Category: Raiders

Dugan pumped and ready to go

He has the speed, class and acceleration. Now Josh Dugan has the bulk. Canberra’s strength and conditioning coach Matt Ford revealed last night that Dugan had beefed up 6kg over summer and would start this year’s premiership at 95kg. Dugan’s final challenge to becoming a true star was to increase his lean frame. “Our goal was for Josh to have more size,” Ford said. “He throws his body around and needed his frame to be a little bigger this year. “And I think he has the potential to put on a few more kilos in coming years. He could end up between 95kg and 100kg.” Dugan looked a supreme athlete this month in the NRL All Stars match at Skilled Park and has been touted as a potential NSW fullback this year. Continue reading


Williams taking advantage of his chance

Young Raiders halfback Sam Williams said he’s looking forward to getting another chance in the top grade and would be excited to get another chance if selected in this weekend’s trial match against the Bulldogs in Tamworth. Williams made a solid debut in his first senior game on Saturday night in Bega and with Matt Orford in doubt for the Tamworth trip with his knee injury, the opportunity could open the door for Williams to get some game time in the halves alongside Josh McCrone and Mick Picker. Williams said he enjoyed his first taste at NRL level and would be more than willing if given another chance against the Bulldogs. “I loved every second of playing alongside the NRL squad and I would love to get another chance if Dave Furner wants me to go to Tamworth,” Williams said. Continue reading

Raiders name squad for this weekends trial

The Canberra Raiders will take 28 players into their first trial match of the 2011 season this weekend, when they take on the Melbourne Storm in Bega on Saturday night. The Raiders will be missing some players through injury, with Alan Tongue (Ribs), Blake Ferguson (Finger), Matt Orford (Knee) and Joel Thompson (Ribs) unavailable for the first trial, while Josh Dugan will be rested following his man of the match performance in the All-Stars game last Saturday night. Tom Learoyd-Lahrs has been named in the squad, but could be an omission based on judiciary proceedings this week. The 28 man squad is full of new faces that have yet to play at NRL level and Coach David Furner said it’s an opportunity for them to step up and show what they can offer to the team. Continue reading

Once the season proper starts I will be looking at each team and some of their key players as we get closer to the start of the silly season – the bye rounds and I’ll use “Dream Team Pro” so at least their will be a bit more information and statistics than last year.

Every year round 9 has a huge impact on coaches with ½ the NRL clubs (8) having their first bye round.  No doubt everyone has had a good look at bye rounds when developing a strategy for the 2011 campaign and finalising your 25-man squad before the round 1 kick of on March 11. 

There is no point in talking about individual players before there is some form on the board so I’ll just point out a couple of other things for the newer coaches to Dream Team that you will need to take into consideration when finalising on your squad.  Continue reading

The Judiciary

Wests Tigers backrower Liam Fulton will miss just one NRL trial match after benefiting from a double discount on a dangerous throw charge. The match review committee on Monday handed Fulton a grade two charge after an ugly tackle on Johnathan Thurston in Saturday night’s All Stars clash on the Gold Coast – an infringement which carries a base penalty of 325 points. But discounts for an early guilty plea and a clean record over the last seven seasons reduced the ban to just one game – which Fulton will serve when the Tigers take on Parramatta in Saturday night’s pre-season clash at Campbelltown Stadium. He will be back on deck for the Tigers’ final trial, when they take on Sydney Roosters on February 26. Continue reading

Fulton facing ban

Wests Tigers backrower Liam Fulton could miss the opening round of the NRL season after he was charged with making a dangerous throw in Saturday night’s All Stars match. Fulton, who was only called into the All Stars squad after club-mates Gareth Ellis and Chris Heighington were both ruled out through injury, was hit with a grade two dangerous throw for his ugly tackle on Indigenous All Stars skipper Johnathan Thurston. The 26-year-old faces a two-match ban with an early guilty plea and three games if he unsuccessfully fights the charge. With players allowed to count two official trial games as part of their suspension, Fulton would miss the round one clash against Canterbury if he unsuccessfully fights the charge. Continue reading

Ferguson to miss trials

The Canberra Raiders have been dealt a blow ahead of their trial match period, with news today that Blake Ferguson will be unavailable for both trials, due to a break in his finger which he sustained at training on Wednesday. The good news for Ferguson and the team is that he will be available for round one against his former side for Cronulla, as he will undergo surgery on Tuesday to repair the fracture to his left ring finger. Ferguson said he was bitterly disappointed to be missing the two Raiders trial matches, but said he was still the fittest he’d been for a number of seasons. “It’s very frustrating to come so close to kick-off and have to miss both trials but it’s something I have to get past and make sure I’m ready to go for round one,” Ferguson said. “It’s a shame because it’s the fittest I’ve been for a few years and I was really keen to get on the field, but I’ll just have to wait a couple more weeks now.”

This is a critical position for DT coaches so if you don’t score well here you are going to struggle to get a high 700 score and a win.  There are different combinations used by coaches through the year but the top 10 DT coaches at least Campese (49.00) and Soward (46.83) are the favoured two, featuring in all but three teams.  As for the NEX-Cup try and find a top team without Hodgkinson (42.35) but there is a real mix with the 2nd spot.

With my review of the halves I have used 45 as the bench mark score by now I think we would all be disappointed if our halves didn’t at least get that score each week.  Again the table below does tell the story and if you haven’t settled on you combination this might help you out.  

  GMS Ave Total Pts Tries  Goal MG TA KM Oth Lost Pts >= 45 % >= 45
Campese 18 49.00 882 68 80 378 345 96 -85 10 55.56%
Soward 18 46.83 843 130 90 179 474 57 -87 12 66.67%
Prince 13 45.77 595 86 46 194 268 73 -72 7 53.85%
Hodgkinson 17 42.35 720 12 65 432 234 54 -77 7 41.18%
Cronk 15 42.33 635 12 54 295 273 69 -68 5 33.33%
Sutton 18 40.22 724 12 115 340 205 132 -80 6 33.33%
Harrison 14 40.21 563 12 116 471 0 18 -54 5 35.71%
Carney 18 37.61 677 172 157 186 140 123 -101 5 27.78%
Maloney 17 36.88 627 130 83 292 236 41 -155 4 23.53%

Continue reading

Raiders welcome back guns for run to the finals

In-form Canberra are preparing to welcome back their cavalry as they look to turn three straight wins into a crack at the NRL finals. Topping the news that electrifying fullback Josh Dugan has avoided serious injury, the Raiders will have Test prop David Shillington, skipper Alan Tongue, utility Glen Buttriss and lock Shaun Fensom back for the run to September. Scans have shown Dugan has no structural damage to a shoulder he injured in Saturday’s 20-13 win over Cronulla, the Raiders’ third straight which left them two points outside the eight. “It was a bruised shoulder blade I believe but at this end of the season you start to carry a few niggly injuries,” coach David Furner told reporters on Monday. “He should be right.” Prop Scott Logan will have an ultrasound on Tuesday on his injured finger despite initial scans showing no fracture. Continue reading

Josh Dugan awaiting scan results on chest injury

A possible sternum injury to rising star Josh Dugan is just one of the problems Canberra face as they attempt to find an unexpected spot in the NRL final eight. The recently re-signed fullback pulled up clutching at his torso in the 55th minute of the Raiders’ 20-13 win over Cronulla on Saturday night. Dugan will undergo a scan on Monday alongside veteran prop Scott Logan who seems to have a fractured finger. “The club will have to check it tomorrow as nothing is open today,” a club spokesman said on Sunday. The injuries add to a growing list of top tier players on the sidelines at Canberra, a list that includes tackling machine and skipper Alan Tongue. Alongside the injuries is the draw that works against the green machine in the coming weeks. Despite winning three on the trot, Canberra will go in as underdogs against Penrith, St George-Illawarra and Melbourne as the competition heads towards its climax. Coach David Furner was happy with the victory over the Sharks even though it didn’t come easily.