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NRL: Sunday preview

Sunday afternoon is the battle of the basement in the NRL with the Bulldogs and Tigers going head-to-head, while the Raiders and Knights are out to boost their top eight hopes.

The Raiders are just four points away from the top eight, but the Knights are only one win behind them and could go level on points with a victory at GIO Stadium.

The interim coaches will go head-to-head in the later game and the Bulldogs should be full of confidence after pulling off a shock win over the Parramatta Eels on Monday.

Wighton blow for Raiders

What: Canberra Raiders v Newcastle Knights
Where: GIO Stadium, Canberra
When: 14:00 (AEST) Sunday 19th June, 2022
Odds: Raiders 1/3, Knights 47/20

The Raiders have been hit by the news that Jack Wighton has been ruled out of Sunday’s clash against the Knights.

The star five-eighth has come down with sickness and will sit out the visit of Newcastle. The news will also come as a huge blow to New South Wales coach Brad Fittler with Wighton also set to miss game two of State of Origin a week on Sunday.

Wighton starred playing at centre in game one and his loss will be another hammer blow for the Blues.

The same can be said for the Raiders, although they will still be confident of getting the job done without Wighton.

The Raiders slipped to a narrow 24-18 loss against the in-form Broncos last week but can take plenty of heart from the performance.

Ricky Stuart’s men have also been in good touch when winning four of the previous five games. The one defeat came against another premiership hopeful in the form of Parramatta.

The loss of Wighton is a setback, but there is one piece of good news for the Raiders as winger Jordan Rapana is set to return from a one-match suspension.

Newcastle can also boost their finals hopes with a win. They are just two points behind the Raiders and have played a game less so there is plenty on the line on Sunday afternoon.

The Knights have won two of their last four games and the two defeats have been against the high-flying Broncos and Storm so there is no shame there.

Sunday will be a tough assignment though as the Raiders are formidable on home soil.

The Knights will be boosted by the news that star fullback Kalyn Ponga has recovered from concussion and will take his place in the side.

Kurt Mann also returns to the side and will take the No.13 jersey.

Bulldogs aiming to go back-to-back

What: Canterbury Bulldogs v Wests Tigers
Where: CommBank Stadium, Sydney
When: 16:05 (AEST) Sunday 19th June, 2022
Odds: Bulldogs 41/50, Tigers 1/1

The Bulldogs should be buzzing after picking up just their third win of the season against the Parramatta Eels on Monday.

Not only did they beat the Eels, they did it convincingly 34-4 and now it is important they back it up with another win against the Tigers, who sit two places and two points above them on the ladder.

What will be most pleasing for the Bulldogs was the link-up play between two of their star recruits Matt Burton and Josh Addo-Carr.

It has taken time for them to gel down the left but the signs were certainly there against the Eels with the Addo-Carr grabbing another hat-trick of tries following his recent State of Origin snub.

Interim coach Mick Potter will be hoping for much of the same against the Tigers.

If the Bulldogs can get on a roll then it will also boost Potter’s chances of landing the gig full-time.

The Bulldogs will be without Chris Patolo for the clash after he suffered a head knock during the win over Parramatta. That opens the door for Raymond Faitala-Mariner to start the match.

The Wests Tigers beat the Bulldogs 36-22 on 20th May but plenty of water has passed under the bridge since then with Michael Maguire losing his job as coach.

Interim coach Brett Kimmorley took charge of his first game last week when the Tigers slipped to a 30-4 home defeat against the Manly Sea Eagles and he will want a response on Sunday.

The Tigers have been handed a huge boost with the news that playmaker Adam Doueihi is set to make his first appearance of the season after recovering from an ACL injury he suffered in 2021.

Brent Naden is suspended and will be replaced by Asu Kepaoa.

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