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World News – AU – Starling and Havili prepare for the Smith challenge

Raiders co-captain Jarrod Croker believes his two bitches can match a Cameron Smith


These are the words of Raiders captain Jarrod Croker, when asked about the scale of the operation to counter the Cameron Smith effect in a match

« He’s a fair enough player, » said Croker, as hookers Tom Starling and Siliva Havili prepare to face Smith’s greatness at Suncorp Stadium on Friday

In truth though, the disappearance of Josh Hodgson (knee) saw the rise of Starling and Havili

“The first thing Tommy said to the team was, ‘I’m not Josh Hodgson’ But the way he runs the ball and sends the ball to our running halves, or big forwards, you have to look twice to think it’s not Josh

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Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

« In defense, he doesn’t let anyone down either And when Siliva has been there, he’s just as comfortable and efficient

« These two haven’t backed off They’re really playing with confidence and they’re not going into this game saying, ‘I have to beat Cameron Smith’

« They say, » I’ve been doing my job for three months, so I’m starting over « 

« Josh is still in the bubble with us and travels with us, is in the hangars talking to us so that we don’t lose his mind in this regard »

Croker admitted a dark cloud descended for a day or two over the playgroup when Hodgson’s scans showed a torn ACL – ironically while playing Storm in the ninth round

« At first it was a real bummer I wanted to pick up a few golf clubs at the start, but it wasn’t a rejection of the cot mentality toys, » said Croker at NRLcom

« You immediately felt it for him – his second ACL and they are not fun So you want to make sure your mate is doing great on top of everything

« But losing him is losing one of the best whores in the game like Cam Smith or Damien Cook It’s such a big loss

« We couldn’t beat around the bush – he was gone for the year – so we looked for other players to do the job »

So with an issue resolved, other potential speed bumps have emerged with season-ending injuries to Corey Horsburgh (foot), Emre Guler (ankle), Curtis Scott (leg) and Bailey Simonsson (shoulder) ) Fortunately, Sia Soliola (facial fractures) has returned

Remarkably, 10 of the 13 starting players from the 2019 Raiders Grand Final are still there for this week’s preliminary final Only Hodgson, Joey Leilua (Wests Tigers) and Aidan Sezer (Huddersfield) are missing

« You’re always nervous going into big games like this, but knowing that (10 starters) gives you confidence back. There are only three compared to last year, so that’s a really good thing when you speak from experience, ”said Croker

Croker faces off against an old friend of Storm center-right Brenko Lee, who spent three seasons in the Raiders’ colors (2014-16)

« We won’t be friends on Friday night but we got along really well when he was here, » said Croker

« I don’t see him as much as I used to, but he’s a nice, good, young kid through and through He found a home there with Melbourne and he obviously plays really well

« He’s a tough player to deal with. He’s got a lot of skill, good on his feet, with a defense and a kick. I want to do better than last week against Joey Manu

« We had a few tries at each other and Joey had me a couple of times Joey is similar to Brenko in strength so I know where I need to improve »

Canberra Raiders, Melbourne Storm, Tom Starling

World News – AU – Starling and Havili prepare for Smith challenge

SOURCE: https://www.w24news.com

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