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Jack Wighton five-eighth experiment not scrapped yet: Canberra Raiders

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He's been thrown back into the centres to rediscover his confidence, but Canberra's Jack Wighton five-eighth experiment isn't scrapped just yet. 

Raiders assistant coach Dean Pay hinted Wighton's long-term future remained in the halves, despite Canberra finally yielding and moving him back out wide for Sunday's home clash with Penrith after back-to-back hidings by Manly and New Zealand. 

The Raiders haven't ruled out re-uniting Jack Wighton and Terry Campese in the halves after this weekend.

The Raiders haven't ruled out re-uniting Jack Wighton and Terry Campese in the halves after this weekend. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

The 21-year-old has played in the halves all season but was outstanding at centre in Country's draw with City, finishing with more than 170 metres and a line break. 

Fellow Country centre Dylan Walker also began the season in the unfamiliar No.6 role for Souths, before returning to centre. 

He used the confidence borne from the Dubbo clash to score four tries in the Rabbitohs' win over Gold Coast last week, and Pay is hopeful Wighton will enjoy a similar resurgence.

"Hopefully he'll give us more strike on that edge, he's happy to go back out there,'' Pay said. "We still think he's a six, but he needs to get some confidence back.

"He enjoys getting in the centres and running the ball, that's what he's good at. We'll see how we play and it's not to say he won't be moved back in there [five-eighth later this year] as well.''

Highly-rated young halfback Mitch Cornish remains a chance to make his NRL debut after being named on an extended eight-man bench. 

The 21-year-old and promoted winger Mosese Pangai have been part of a dominant left edge for NSW Cup affiliate Mounties. 

Before season kick-off Raiders coach Ricky Stuart told Cornish his first grade debut would likely be off the bench, but it's concerns over his defence that have prompted Canberra to be cautious. 

Mounties coach Steve Antonelli believes he'll be ready to make the step up if given the nod. Canberra has the option of putting Cornish into halfback mid-game, with Josh McCrone moving back to hooker where he's played all season. 

"If they had to call him up he could handle it, I reckon,'' Antonelli said. "He needs to strengthen his 'D' up, the last few weeks we've been working on that and he's getting better at it. I think it's been good for him to be in NSW Cup for a while and play against men.''

Pay said Cornish remained a chance to make the final cut against Penrith, a match Canberra must win to win back respect. 

"We've got a number of options there to weigh up, that's why we named so many players because we're still making a final decision,'' he said. "Mitch has been going really well in second grade on that left side, as has Pangai and Sami Sauiluma.

"Hopefully we can see some of that in first grade.''

The powerful Pangai, who replaces Bill Tupou, has been playing centre for Mounties, and Antonelli likened how he goes about his game to Queensland Origin legend Gene Miles. 

It's a fair rap for a 22-year-old whose sole NRL appearance was for North Queensland 802 days ago. 

Canberra has fielded one of the NRL's smallest back threes this year in Reece Robinson, Anthony Milford and Tupou, and Antonelli believes his kick returns will be a bonus. 

"He reminds me of Gene Miles because when he wants to he's unstoppable, that's how big and powerful he is,'' Antonelli said. "The problem with Mosese is he didn't believe in himself, but I told him you can play first grade if you're consistent. If he goes good they'll have trouble with the size of him.''

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MEL 18 vs PEN 17 Report Stats
SYD 56 vs PAR 4 Report Stats
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GCT 12 vs WES 42 Report Stats
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Round 3
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PEN 18 vs BUL 16 Report Stats
CRO 12 vs STG 14 Report Stats
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MAN 22 vs PAR 18 Report Stats
CAN 12 vs GCT 24 Stats
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MEL 28 vs NEW 20 Report Stats
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Round 4
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SYD vs MAN 8 Report Stats
STG 20 vs BRI 36 Report Stats
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NZW 42 vs WES 18 Report Stats
PAR 32 vs PEN 16 Report Stats
BUL 40 vs MEL 12 Report Stats
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SOU 18 vs CAN 30 Report Stats
NEW 30 vs CRO Report Stats
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GCT 13 vs NQL 12 Report Stats
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Round 5
Fri, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
SYD 8 vs BUL 9 Report Stats
BRI 18 vs PAR 25 Report Stats
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CRO 37 vs NZW 6 Report Stats
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Round 6
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Round 7
Fri, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
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NEW 6 vs BRI 32 Report Stats
MAN 26 vs NQL 21 Report Stats
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PEN 14 vs GCT 12 Report Stats
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Round 8
Fri, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
STG 14 vs SYD 34 Report Stats
MEL 10 vs NZW 16 Report Stats
BRI 26 vs SOU 28 Report Stats
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CRO 24 vs PEN 20 Report Stats
NQL 42 vs PAR 14 Report Stats
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Round 9
Fri, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
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NQL 27 vs BRI 14 Report Stats
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GCT 18 vs SOU 40 Report Stats
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STG 6 vs BUL 38 Report Stats
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Round 10
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PAR 36 vs STG Report Stats
CRO 20 vs WES 22 Report Stats
NQL 42 vs SYD 10 Report Stats
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CAN 20 vs PEN 26 Report Stats
BUL 16 vs NZW 12 Report Stats
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Round 11
Fri, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
BUL 12 vs SYD 32 Report Stats
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Round 12
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NZW 38 vs NEW 18 Report Stats
BRI 36 vs MAN 10 Report Stats
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SOU 29 vs STG 10 Report Stats
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Round 13
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Round 15
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NZW 19 vs BRI 10 Report Stats
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GCT 18 vs STG 19 Report Stats
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Round 16
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PAR 10 vs NEW 16 Report Stats
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Round 17
Fri, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
BUL 23 vs MAN 16 Report Stats
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STG 27 vs NQL 24 Report Stats
SYD 28 vs CRO 30 Report Stats
Sun, 06 JulTimes shown AEST
WES 10 vs PEN 26 Report Stats
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SOU 10 vs GCT 14 Report Stats
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Round 18
Fri, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN 40 vs WES 8 Report Stats
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NZW 48 vs PAR Report Stats
MEL 4 vs BUL 6 Report Stats
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CRO 18 vs NEW 31 Report Stats
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