Ahead of Friday's #NRL game between Penrith Panthers and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, writer Rob C...
9 hours ago
Canberra aim to kick start season against unpredictable Tigers
This one could be a slobberknocker folks! Two sides that are desperate for a win and two sides that know how to score points and lots of them. Canberra has had a poor start to the season albeit against quality opposition in the Cronulla Sharks and North Queensland Cowboys. Last week's loss was a bit abnormal as they leaked points at will (particularly in the 2nd half) and will be hoping for a much improved effort in this clash where they will look to appease its home fans. As one of the premiership heavyweights, Canberra can't afford to slip to 0-3 on the year and know a win against a formidable Tigers outfit could kickstart its season.
Which Tigers will turn up on Sunday is the question most people will have on their lips after capitulating last week at home against the Penrith Panthers. Just a week earlier they had dispatched Souths with some enthralling and exciting football backed up by some solid defence.
There isn't much sterner away trips then heading down to the nation's capital and the Tigers will have its worked cut out for them if they serve up another performance like last Sunday. They need a much better effort defensively to give their talented playmakers to make a difference. Look for the engine room up front to take the attack to the Raiders early on.
Last meeting: Round 26 2016 - Wests Tigers 10 Raiders 52
This is not pretty reading for Tigers fans who have been absolutely annihilated over the last two games to the tune of 112-16 (after a 60-6 drubbing in round 8 of 2016).
At GIO Stadium, the Raiders have won two of the past three but had lost the previous five at home against the Tigers.
Who to watch: The Raiders new signing Dave Taylor will be hoping for a big game in his return to the NRL as he comes off the bench. Blessed with one of the biggest frames in the NRL, deft skills including a superb off load Taylor could be a superb acquisition for the Raiders. No doubt Ricky Stuart will have just one job for him to complete on Sunday and that is to run hard and straight! Something Taylor is very good at.
The Tigers will need a huge performance from James Tedesco at the back if the Tigers want to get anything out of this game. Look for Tedesco to be there in support of his forwards as well, looming for some broken field space via offloads. His kick return metres and the speed and power with which he hits the line could cause the Raiders some headaches.
The favourite: Canberra warm favourites due the home field advantage in this clash
My tip: Canberra to get back to the winning circle with a win on Sunday. Their forward pack is huge and the backs will play off the back of that. Raiders by 8.
1. Jack Wighton 2. Nick Cotric 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Joseph Leilua 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Blake Austin 7. Aidan Sezer 8. Junior Paulo 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Shannon Boyd 11. Josh Papalii 12. Elliot Whitehead 13. Luke Bateman 14. Adam Clydsdale 15. Iosia Soliola 16. Clay Priest 17. Dave Taylor
1. James Tedesco 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Kevin Naiqama 4. Michael Chee-Kam 5. Moses Suli 6. Mitchell Moses 7. Luke Brooks 8. Aaron Woods 9. Matt McIlwrick 10. Ava Seumanufagai 11. Sauaso Sue 12. Chris Lawrence 14. Tim Grant 15. Josh Aloiai 16. Joel Edwards 17. Jack Littlejohn 20. Kyle Lovett
Referees: Matt Cecchin, Alan Shortall; Sideline Officials: Kasey Badger, Jason Walsh; Video Referees: Bernard Sutton, Luke Patten;