Parramatta winger Semi Radradra can cap off a stellar year for the Eels by equalling Steve Ella’s 33-year record for most tries in a single season for the club.
Despite a disappointing season for the blue-and-gold, the 23-year-old needs just two tries to join Ella on 23 tries despite missing six games earlier this year.
It’s been an impressive rise for the Fijian talent, who only made his NRL debut in 2012 but has now stamped himself as one of the game’s premier finishers.
Eels coach Brad Arthur said Radradra’s feats were admiring after missing a large chunk of the early season due to a knee injury.
“But it’s also important to realise that a lot of his tries have been created from some very good lead up work from that left edge,” he said on Saturday.
“And they’ve formed a very good combination over the last two years, Corey (Norman), Manu (Ma’u), then we’ve had different centres throughout the year.
“And I’m sure Semi’s aware of that.”
However Arthur also pointed to other improvements in Radradra’s game that has turned him into a more well-rounded player.
“It’s not just the scoring,” he said.
“He’s able to stop tries now and he does a lot of work off the ball and he talks a lot more now too.”
The 11th-placed Eels face off on Sunday against a Canberra side who sit in 10th spot on the competition ladder.
The Raiders have lost fullback Jack Wighton to suspension, while standout five-eighth Blake Austin will miss the final game of the year due to a shoulder problem.
Winger Sisa Waqa pushes to the backfield, with Jordan Rapana taking his place on the edge.
Off-contract playmaker Mitch Cornish will fill in at the halves.
The NRL has also announced that the shot clock will be trialled for the match, given a result either will won’t affect the competition table.
STATS THAT MATTER
* The 50 matches between these two sides have been evenly split, however the Raiders have won five of the past six.
* If Canberra lose this game by two points or less, they will be just the second team in premiership history to have lost six games in a season by that margin.
* The Eels have given up six halftime leaders this season – the most of any team.