Sunday’s first NRL Round 17 match is between Canberra Raiders and Newcastle Knights. The opening bounce is set to commence at 12:05 local time with the game to be played at GIO Stadium. The home team Canberra Raiders are the favourites for the match. View our preview and teams for the game between Canberra Raiders and Newcastle Knights.
When: 12:05 | Sunday 03/07/2016
Where: GIO Stadium
Tip: Canberra Raiders at $1.05
Value Tip: First Try Scorer: Jack Wighton at $13.00
Raiders: 1 Jack Wighton 2 Brenko Lee 3 Jarrod Croker 4 Joseph Leilua 5 Jordan Rapana 6 Blake Austin 7 Aidan Sezer 8 Junior Paulo 9 Josh Hodgson 10 Shannon Boyd 11 Josh Papalii 12 Elliot Whitehead 13 Luke Bateman Interchange: 14 Kurt Baptiste 15 Iosia Soliola 16 Paul Vaughan 17 Joseph Tapine.
Knights: 1 Dane Gagai 2 Nathan Ross 3 Sione Mata’utia 4 Peter Mata’Utia-Leifi 5 Brendan Elliot 6 Jack Cogger 7 Trent Hodkinson 8 Sam Mataora 9 Danny Levi 10 Korbin Sims 11 Jacob Saifiti 12 Mitchell Barnett 13 Jeremy Smith Interchange: 14 Tyler Randall 15 Robert Rochow 16 Daniel Saifiti 17 Mickey Paea 22 Joshua King.
Canberra hardman Sia Soliola and fullback Jack Wighton will be given a few extra days to prove their fitness for Sunday’s NRL clash with Newcastle following nasty chest injuries.
Soliola played with a sore shoulder and hurt rib in the Raiders’ last-start win over Gold Coast, while Wighton pushed on with an injured sternum.
The pair were on Tuesday named in an unchanged side to take on the Knights at GIO Stadium, but will be monitored during the week before being given the final green light.
Hookers Josh Hodgson and Kurt Baptiste, meanwhile, have been cleared to play after suffering concussion in the same match.
“We need those players back,” Queensland enforcer Josh Papalii said.
“Sia’s been a leader with his actions on and off the field, and for him to play with a bung shoulder and popped rib I don’t think there’s too many players out there who’d do the same thing.
“Everyone’s pretty important to our team but hopefully they pull up alright for Sunday.”
The Knights drew 24-24 the last time they met the Raiders at Hunter Stadium in round three, but have lost 11 of their last 12 matches.
Canberra, meanwhile, have won four of past five and sit seventh on the ladder.
“We’ve got a massive block of footy in the next month – there’s games that we can win and this is one on Sunday,” added Papalii.
“The Knights are going to come down pretty fired up and try to get the two points in Canberra, but we can’t let that happen.”
It will be in-form centre Joey Leilua’s first game against his old club, and potentially a chance for him to secure a spot in the NSW State of Origin side for game three.
Leilua – who missed out on selection for the opening two matches – said after Sunday’s win over the Titans he felt the Blues had picked the wrong team for the series, in which Queensland hold an unassailable 2-0 lead.
*Odds correct at time of posting. Subject to change