The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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The Wests Tigers overcame the Raiders in Canberra this afternoon, defeating the injury ravaged home side by 22-16 in front of 12,598 fans.
In a game where possession came in blocks to each side, the Tigers were the ones who managed to take advantage of it when it mattered most, clawing their way to a 10-4 halftime lead after an early try to Raider David Milne had them looking like shot ducks. Todd Carney's early brilliance to set up that try didn't show again during the match, the Raiders' inability to slice through the Tigers line when attacking in their 20 highlighting the Tigers' solid defence.
There was some sad news to come from the loss too for Canberra, injury-prone forward Mick Weyman suffering another apparently horrendous leg injury. The Raiders luck with injuries then worsened with Alan Tongue's broken nose providing more trouble, and this was compounded by an apparent leg injury to the nuggety lock as well.
The second half saw a flurry from both sides in the first twenty, the Tigers going 12 points clear before a spirited Raiders fightback made scores level with 25 remaining.
Both sides held their own for much of the remainder of the game until a try to the Tigers put them four points clear, later bolstered by a Robbie Farah penalty goal that gave them the required gap to drive the game home. The Raiders never again looked like crossing the line although earlier in the game some rough decisions from Steve Clark could have given a different outcome.
Next week the Raiders will visit the Dragons in Wollongong on Sunday, while the Tigers host the Panthers at Telstra Stadium on Friday evening. The Raiders will be desperate to overcome an equally desperate Dragons, while the Tigers will be looking to consolidate their spot in the top eight when they face the Panthers, whose form has been very disappointing of late.
Canberra Raiders 16 Tries: David Milne (2), Dane Tilse Goals: Todd Carney (2/3) Wests Tigers 22 Tries: Paul Whatuira (2), John Morris, Chris Lawrence Field Goals: Robbie Farah (0/1) Goals: Robbie Farah (3/5)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Chilly Canberra Stadium the venue for this one today, plenty of fire in this clash too, particularly with Steve Clark wearing the referee jersey. Changes today will see Raiders' Colin Best is out through injury, replaced by Brad Cross. Tigers will be missing Ben Galea from their previously named lineup, Keith Galloway named as the replacement there.
Jersey Flegg saw a victory for Canberra over Souths Juniors 32-16. Yesterday at Leichhardt the joint venture clubs went head to head, the Magpies prevailing over Balmain 13-12.
Premier League went to the home side also, Canberra 34 defeating the Wests Magpies 22.
0 min: A scary start for the Tigers, Payten almost dropping it from the kickoff.
Tigers working it away now.
2 min: TRY Canberra Raiders Welcome back Todd Carney! Takes the line on in the Raiders first set and the wayward five-eighth cracks the Tigers wide open, giving it off to David Milne to score in the corner. Conversion attempt by Todd Carney unsuccessful. Canberra Raiders 4-0
5 min: VIDEO REFEREE Possible Raiders try to Marshall Chalk... Decision Pending.... NO TRY. Goal line drop out, more pressure on the Tigers now. Canberra really giving it to the Tigers so far.
16 min: TRY Wests Tigers Sensational try almost under the posts from John Morris, on the back of a penalty in the first play of the set the Tigers gain field position. Conversion attempt by Robbie Farah successful. Wests Tigers 10-4
17 min: Canberra again concede a penalty, kicking the ball out on the full.
27 min: INJURY Weyman for the Raiders down injured yet again! Poor guy can't cop a break.
32 min: Canberra with a ton of possession but no results. Some fire creeping in too with Galloway and Scott Logan coming to blows.
36 min: Todd Carney pops a 40/20 in... Canberra heavy on the attack again.
HALFTIME Wests Tigers 10 Canberra Raiders 4 After a blistering start the Raiders seemed to have lost their ability to score, while the Tigers' woeful opening defence seemed to tighten and return to what we saw during their six-run win earlier in the season. Canberra's continued insistence on attacking the left side isn't paying off and only an absolute landslide of Raiders possession (mostly on the back of Clark's penalties) is keeping the Tigers from putting a big score on. Weyman's leg injury will see him sidelined for the rest of the game at least.
Meanwhile, at halftime we're being treated to Victor the Viking running around the park in a skirt practicing ballet.
Second half about to begin.
41 min: And we're back underway at 10-4 for this second half, the Tigers up on the scoreboard.
43 min: Alan Tongue's broken nose has gotten the better of him, not only that but his leg looking in trouble too. Raiders looking depleted somewhat now.
47 min: VIDEO REFEREE Possible Raiders try. Decision pending.... TRY!
54 min: VIDEO REFEREE Tigers - Whatuira looks to have bagged a double. Decision pending... TRY!
60 min: Canberra Stadium erupts in fury as the touchie calls a final pass for a Zillman try forward!
64 min: Robbie Farah pots it out on the full and Canberra will go on the attack.
69 min: Crowd: 12,598
71 min: PENALTY GOAL Wests Tigers Farah levels a penalty to get his side six points clear. Wests Tigers 22-16
74 min: ATTEMPTED FIELD GOAL Wests Tigers No luck for Farah as he attempts a field goal. Wests Tigers 22-16
79 min: The last chance for Canberra goes begging as a kick goes into touch and on the back of a penalty the Tigers will take home the two points here.