We’re going through every NRL club and examining how the shutdown of the competition due to the coronavirus crisis will affect them.
See also: Brisbane Broncos
Today we look at what the lockdown means for the Canberra Raiders.
Just like the Brisbane Broncos, the extended break from the NRL means that players can fast track their recovery without missing any football. Although the Raiders have somewhat of a small number of injuries, it does mean that Englishman and second-rower John Bateman can return to the field a lot sooner after having shoulder surgery.
It was expected that he will be back in the lime green jersey by at least round seven but with an extra month or two, it means he can come back sooner with ultimately not missing any football.
Sitting quite comfortably in the third spot on the ladder, it breaks momentum, especially for a team coming off a grand final. The first two weeks saw the Raiders jump out of the starting block as they dismantled the Gold Coast Titans in the opening round by 18 points and then again against New Zealand Warriors by 14 points.
This will break the all-round game of the Raiders particularly their defence which has been outstanding in the opening two games, as both opponents only managed to score six points against them.
This will be one of many clubs that will feel the strain of the coronavirus. The Raiders are owned by the Queanbeyan Leagues Club, which is under the Raiders group, who have six clubs under their name.
They posted a $1 million in revenue last year, but it may not be enough to stop the ripple effect, with many coaches, players and staff set to take a significant pay cut to help the club financially through this difficult period. But it all comes down to how long this break is.
The good news for the Raiders is that Jarrod Croker isn't going anywhere as he signed a four-year deal at the start season. While Luke Bateman, JJ Collins, Nick Cotric, Matt Frawley, Sebastian Kris, Sia Soliola, Tom Starling are heading to the end of their Raiders contract. Soliola, 34, will be wanting to stay in the capital for one more year along with Nick Cotric.
Canberra Raiders' favourite, Ricky Stuart isn't going anywhere after extending his contract to at least 2023 after taking the club to a grand final last year.
How they would've fared in 2020
The Raiders are well and truly in the premiership window, and judging by the first few games, who could disagree? Many predicted that the had the Raiders would finish in the top eight and higher. If they can reproduce their form from 2019 and the early rounds of this year, there's no reason why they won't be in the premiership race.
Where to from here
Given their defence was top-notch against the Titans and the Warriors, the Raiders do not need to change up their style. Once the season resumes, they should stick to what has worked well for them so far in recent times.