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Having narrowly missed out on a premiership in 2019, the Canberra Raiders overcame some long odds to reach the preliminary finals again in 2020.
The 2021 NRL season was not so fruitful, however, as the Raiders slipped down to 10th on the ladder.
Can Ricky Stuart’s men rediscover their best in 2022? Let’s see where they sit in this year’s NRL betting markets.
|Home ground:||GIO Stadium|
|Captains:||Jarrod Croker, Elliot Whitehead|
|Premierships:||Three – 1989, 1990, 1994|
|2021 ladder finish:||10th (10-14)|
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|2022 Premiership||Make Finals||Make Top 4|
There are dozens of NRL futures markets for the Raiders, but where are they likely to return some real value?
Click on the tabs below to get more analysis on these markets:
|1||Cronulla Sharks||GIO Stadium||Friday, March 11||8pm|
|2||North Queensland Cowboys||Qld Country Bank Stadium||Saturday, March 19||5:15pm|
|3||Gold Coast Titans||GIO Stadium||Saturday, March 26||3pm|
|4||Manly Sea Eagles||Glen Willow Oval||Saturday, April 2||3pm|
|5||Melbourne Storm||McDonalds Park||Saturday, April 9||3pm|
|6||North Queensland Cowboys||GIO Stadium||Thursday, April 14||8pm|
|7||Penrith Panthers||BlueBet Stadium||Sunday, April 24||4pm|
|8||New Zealand Warriors||Moreton Daily Stadium||Saturday, April 30||5:30pm|
|9||Canterbury Bulldogs||GIO Stadium||Friday, May 6||6pm|
|10||Cronulla Sharks||Suncorp Stadium||Sunday, May 15||4pm|
|11||South Sydney Rabbitohs||Apex Oval||Sunday, May 22||2pm|
|12||Parramatta Eels||GIO Stadium||Sunday, May 29||2pm|
|13||Sydney Roosters||GIO Stadium||Sunday, June 5||4pm|
|14||Brisbane Broncos||Suncorp Stadium||Saturday, June 11||7:35pm|
|15||Newcastle Knights||GIO Stadium||Sunday, June 19||4pm|
|16||St George Illawarra Dragons||WIN Stadium||Sunday, July 3||4:05pm|
|18||Melbourne Storm||AAMI Park||Sunday, July 17||4:05pm|
|19||New Zealand Warriors||GIO Stadium||Saturday, July 23||3pm|
|20||Gold Coast Titans||Cbus Super Stadium||Saturday, July 30||3pm|
|21||Penrith Panthers||GIO Stadium||Saturday, August 6||5:30pm|
|22||St George Illawarra Dragons||GIO Stadium||Sunday, August 14||2pm|
|23||Newcastle Knights||McDonald Jones Stadium||Sunday, August 21||4:05pm|
|24||Manly Sea Eagles||GIO Stadium||Saturday, August 27||3pm|
|25||Wests Tigers||Leichhardt Oval||Sunday, September 4||4:05pm|
This could be a critical year in Jack Wighton’s career. After winning the Clive Churchill Medal in 2019 and the Dally M Medal in 2020, the Canberra playmaker was well below his brilliant best from most of 2021. With so much competition for State of Origin places in the NSW setup, Wighton will need to make a strong start to 2022 to ensure he retains a spot in Brad Fittler’s best 17.
Crowned the Meninga Medalist for the club’s Player of the Season on three occasions, Josh Papalii has established himself as one of the best props in the game. Having played most of his career in the second-row, he was switched over to the middle in 2018 and hasn’t looked back since. With the Raiders losing a few senior players in recent years, it’ll be up to blokes like Papalii to lead the way.
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad made the switch from the New Zealand Warriors at the start of 2019 and quickly established himself as a key player for the Canberra Raiders. His hustle and bustle in the fullback role has allowed Jack Wighton step into the five-eighth slot, which has had an enormous impact on Canberra’s fortunes. With injury restricting him to just eight appearances last season, CNK will be eager to get back out there and find the sort of form that helped Canberra reach a grand final.
It did not take long for the Raiders to become a genuine force. They reached the finals for the first time in 1984 and lost to Manly in the decider three years later. The floodgates opened when the likes of Mal Meninga, Laurie Daley, Ricky Stuart and Glenn Lazarus inspired Canberra to a 19-14 win over Balmain in the 1989 NSWRL Grand Final. They defended that title in 1990, fell just short in ’91 and added a third flag in ’94.
The formation of the Australian Rugby League and the rival Super League marked the end of Canberra’s golden age. Their star players of the ’80s retired or departed, while the advent of several new franchises made it difficult to recruit and retain the best available talent. Although the Raiders have reached finals 11 times since 2000, they have only had one invite to the big dance.