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Three Key Points: Round 10 v Raiders

The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs face the Canberra Raiders at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday May 15, kicking off at 3pm as part of the NRL’s Magic Round in Brisbane this weekend.

Below are three things to know about the matchup:

Cotric tackles former teammates

Bulldogs 2021 recruit Nick Cotric comes face to face with his former teammates this weekend. The star outside back is a local junior from Canberra and spent four NRL seasons with the Raiders (2017 – 2020). He played 93 games, scored 46 tries, was a member of the 2019 Grand Final team who went down to the Roosters and appeared in the 2020 preliminary final loss to the Storm. In his debut season with the Raiders, he was named the Dally M Rookie of the Year. This week he runs out in the blue and whites against a number of his good mates and in his first season at Belmore, the 22-year old has made 37 tackles breaks, three line breaks, averages 132 running metres and grabbed his first four-pointer for the club in round seven.

Cotric gets his first try as a Bulldog

Two clubs looking for a win

The Bulldogs come into the round 10 fixture with only one win from their past five, whereas the Raiders have not won a game since round four, losing their past five. Over the past five weeks, the Bulldogs claimed an 18-12 victory over the Sharks in round seven, but went down to two of the top four teams (Storm and Eels), while the Raiders have suffered defeats to three of the top four teams (Rabbitohs, Eels and Panthers). Canterbury come into the clash off the back of a loss to the Dragons and Canberra head to Brisbane following an eight-point loss to the Knights. Both teams are hampered by injuries, but both are looking for that all important two points when they clash at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The previous meeting between the two teams was in round 16 last year with Canberra claiming a 34-20 win and either club is yet to taste victory at Magic Round.

Local juniors pair up in halves

The Bulldogs have named two local juniors in the halves for their round 10 clash with the Raiders. Jake Averillo will wear the number seven jersey and Brandon Wakeham will line-up in the famous number six. Averillo is a product of the Bankstown Sports/Moorebank Rams clubs, while Wakeham played his junior footy for the Chester Hill Hornets. Both have transitioned through the club’s junior rep programs and were members of the Westfield Sports High School team that claimed the national NRL Schoolboy Cup in 2016 with a win over a star-studded Kebra Park High team featuring Payne Hass, Connelly Lemuelu, Thomas Mikaele and Tanah Boyd. This week’s match will be the first time Jake wears the seven jersey after spending the opening nine rounds at five-eighth. Brandon will start for the first time in 2021 after spending three games as 18th man in rounds five, seven and eight. During the clash with the Cronulla Sharks (round 7), Wakeham entered the history books after he became the first player to come on as an 18th man following a controversial hit by Siosifa Talakai that floored Matt Doorey and saw the aggressive Shark sent to the sin bin. Doorey was officially ruled out of the game at halftime, allowing the Bulldogs to activate Wakeham under the NRL’s new foul play rules with the 22-year old playing the final five minutes of the match. Since making their NRL debuts, it will be the first time they start together in the halves.