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Canberra's Jarrod Croker caught in a St George Illawarra defensive sandwich.

The Raiders haven't had much to be excited about in recent years but a certain hoodoo surrounding their highly anticipated fixtures with St George Illawarra has kept the Green Machine faithful happy.

That was until about four months ago when, after 14 years of supremacy, the Raiders were finally beaten by the Dragons at fortress GIO Stadium. 

Having not lost to the Red V since 2007 at all venues, the Raiders' illustrious streak came to an end and centre Jarrod Croker wants to make amends next season.

"It's always good to play against the Dragons," Croker told

"Until last year we had a brilliant record against them until they beat us, so we'll be looking to get one back on them.

"It will be exciting to play against them. Our fixture against the Dragons always draws a fair crowd as well so we'll be looking to start up [a winning streak] again I guess."

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Croker's anticipation for the clash mirrors that of former Raiders and current Dragon Joel Thompson – who can't wait to face his old club again – but the Canberra centre said there was unlikely to be much trash talk in the lead-up to the game.

"There's a fair bit written in the media about the hoodoo and that. I'd like to think it will be a bit quieter this year with that sort of stuff," Croker said. 

"Joely will probably do a bit of dribbling through the week but that's about it really, mate. It won't be anything too serious."

Old rivalries aside, Croker said he doesn't mind facing the competition's heavyweights as a way for the Raiders to prove themselves against the best.

"You have your Melbournes and your other top teams like the Sea Eagles and the Roosters… which you get up for," he said.

"[Those games] do bring the best out of you. Being one of the better teams in the competition, they get others trying to knock them off week-in, week-out so we'll be looking to do to the same thing as well."

Away from the NRL, Croker wouldn't mind getting a crack at a Country representative jumper either – a feat which has eluded him his entire career.

"Every player wants to play representative football so there's no denying that I'd love to play for Country," Croker said. "That part will take care of itself though. I just have to concentrate on getting fit and getting ready for the start of the season."


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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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