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Raiders vs Rabbitohs Preliminary Final Preview - Canberra to cruise to GF

The Canberra Raiders are looking to make it through to their first NRL Grand Final since 1994.
Josh Papalii
Josh Papalii will play a key role on Friday night (Getty Images)

Raiders vs Rabbitohs Preliminary Final Preview, Predictions & Value Bets

A Grand Final spot is on the line in the nation's capital as the Raiders host the Rabbitohs on Friday night.

South Sydney comes into this match on the back of a gritty 34-26 win over Manly at ANZ Stadium. Canberra had last week off following its spectacular qualifying final win over the Storm in Melbourne.

The Raiders are looking to make the Grand Final for the first time since 1994 and we're predicting they do it in style against a battle weary Bunnies outfit.

Raiders Team News

Joey Leilua returns to the Raiders' starting side after the qualifying final pre-game fireworks drama forced him to the bench.  Nick Cotric is named to play despite suffering a gash to the face in the same game. 

Star second rower Josh Papalii has been named to start and Dunamis Lui is on the bench.

Rabbitohs Team News

There isn't expected to be any changes for the Bunnies. 

Centre James Roberts has a slight concern around an injured thumb but isn't expected to miss Friday night's final.

Raiders vs Rabbitohs Head To Head

The Canberra vs South Sydney fixture has been an even contest in recent times.

The Raiders have won four of the last six match ups between the sides, but the Bunnies have claimed the points the last two times they have played in the nation's capital.

The teams have only met once in 2019 with South Sydney winning 16-12 in a low scoring clash.

Rabbitohs vs Roosters Match Up

The match-up of focus is the clash of the five-eighths Luke Keary and Cody Walker.

Luke Keary has been plagued throughout the year with concussion, but that hasn’t stopped him from doing his job. Keary is second in the NRL for try assists with 20 as well as second in line-break assists with 16. 

After playing representative football for NSW Cody Walker just hasn’t been the same. 

Wa;ler just hasn’t attacked the line as he did before Origin where he scored 11 tries and was involved all over the park. Leading up to that game, The Rabbitohs had only lost one game with Walker playing, but since they have only won five games. 

For Cody Walker to win this battle and put the Rabbitohs in with a chance, he needs to re-capture the form that got him an Origin jersey.

Raiders vs Rabbitohs Key Statistics

  • Each of Canberra's last five matches have gone under the total match points line
  • Nick Cotric has scored a try in three of Canberra's last four matches against South Sydney
  • Canberra has won four of its last six matches against South Sydney

Raiders vs Rabbitohs Match Facts

Where is the Raiders vs Rabbitohs match?

The Raiders vs Rabbitohs preliminary final is being held at GIO Stadium, which is located in Canberra, ACT.

The winner of the match gains the first spot in the 2019 NRL Grand Final.

When is the Raiders vs Rabbitohs match?

Canberra hosts this match in the nation's capital and it is slated to kick off at 7.50pm AEST.

The NRL is notorious for later starts to most of its matches so keep in mind that that time is not set in stone.

When is the last time the Raiders made the Grand Final?

It has been a lean period for the Canberra Raiders.

If the Raiders can deliver a win on Friday night it will be their first NRL Grand Final since winning the 1994 trophy.

Who will the winner play in the NRL Grand Final?

The winner of this match will play either the Melbourne Storm or last year's premiers the Sydney Roosters next weekend at ANZ Stadium.


We're expecting the Raiders to break one of the longest Grand Final droughts in the NRL on Friday night.

Our value bet of the evening is placing an anytime try scorer bet on Canberra's Nick Cotric, who has a terrific try scoring record against Souths.

Winning Team: Canberra Raiders @1.38 at Beteasy - 10 Units
Anytime Try Scorer: Nick Cotric @2.00 at Sportsbet - 5 Units

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