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Raider Papalii raring for Manly NRL clash

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/06/2017 Matt Coughlan

State of Origin might have robbed Manly of one of their star forwards, but Canberra's Josh Papalii will have no problems backing up for Sunday's NRL clash.

Sea Eagles prop Nate Myles has all but been ruled out of the match, with scans on Thursday confirming a torn ligament in his elbow.

Fellow forward Jake Trbojevic emerged unscathed from Wednesday night's series opener, as did Queensland's Papalii, the Raiders' only Origin player.

Canberra hooker Josh Hodgson said he had no doubts about Papalii's ability to back up from a bruising encounter.

"I'm sure he's a little bit dusty, a little bit banged up after the game," Hodgson said.

"(But) he's a smart guy and he's a professional.

"He knows how to look after his body and he wouldn't put his hand up if he wasn't right so I'm sure he'll be all good."

The Raiders will be out to avenge a round-eight golden-point loss when they meet the Sea Eagles on Sunday at Lottoland.

A third-consecutive win will build more momentum for the Raiders, who sit eighth and are rebuilding their season after a few earlier speed bumps.

"The past couple of weeks, we've really simplified things," Hodgson said.

He said the combination of five-eighth Blake Austin and halfback Aidan Sezer had been a big factor in their past two victories.

"Aidan's stepped up massively in terms of directing us around the park when we get close to their line," Hodgson said.

"I thought we've been good the last couple of weeks but there's still a lot of room for improvement."

Hodgson said an improved completion rate and getting the ball to bullocking forwards Shannon Boyd, Junior Paulo, Sia Soliola and Joe Tapine more regularly were also behind the Raiders' improvement.

And the addition of 112kg Papalii to their forward stocks is another major boost.

"When you've got people like that carrying the ball, they're tough to stop," Hodgson said.

"The more times you can get the ball in their hands, the better."

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