Canberra Raiders and Wests Tigers look to bounce back from embarrassing last-start defeats when they clash in NRL Round 3 action on Sunday afternoon in the nation’s capital.
Raiders and Tigers kick off at 4.00pm AEDT at GIO Stadium on Sunday. Live streaming is available via bet365 (geo restrictions apply in Aus/NZ).
Preview and Tips
After suffering heavy defeats last week, both the Raiders and Tigers are in desperate need of a victory to get their seasons back on track.
Following their run to the preliminary finals last season, the Raiders have gone winless in their first two games of the season - although to be fair, they extended the Cowboys to golden point in their opener, but were blown away in the second half of their loss to reigning premiers Cronulla last week.
Canberra were right in the game at half-time, but a second half blitz from a rampant Sharks outfit saw the premiers coast to a 42-16 victory at GIO Stadium.
It was an extremely limp performance and Ricky Stuart will be determined to bounce back immediately - because three losses to start the season will not boost morale after such a strong campaign in 2016.
The Raiders do receive a huge boost for this showdown, with captain and last season’s competition leading point-scorer Jarrod Croker returning from injury.
Meanwhile, the Tigers produced a timid performance just one week after blasting past the Rabbitohs in emphatic fashion, going down by 34 points to the Panthers - who themselves had been hammered by the Dragons in Round 1.
Normally so dangerous in attack, the Tigers didn’t score a try all match, with halves Mitchell Moses and Luke Brooks barely sighted, while James Tedesco didn’t have much impact as a result.
It seems as if defence is still a work in progress for the Tigers, and it’s certainly an area they’ll need to address for this clash with the Raiders.
Both these sides can fire in attack when on song, but it’s in the forwards where Canberra has a massive advantage. The Raiders rolled over the top of the Tigers in both games last season - on the back of their rampaging forwards creating space for the halves and backs - and I think Canberra will win comfortably again.
- Raiders have won four of last five meetings with Tigers
- Canberra won both games in 2016
- Raiders scored a combined 112 points against the Tigers last season
Jarrod Croker returns for his first match of the season in a big boost for the Raiders, while David Taylor has been named on the bench.
Jamal Idris is out of the Tigers squad, with Tim Grant replacing him on the bench.
Raiders: 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 18. Jordan Turner 19. Dunamis Lui 20. Jeff Lima 21. Scott Sorensen
Tigers: 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 13. Elijah Taylor 14. Tim Grant 15. Josh Aloiai 16. Joel Edwards 17. Jack Littlejohn 18. Junior Tatola 19. Justin Hunt 20. Kyle Lovett 21. Matt Ballin
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