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NRL: Raiders face huge Dragons clash

There are two games to wrap round 22 of the NRL on Sunday when the Canberra Raiders take on St George Illawarra, while the Gold Coast Titans face the Manly Sea Eagles.

The Raiders have the best chance of disrupting the top eight and are breathing down the neck of the Sydney Roosters who currently occupy eighth spot.

With games fast running out there can be no slip ups against the Dragons, who also need to win to keep their diminishing finals hopes alive.

The Sea Eagles are another side chasing finals but they are four points away from the eight and there will need to be a vast improvement on recent performances if they are to have any chance.

They face a Gold Coast Titans side that sit bottom of the ladder and are battling to avoid the wooden spoon.

Just the two games to look forward to but there is plenty riding on both so let’s take a closer look at each game as kick-off fast approaches.

What: Canberra Raiders v St George Illawarra Dragons
Where: GIO Stadium, Canberra
When: 14:00 (AEST) Sunday 14th August 2022
How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel
Odds: Raiders 47/100, Dragons 17/10

The Raiders have had a tough week following the defeat against Penrith and will have to do without coach Ricky Stuart for the clash against the Dragons.

For the first time in the history of the NRL a coach has been hit with a one-game ban following comments made in the press conference after the Panthers defeat.

Not only is Stuart banned from attending the game, he has also been unable to conduct training throughout the week. It is sure to have had an affect on the way the Raiders have prepared for the game.

Now only time will tell how it affects their performance on the pitch on Sunday. It is a huge game for the Raiders and one they really need to win.

The Raiders faithful will be hoping it can galvanise the green machine and they can pick up a crucial two points.

Canberra’s four remaining games of the season are against teams below them on the ladder so they have a great chance of making the eight if they can cope without Stuart for one game.

Joseph Tapine will be missing after suffering a rib injury while Nick Cotric is also out through suspension. There is some good news though as Xavier Savage will return at full-back after recovering from an ankle injury.

The Dragons need to win all four of their remaining games to have a chance of making the eight. They will need to be big wins as well due to their poor points differential.

They did beat the Raiders 12-10 at WIN Stadium when the two sides clashed six weeks ago and would no doubt settle for the same again to keep their hopes alive.

However Anthony Griffin’s side have struggled against teams in the top eight this season, winning just two from 12.

The Red V will be without Tyrell Sloan after he dropped out of the squad on Saturday to be replaced by Jaiyden Hunt.

What: Gold Coast Titans v Manly Sea Eagles
Where: Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
When: 16:05 (AEST) Sunday 14th August 2022
How to watch: Channel 9, Kayo, Foxtel
Odds: Titans 31/20, Sea Eagles 13/25

The Titans have picked up just the three wins in the 2022 NRL season to sit bottom of the ladder with four games remaining.

Unless they can find some form they are set to pick up their second wooden spoon in the space of four years. It has been a dramatic fall from grace considering the Titans played finals last season and were expected to kick on.

Justin Holbrook’s side have lost the last 10 games on the bounce and after the Sea Eagles, they face the Dragons, Knights and Warriors.

Wests Tigers are just two points ahead and the aim now is to get above them before the season is done and at least give some hope for 2023.

They will be missing Aaron Booth for the rest of the season following a serious knee injury so Erin Clark will step in and play at hooker.

Manly have hit a horror run of form at just the wrong time as three defeats on the bounce have dented their finals hopes.

Poor defence has been a big problem for them and they need to sort that out quickly if they are to have any chance of closing the four-point gap between them and the Roosters in eighth.

But while they have Daly Cherry-Evans, who has 16 try assists in 18 games this season, they are always in with a chance.

Kieran Foran has 10 assists and the Sea Eagles will be praying he overcomes a hamstring injury in time to play.

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