiders aim replicate Roosters’ power play

Frank-Paul Nu’uausala reckons Canberra can be just as dominant against Penrith on Sunday as his former NRL club the Sydney Roosters were earlier this month.

The tricolours’ powerful forward pack exposed a frail Panthers middle with ease in the round-18 clash, beating them 24-4 at Pepper Stadium.

Nu’uausala watched the match and is confident the Raiders can replicate their performance this weekend.

“The Roosters played power footy – we know we can play that type of footy, too,” the experienced prop said.

“It’s on us middles to defend well and attack well.

“If we do our job and we control their ruck, their middles, then we’ll win.”

The 28-year-old believed the return of Jack Wighton to fullback and Josh McCrone at halfback would be hugely helpful in keeping the team organised, especially after last week’s poor effort against Cronulla.

“It means better organisation in defence for us,” he said.

“Macca’s got a lot of experience, so he just comes in and tells us what to do, and (Blake) Austin just runs off that.”

Nu’uausala made eight hit-ups for 81 metres off the bench in the Raiders’ 21-20 loss to the Sharks, something he says coach Ricky Stuart wants to see more of.

“I spoke to Sticky and he said he wants more touches,” he said.

“So if I can get a carry or help the team out with a quick play-the-ball, it gives the halves a better chance.”

The Raiders boast a much better attacking record than the Panthers, having scored the second most points this season (an average of 23.7 per game) versus 15.9 per game – the league’s second lowest.

Canberra also have the equal best red zone attack, scoring a try from inside 20 from every 8.2 tackles they have in that area, compared to every 13.6 tackles from the Panthers – the worst record in the NRL.

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