2018 NRL – Canberra Raiders vs Wests Tigers Preview

AT A GLANCE

When? Sunday 12th August, 05:00 (UK)

Where? GIO Stadium

What channel is it on? UK - Canberra Raiders vs Wests Tigers will not be televised live in the UK
Australia - Foxtel, LIVE PASS

Where can I stream the match? UK - N/A
Australia - https://www.telstra.com.au/tv-movies-music/sports-offer

Are tickets still available? http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/Show.aspx?sh=RAI2218

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

RAIDERS

Head Coach: Ricky Stuart

Starting 13: Cotric, Abbey, Austin, Leilua, Rapana, Sezer, Williams, Soliola, Hodgson, Paulo, Tapine, Whitehead, Papalii – Interchanges: Lui, Boyd, Havili, Bateman – Reserves: Knight, Murchie, Makatoa, Guler

Unavailable: Jack Wighton, Jarrod Croker

  • Canberra showed some character after their big loss against Melbourne but allowed Penrith to overcome them late on last week. The Raiders allowed four unanswered tries to end that game as they were condemned to a 40-31 defeat.

  • Ricky Stuart goes with the same team that he fielded last week, hoping his side can replicate their attacking prowess whilst tightening up their defence.

  • Three defeats in a row have ended the Raiders’ chances of making the play-off and they will now be looking to build towards next season by ending this one on a high.

TIGERS

Head Coach: Ivan Cleary

Starting 13: Mbye, Nofoaluma, Marsters, Naiqama, Watene-Zelezniak, Marshall, Brooks, Packer, Farah, Matulino, Chee Kam, Garner, Taylor – Interchanges: Twal, Sue, Rochow, Eisenhuth – Reserves: Liddle, McQueen, Gamble, Mahe Fonua

Unavailable: Josh Reynolds, Chris Lawrence, Josh Aloiai, Corey Thompson

  • Wests Tigers held off a Newcastle comeback to secure a crucial win in their quest to break into the top 8. The Knights pulled to within just six points late on but a drop goal from Luke Brooks made the difference before a late penalty sealed a 16-25 win.

  • Malakai Watene-Zelezniak comes onto the wing in place of Corey Thompson who is out for the season. Mahe Fonua could be a late inclusion having been named amongst the reserves following a broken arm.

  • The Tigers won their third game in four last week and bounced back from the disappointing loss to the Bulldogs. They can close the gap on the top 8 to just two points with a win here.

THE PREDICTION

Wests Tigers season looked dead and buried a month ago whilst Canberra looked like the team most likely to break into the top 8 but their fortunes have changed dramatically since then. The Tigers sit just four points outside of the play-off spots whilst the Raiders are too far back with an eight point gap. Canberra are likely to play some expansive football to end the season with them having nothing to lose. That could pose a problem for Wests who have posted the lowest amount of points in the NRL so far this season. The Raiders average almost 10 points more than the Tigers and if they manage to post a decent total, Wests may struggle to match it. That stat coupled with the speculation that head coach Ivan Cleary might be leaving to join Penrith might be too much for the Tigers to deal with.