The Raiders produced a stirring comeback to force golden point against the Eels but Ricky Stuart wasn't overly impressed with what he witnessed from last year's runners-up.
In contrast, Paul McGregor must have taken plenty of positives out of his side's performance against the Roosters, even though the Dragons came up empty.
For many years the Dragons found it impossible to win in Canberra and they are sure to face a hostile reception this weekend from a small but vocal crowd returning to GIO Stadium for the first time since round one.
A broken nose suffered in the rugged clash against the Eels won't slow down impressive Raiders half George Wiliams and his showdown with the Dragons' mature age rookie Adam Clune will be one of many intriguing clashes in Canberra.
Match: Raiders v Dragons
Round 8 -
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
Raiders: Ricky Stuart has made late changes, promoting Emre Guler and Ryan Sutton to the starting lineup. Josh Papalii and Joseph Tapine will come off the bench. Bailey Simonsson moves from the interchange to replace Jordan Rapana on the wing and Michael Oldfield replaces Curtis Scott at centre, with Scott dropping to the bench. Halfback George Williams broke his nose last week but will be fine to play. Tom Starling and Matt Frawley were the last players pruned from the reserves, while Dunamis Lui and Kai O'Donnell were omitted 24 hours before kick-off. The Raiders have won only two of their past five games at GIO Stadium.
Dragons: No changes for the Dragons, who have won five of their past seven games against the Raiders. Tristan Sailor and Eddie Blacker were trimmed from the squad an hour prior to kick-off, while Billy Brittain and Tim Lafai were omitted on Thursday.
Fullback for Raiders is number 1 Charnze Nicoll-KlokstadFullback for Dragons is number 1 Matt Dufty
Winger for Raiders is number 2 Bailey SimonssonWinger for Dragons is number 2 Jason Saab
Centre for Raiders is number 3 Jarrod CrokerCentre for Dragons is number 3 Euan Aitken
Centre for Raiders is number 4 Michael OldfieldCentre for Dragons is number 4 Zac Lomax
Winger for Raiders is number 5 Nick CotricWinger for Dragons is number 5 Mikaele Ravalawa
Five-Eighth for Raiders is number 6 Jack WightonFive-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Corey Norman
Halfback for Raiders is number 7 George WilliamsHalfback for Dragons is number 7 Adam Clune
Prop for Raiders is number 10 Iosia SoliolaProp for Dragons is number 8 Blake Lawrie
Hooker for Raiders is number 9 Josh HodgsonHooker for Dragons is number 9 Cameron McInnes
Prop for Raiders is number 15 Emre GulerProp for Dragons is number 10 Paul Vaughan
2nd Row for Raiders is number 11 Hudson Young2nd Row for Dragons is number 11 Tyson Frizell
2nd Row for Raiders is number 12 Elliott Whitehead2nd Row for Dragons is number 12 Tyrell Fuimaono
Lock for Raiders is number 16 Ryan SuttonLock for Dragons is number 13 Trent Merrin
Interchange for Raiders is number 8 Josh PapaliiInterchange for Dragons is number 14 Ben Hunt
Interchange for Raiders is number 13 Joseph TapineInterchange for Dragons is number 15 Josh Kerr
Interchange for Raiders is number 14 Curtis ScottInterchange for Dragons is number 16 Korbin Sims
Interchange for Raiders is number 17 Siliva HaviliInterchange for Dragons is number 17 Jackson Ford
- Referee: Matt Cecchin
- Touch Judge: Henry Perenara
- Touch Judge: Drew Oultram
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad v Matt Dufty. Raiders fullback CNK scored two tries last week to help force the game into over-time and they’ll need his attacking magic again. Dragons No.1 Dufty has been sensational for the last three weeks, unveiling an awesome passing game that has led to him setting up five tries.
Raiders hooker Josh Hodgson has made 299 tackles so far in 2020 – good enough for eighth best in the NRL. Concerningly for the England international, he is credited with a NRL-high 42 missed tackles.