Origin star returns to boost Raiders

Canberra captain Alan Tongue is confident Raiders wrecking ball Tom Learoyd-Lahrs can rediscover the menacing form which earned him State of Origin selection when he returns from injury against the Dragons on Saturday night.Learoyd-Lahrs has been battling a medial ligament strain in his knee since representing NSW in their victory over Queensland in Brisbane last month.He has played just 27 minutes since his Origin debut, but Tongue is adamant the 23-year-old is fit and firing and will be a key weapon in trying to stop the St George Illawarra juggernaut at Canberra Stadium.”He was playing great footy leading up to when he played Origin and hopefully he can find some of that form again on Saturday,” Tongue said.”He’s dangerous out on that edge for us and he can also do some work up front for us too, so he’s a big part of our team, for sure.”Learoyd-Lahrs was chosen on the bench by coach David Furner as the Raiders sweat on the fitness of fellow NSW representative Joel Monaghan.The star centre was forced from the field early in the 23-20 loss to the Bulldogs on Saturday night, struggling to gain feeling in his leg after having a painkilling injection before kick-off. Tongue is hopeful Monaghan will train with the team on Friday. And while finals are out of the picture, the hard-working hooker or lock said the Raiders squad was determined to finish the season on a high note. “We’ve put a lot of hard work and effort into the season and come up short a few times,” he said.”We probably haven’t played our best consistent footy at home, but we want to finish on a high too, because we deserve to be a little bit higher on the ladder. “We were extremely disappointed looking back at the video (of the Bulldogs game); we could have won the game but needed to do better with the opportunities we had.”Tongue said five-eighth Terry Campese, who was dumped from the NSW team after the first Origin game in Melbourne, had started to regain confidence for the Raiders.The star playmaker had benefited from an impressive recent performances from the Canberra forward pack, Tongue said, including the 56-0 demolition of Brisbane a fortnight ago.”It’s definitely helped him,” he said.”The forwards were great against the Broncos, he was on the front foot all night and we did it against the Bulldogs as well.”
Nanjing Night Net

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.