With the 2018 season drawing nearer, we will begin to look at how each team is shaping up for the season ahead.

Today, we take a look at the Canberra Raiders – and what their best 17 looks like.

Canberra Raiders 2018 Player Movements

2018 Gains
Brad Abbey (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, 2019), Cooper Bambling (2018), Craig Garvey (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, 2019), Kalani Going (2018), Charlie Gubb (New Zealand Warriors, 2019), Setefano Hala (2018), Siliva Havili (St George Illawarra Dragons, 2020), Ata Hingano (New Zealand Warriors, 2019), Corey Horsburgh (2019), Liam Knight (Sydney Roosters, 2020), Sebastian Kris (2019), Michael Oldfield (Penrith Panthers, 2020), Sam Williams (Wakefield Trinity, 2019)
2018 Losses
Kurt Baptiste (Sydney Roosters), Adam Clydsdale (retired), Lachlan Croker (Manly Sea Eagles), Brent Naden (Newcastle Knights), Kato Ottio (Widnes Vikings), Clay Priest (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Zac Santo (New Zealand Warriors), Scott Sorensen (Cronulla Sharks), Dave Taylor (Toronto Wolfpack), Jordan Turner (Huddersfield Giants)
Jarrod Croker (2020), Masivesi Dakuwaqa (2018), Joseph Leilua (2020), Jordan Rapana (2019), Elliott Whitehead (2020), Jack Wighton (2020)
Off Contract 2019
Brad Abbey, Luke Bateman, Ata Hingano, Corey Horsburgh, Royce Hunt, Sebastian Kris, Andre Niko, Brendan O'Hagan, Kyle Paterson, Jordan Rapana, Bailey Simonsson, Sam Williams, Hudson Young
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2018 Predicted Lineup

  1. Jack Wighton
  2. Nick Cotric
  3. Jarrod Croker ©
  4. Joseph Leilua
  5. Jordan Rapana
  6. Blake Austin
  7. Aidan Sezer
  8. Shannon Boyd
  9. Craig Garvey
  10. Junior Paulo
  11. Josh Papalii
  12. Elliott Whitehead
  13. Iosia Soliola
  14. Sam Williams
  15. Charlie Gubb
  16. Joseph Tapine
  17. Luke Bateman

Coach: Ricky Stuart

Reserves: Siliva Havili, Dunamis Lui, Brad Abbey.

The Big Question: Will the season-ending injury to Josh Hodgson see halves Aidan Sezer and Blake Austin step up to the mark and take on the burden after a disappointing 2017 season saw the pair rely heavily on their star hooker to create attacking opportunities.

Predicted Finish: 15th


  1. 15th??? YESSSS love it….keep the write off’s coming!!! Nothing suits us better than being the underdog. As displayed last year we don’t handle expectation too well. In 2016 we were expected to finish dead last or there abouts, finished 2nd and one dropped try away from the GF. Last year we were expected to be minor premiers…we simply couldn’t handle it. So the more you write us off the less pressure we have on our shoulders. So by all means….keep telling everyone that we have no chance, It suits us just fine…

    • greenblood, you have answered your own question, most teams want to be rated good , it gives them confidence , you just need a coach who can exploit that advantage , and the reality is that Stuart is not up for it, simple.

      Your team is really good and they should have been contending by now, this phony excuse of not being able to handle expectation doesn’t wash. do you think with the roster you have got , a Bellamy or Bennett would have accepted that? no way, get a new coach and watch your team excel.

      • You’re right penso. Bennett would accept nothing less than a team filled with rep players either QLD SOO or Kangaroos. Nothing but the best for Pappa Smurf. We don’t want to tarnish that bronze statue son to be placed out the front of Suncorp stadium, not when he is SO close to the finish line (but Kevin Walters is catching him penso) It’s like watching a badger and a stick insect in a foot race! Bahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  2. I think the Raiders are top eight material for sure. Last season they lost 8 games by 6 points or less. With a bit of luck those 16 premiership points had half of those went the other way they would of been close to the top four. A cant see Canberra losing eight close games again two season in a row. Predicted finish 6th

  3. Yeah they won’t finish 15th
    I reckon they will just miss the top 8 but
    Josh Hodgson is a massive loss!

    Prediction 9th

  4. My Predicted finish for Canberra is 12th. They won’t be as bad as some teams. There spine is still great if they are all healthy, have a great coach in Ricky. There wingers are fantastic when given ball and are on song. Forwards near to fire this year to be a hope of making the 8.

  5. I think they could be better than they are, but not with Stuart unfortunately. He coaches too much based on emotion, of which the impact on the team runs out eventually, which is a major reason all of his coaching jobs have ended prematurely IMO. He also does too much blame shifting. He is forever blasting the referees (some of it justified though), which I think is his way of trying to hide the fact that quite often his team just aren’t up to it.

    Look at the side on paper, good forward pack, strike out wide and so much potential in the halves. Stuart just hasn’t been able to get the best out of them though. Maybe they should make a play to bring Bellamy home when he finishes up at the Storm?

  6. I love it! Would not want it any other way to be written off. I hate to admit it but the mercurial team that is Canberra we thrive and perform much better when the pressure is not on us! 15? Id be inclined to think we may just finished 10 places higher than that. I say this with a grain of salt though, as I have stated before our half’s and fullback need to take responsibility of our structure and actually become a leader who commands authority rather than rely on Ad Lib lack of structure style of play.

    As we all know talent it self does not get you a premiership, structure and a game plan does. We do have a bucket load of individual talent but we tend to drop our bundle when it comes to grinding or leadership on the paddock.

    Unfortunately Hodgo will be surely missed! here is hoping Garvey or Havili step up and become the buy of the season. They do not have a better platform to put their money where their mouth is.

    Raider 2018 !

    • How can you ever be successful if you only perform when the pressure is off? Say you start the season expected to finish 15th, no pressure on the team so they string some wins together. All of a sudden sitting firmly in the top 8, perhaps even top 4. The pressure starts rising obviously and the target on the team gets bigger. Does the team then start to falter and lose more than win due to not being the underdog?

      A team can only be successful if it learns to deal with the pressure that comes with being successful,. you can’t always rely on being the underdog.

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