This rushed piece of sportsball garbage is brought to you by the letter "R" and the number "3".

Instead of watching the Raiders, I was at a live comedy performance, showing how little dedication I have to the cause. Apparently I, too, bought into the narrative peddled by the lame-stream sports germalists that Canberra were going to get the wooden spoon.

(Or I have multiple interests beyond little toy soldiers, video games, and various codes of footy. You decide, dear reader.)

The road-trip to kiwiland is infamous as one of the NRL's toughest road trips, and it's not hard to see why.

New Zealand is three hours behind (or two presently, thanks to daylight savings) and getting there takes a three hour flight. This leaves two largely unappealing options:

You go early, and have to spend up to five days away from your family, or you go late, and get wrecked by transit-induced fatigue and jet lag.

The whole time, the Warriors are patiently waiting for you.

The inverse is also true for "the Wahs" however, meaning that any potential Kiwi side needs to be so much better than their competition it may be impossible for the New Zealand side to win a premiership.

Emphasis on may.

Anywho, the Green Machine travelled to one of the smaller stadiums used by the Crusaders, a Rugby Union side, instead of Mt. Smart. So it was smaller and looked like shit. Which makes no sense, when you consider that in most cases, Kiwi Rugby is so far ahead of Australian Rugby I'm not sure they play the same game.

Just like Korean eSports teams and everyone else.

But the locals didn't care and packed the place to the gills to watch their beloved Rugby League team. I'm not sure what that says about Rugby Union as a sport, but it can't be a good sign.

I only caught about 20 minutes of this game before I went to do something much better, but what I observed was pretty telling. The Warriors looked very likely at the start of the contest - Addin Fonua-Blake walking through the defensive line like it wasn't there suggested a cricket score was on the cards.

Then the twenty minute mark rolled around...

Oh boy, it's the latest selection headache. Do you take the young professional from Penrith who has Bateman-ized the Raiders defensively, or do you back the old warhorse who, as the rest of the club fell apart, showed loyalty to the club and helped steer it through troubled waters?

I'll tell you for sure, as soon as Elliott Whitehead got hooked, the Raiders improved out of sight defensively, and soon found themselves with the upper hand. Ethan Strange was denied, but it wasn't long until Matt Timoko found himself his first try.

And then I stopped watching the game - not out of a lack of interest, but because I have other hobbies. The Green faithful may pillory me now.

I watched the game back, but I'm not really sure what else there is to say. Canberra has always had a few games every season where they have an unheralded loss no-one cares about. It happened when they got cooked by the Roosters in 2015, there were a ton of middling performances in '17 and '18 when Ricky couldn't decide how to balance the three halves he'd bought - and this is another one of those.

The Raiders played tough, gritty football, and even held the lead at one stage. But eventually the Warriors proved too talented and Canberra couldn't wait to get on the plane and head home.

Canberra's stint at "the top of the ladder" lasted a whole round - whoop de doo.

I'd like to see more from the men in Green to know where we're at this season. They've had two really good showings, and one mediocre showing that I'm willing to write off.

And speaking of selection headaches, I'd love to know what James Schiller has to do in order to get a run. He was 18th man this week, and I'm not convinced that Appa or Cotric are good enough to keep him out of the side. It's a good problem to have, but Ricky's like me, he doesn't like to hurt people's feelings.

And that might come back to bite him whilst trying to keep Zac Hosking and Elliott Whitehead happy.

Raiders take on the Shorks this week in the shire, who have seen a form drop after booting Scummo as their number one ticket holder. Although they did get kneecapped by the Tigers last week. This'll be a good test - will the real Canberra side please stand up.

Catch you next time,

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