Last October the Roosters beat the Raiders in the grand final to secure back-to-back Telstra Premierships. Now the two teams meet in a sudden-death final at the SCG.
The Roosters enter the match having lost their past two matches, including a thrilling 29-28 defeat at the hands of Penrith in a qualifying final. while the Raiders overcame a slow start to end Cronulla's season in an elimination final.
The teams met twice during the regular season, with the Raiders winning 24-20 at the SCG in round 10 before the Roosters prevailed 18-6 at GIO Stadium in round 17.
A date with the Storm in a preliminary final awaits the winner of this contest.
Match: Roosters v Raiders
Finals Week 2 -
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
Roosters: Mitchell Aubusson will start in the second row this week, while Angus Crichton shuffles to the interchange bench. Lindsay Collins is out of the line-up due to a minor groin complaint, which will again see Nat Butcher come into the 17 on the interchange bench.
Lachlan Lam is the other match-day omission.
A double boost for the premiers with hooker Jake Friend (head knock) and interchange forward Sonny Bill Williams (neck) named to return. Freddy Lussick, who wore the No.9 last week, has been left out of the squad altogether.
Prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was charged for a high tackle on Dylan Edwards but fortunately for him he only incurred a fine.
Daniel Suluka-Fifita and Matt Ikuvalu were omitted from the reserves 24 hours from kick-off. The Roosters have won four of their past five games against the Raiders.
Raiders: Canberra have made two match-day changes to their starting pack. Siliva Havili comes in at hooker and Hudson Young at prop with Tom Starling and Sia Soliola sliding back to the bench.
Sam Williams and Matthew Timoko are the final cuts from the match-day line-up.
Coach Ricky Stuart named the same 17 players for this do-or-die clash after the side came through unscathed against the Sharks. Lock Joseph Tapine will play his 100th game for the club.
Kai O'Donnell and Michael Oldfield were the first players to drop off the extended bench on Thursday night.
Match: Roosters v Raiders
Finals Week 2 -
Fullback for Roosters is number 1 James TedescoFullback for Raiders is number 1 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
Winger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel TupouWinger for Raiders is number 2 Semi Valemei
Centre for Roosters is number 3 Josh MorrisCentre for Raiders is number 3 Jarrod Croker
Centre for Roosters is number 4 Joseph ManuCentre for Raiders is number 4 Jordan Rapana
Winger for Roosters is number 5 Brett MorrisWinger for Raiders is number 5 Nick Cotric
Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Luke KearyFive-Eighth for Raiders is number 6 Jack Wighton
Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Kyle FlanaganHalfback for Raiders is number 7 George Williams
Prop for Roosters is number 8 Jared Waerea-HargreavesProp for Raiders is number 8 Josh Papalii
Hooker for Roosters is number 9 Jake FriendHooker for Raiders is number 14 Siliva Havili
Prop for Roosters is number 10 Siosiua TaukeiahoProp for Raiders is number 16 Hudson Young
2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Boyd Cordner2nd Row for Raiders is number 11 John Bateman
2nd Row for Roosters is number 16 Mitchell Aubusson2nd Row for Raiders is number 12 Elliott Whitehead
Lock for Roosters is number 13 Isaac LiuLock for Raiders is number 13 Joseph Tapine
Interchange for Roosters is number 12 Angus CrichtonInterchange for Raiders is number 9 Tom Starling
Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Sitili TupouniuaInterchange for Raiders is number 10 Iosia Soliola
Interchange for Roosters is number 17 Sonny Bill WilliamsInterchange for Raiders is number 15 Dunamis Lui
Interchange for Roosters is number 18 Nat ButcherInterchange for Raiders is number 17 Corey Harawira-Naera
- Referee: Ashley Klein
- Touch Judge: Chris Butler
- Touch Judge: Chris Sutton
Josh Papalii v Siosiua Taukeiaho. Both rank in the top 10 for metres gained among forwards in 2020. Papalii is the on-field leader of the Raiders pack, while such is the development of Taukeiaho he now rivals both Boyd Cordner and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves as the main man for the Roosters. The battle in the middle of the field will prove decisive.
The Raiders beat the Sharks handily in the end, but a completion rate of just 68% would not have pleased coach Ricky Stuart. Canberra do chance their arm in attack, but they'll want that percentage north of 80% as they attempt to end the Roosters' season.