Raiders v Bulldogs preview

Raiders v Bulldogs preview

Low expectations turned to surprises as Raiders and Bulldogs show potential for finals contention in 2024.

League Unlimited

If you took in the outside noise heading into season 2024, it's fair to say not much was expected of the Green Machine nor the boys from Belmore, with the former tipped to take a step back following a surprise top 8 berth and the latter still deemed at least a season away from any significant improvements.

Fast forward to May and even the biggest cynics in Rugby League would consider that both sides are at least an outside chance of making the finals. The Raiders have maintained their scrappy identity of years past and are more than happy to take games into the trenches if that's what's needed to win, while the Bulldogs defence has become an elite unit, conceding just 17.22 points per game, a number good for third in the competition only behind frontrunners the Panthers and Sharks.

The two respective coaches of these sides deserve a lot of credit for how their teams are faring so far. Ricky Stuart, for all his flaws, always gets close to 100% out of his playing group, their unlikely 20-point comeback win over Manly two weeks ago without halfback Jamal Fogarty the newest addition to the mounting evidence of this.

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