Rugby League


Shaun Fensom, Joel Edwards set to give Canberra Raiders a boost for clash with Penrith Panthers

Canberra are confident lock Shaun Fensom and second-rower Joel Edwards will be passed fit to face Penrith at Sportingbet Stadium on Saturday.

Fensom suffered elbow ligament damage during last weekend's 30-18 win against South Sydney, while Edwards left the field in the second half with a head knock.

Fensom underwent a fitness test on Thursday and will have another one on Friday before he is given the all clear to take his place in the side.

"Since it happened on Sunday I've been pumping the physio into me and today had a weights session and didn't feel too bad doing that,'' Fensom said. ''I thought it would feel at lot worse than what it does, I put the work in at the start of the week and it feels better each day.

"The way it feels now it should be good.''

Edwards passed a concussion test on Wednesday, with a second evaluation on Friday to determine whether the hard-hitting forward receives the green light.


If he does, it will set up an intriguing battle of two of the most devastating tacklers in the NRL.

Panthers lock Adam Docker has quickly developed a reputation as a hard-hitting defender, while interchange forward Nigel Plum is just as lethal.

Edwards has made the starting back-row spot in the Raiders' forward pack his own this season with numerous big hits, none more impressive than the shot delivered on Rabbitohs prop George Burgess last weekend.

"He's got a very good defensive technique and he throws his body at the attacker,'' Fensom said. ''Hopefully he can pull off a few big shots for us on Saturday.

"It's always good to be out there running around and you hear the impact and see the result, it always fires you up.''

The Raiders (2-2) are searching for consistency after going loss, win, loss, win through the opening four rounds.

Providing they can beat the Panthers, it would be the first time since 2008 that the Raiders have won at least three of their first five games of the season.

It would be a decent return given the Raiders have had just one game at Canberra Stadium during that time.

"It is a very even competition at the moment, everyone's very congested on the ladder,'' Fensom said. ''It's hard backing up each week as it takes a lot out of you to perform for 80 minutes at that level. The teams that can do that consistently will come out on top at the end.''