Monaghan set to start against Bulldogs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Monaghan set to start against Bulldogs

By David Beniuk 20/06/2008 06:44:13 PM Comments (0)

Canberra centre Joel Monaghan has trained for the first time this week and is likely to take his place for the Raiders in Saturday's NRL clash with the Bulldogs.

Monaghan picked up an abdominal muscle strain during last week's surprising 34-16 demolition of Brisbane and had been in serious doubt for the ANZ Stadium clash between two sides desperate to stay in touch with the top eight.

"At this stage we're just going to see how it settles down but he trained with us this morning so there was good signs there," Raiders skipper Alan Tongue told AAP.

"We've got to see how it comes up tomorrow as well but I think it all looks good."

Meanwhile, the Raiders have been taking seriously the issue of the Olympic stadium's slippery winter surface, something they have also been dealing with on a weekly basis in Canberra, where they play most of their games at night.

"We've spoken about that and this morning it was great because it was raining down in Canberra (during training) and pretty slippery and wet," Tongue said.

"That is one of the problems, often playing Saturday night games.

"We play a lot of night games and down in Canberra especially it's really dewy.

"It's like it's rained so the ball-handling conditions are pretty tough."

The Raiders will attempt to record back-to-back wins for the first time since rounds two and three this year after their most impressive win of the season last week.

"We need to back that up and we haven't done that well this year at all so it's something for us to build on," Tongue said.

"We're at that point in the season where it's sort of starting to become make or break time for us in our race for the finals.

"We need to start well and just stick to the processes we've been working on week-in week-out.

"You need to be completing up around 80, 85 per cent, you're in a match then and we need to do that."

The Bulldogs are coming off a bye last week which could be the tonic they need after five losses from their past six games.

They get prop Jarrad Hickey back from injury and interchange hooker Michael Sullivan back from suspension, though, and have won five of their past six against Canberra.

The Raiders have won only one of their six away games in 2008.

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