2018 NRL – Wests Tigers vs Canberra Raiders Preview

AT A GLANCE

When? Sunday 17th June, 07:10 (UK)

Where? Campbelltown Stadium

What channel is it on? UK - Wests Tigers vs Canberra Raiders will not be televised live in the UK
Australia - Nine Network, 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=TIG1518

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

TIGERS

Head Coach: Ivan Cleary

Starting 13: Thompson, Watene-Zelezniak, Marsters, Fonua, Naiqama, Reynolds, Brooks, Packer, Taylor, Matulino, Lawrence, Rochow, Eisenhuth – Interchanges: Twal, McIlwrick, Aloai, Grant – Reserves: Chee-Kam, Gamble, Sue, McQueen

Unavailable: David Nofoaluma, Benji Marshall

  • Wests were unable to build on a decent first half which saw them go in eight points ahead against Cronulla last week. The Tigers conceded 22 second half points as they lost 24-16.

  • Malakai Watene-Zelezniak comes onto the wing having been a late scratching last week. He replaces Tui Lolohea who is dropped with Corey Thompson reverting to fullback. Robbie Rochow and Matt McIlwrick also come into the 17 for Pita Godinet and Michael Chee-Kam.

  • Wests have won just two games from their last eight with the Tigers unable to maintain their impressive start to the season. A win here is crucial as they attempt to get back into the top 8.

RAIDERS

Head Coach: Ricky Stuart

Starting 13: Wighton, Cotric, Croker, Leilua, Oldfield, Austin, Sezer, Soliola, Hodgson, Boyd, Tapine, Whitehead, Papalii – Interchanges: Havili, Bateman, Lui, Knight – Reserves: Guler, Abbey, Murchie, Garvey

Unavailable: Junior Paulo, Jordan Rapana

  • Having won their previous game against Manly by a late drop goal, Canberra suffered the same fate against Penrith last week. The Raiders allowed the Panthers to score a late try before Nathan Cleary’s drop goal with two minutes left saw Canberra lose 22-23.

  • In a huge boost for the Raiders, Josh Hodgson is named for the first time this season having recovered from the ACL injury he suffered in the World Cup last year. Jordan Rapana is out with a hamstring injury with Michael Oldfield coming onto the wing whilst Joe Tapine is back from a ban.

  • Canberra have won just one of their five away games this season as they start a run of three games on the road.

THE PREDICTION

With the play-off picture starting to look very murky with numerous teams still in with a realistic chance of making the top 8, two teams well in the frame face-off in the final game of Round 15. Wests and Canberra make up the two spots directly outside of the play-offs with both needing a win here. The Tigers are two points outside of the 8 whilst the Raiders sit a further two points back, highlighting how pivotal this game could be for both teams. Canberra will be buoyed by the return of Josh Hodgson and despite winning just one of their five away games this season, his return can provide his side with enough of a lift to edge this one.