Season 2015 is on its way.
Welcome back, Green Vikings!
While the season proper may still be three weeks away, Rugby League has well and truly begun in 2015.
Over the weekend of Saturday the 31st of January and Sunday the 1st of February, the first event of the NRL calendar took place in the form of the Auckland Nines. It was an extremely successful tournament, with Premiership holders the South Sydney Rabbitohs taking out the title in a thrilling golden-try final against the Cronulla Sharks.
For the Canberra Raiders, the Nines didn’t bring much to get excited about. The Green Machine failed to make it past the qualifying stages, registering only one win—albeit an unbelievable one—against the New Zealand Warriors.
The Raiders could have gone further in the tournament with some luck in their opening match. The return of club legend Ken Nagas almost translated to a last-gasp win against the Tigers, but the failure to award a penalty try resulted in a heartbreaking loss. A supremely disappointing performance against the Titans in game three meant the sole win wasn’t enough to advance Canberra further.
The return of the All Stars game on Friday the 13th of February was one of the other highlights in the pre-season calendar. Jarrod Croker and Jack Wighton were the two representatives for the Canberra Raiders, and both put in solid—although subdued—performances. The victory for the Indigenous team was a popular and entertaining one.
The Raiders have also played one trial so far in the pre-season, with a solid victory against the Melbourne Storm 32-20 in Griffith, NSW. The side will play a final trial game against the Newcastle Knights.
Get ready, Green Vikings—the season is nigh!
Will things improve for Canberra in season 2015?