SG Ball Finals Week 1 Preview
Author : Finn Williamson Raiders Media
The Canberra Raiders S.G. Ball Cup side will take the field this Saturday in a sudden-death elimination final against the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs at HE Laybutt Field.
Raiders S.G. Ball Cup side head coach Ash Barnes believes his forwards will need back up last weekend’s performance to match the Bulldog’s strong forward pack.
“Our forwards did a fantastic job [on the weekend]. Caleb Esera and Trey Mooney really stood up for us through the middle third on the weekend,” Barnes said.
“For us this weekend, our forwards are going to have to do a really good job against a strong Dogs pack.”
The Bulldogs suffered their first loss of the season, going down 28-18 to the South Sydney Rabbitohs over the weekend. However, Barnes isn’t taking that result lightly going into this weekend’s sudden-death match.
“They’re a quality side [the Bulldogs]. That was their first loss of the year.
They’ve been in and around the top of the ladder for the entire year so I’m expecting them to come out firing,” Barnes said.
“They’ve got a big pack of forwards and I expect them to really come after us in those early stages.”
Ash Barnes also touched on his side’s turning point after their 30-24 loss to the Sydney Roosters almost a fortnight ago and the way his side needed to improve going into finals football.
“The previous week against the Roosters was our first game in three weeks, there was a little bit of rust. But, on the weekend [against the Dragons] was a demonstration of what they’re capable of,” Barnes said.
“We were able to play the style of football we wanted to and correct some things that we wanted to work on from the week before. I was quite pleased with the weekend’s performance.”
Although, the junior rep side is aware that anything can happen in finals football. Barnes will have his team prepared for what should be a block-buster game this Saturday.
“This stage of the season, it’s more about making sure the players have the energy for Saturday’s game,” Barnes said. “We’re just making sure we’re touching on the things that are important to us as a team and things that we value.
“We making sure they’re ready to go come Saturday. Everyone’s really excited.”
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