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Wests Tigers Vs. Canberra
2015 NRL Premiership Season, 20 April, 2015
|Leichhardt Oval, NSW|
|Canberra 30 defeated Wests Tigers 22|
|Referee: Perenara, H|
|Touch judges: Sutton, C & Elliott, A|
Leichhardt Oval will play host to its first fixture of 2015 as the old Tigers vs Raiders rivalry of yesteryear takes shapes at the iconic venue. Join The Roar from 1.50pm (AEST) for live scores and coverage.
Although they are no longer the powerhouses of the competition as they once were in the late 80’s and early 90’s, these two young and improving clubs will be out to prove they are a top eight threat this season.
Despite a disappointing trip to New Zealand resulting in a 32-22 defeat, Jason Taylor has remained loyal to the same 17, along with the addition of hooker Joel Luani to an extended bench.
Fullback James Tedesco, who has been in imperious form is the main threat for the Raiders to deal with. Tedesco is perhaps playing with a chip on his shoulder after it was revealed a few weeks ago that he was not in Laurie Daley’s Origin plans at the time. However with 38 tackle breaks so far this season, 12 more than the next best in the competition, Daley may have to re-think his plans for game one.
Jason Taylor will lineup against Ricky Stuart in the coaches box for the first time with their current clubs, after several clashes in the early 90’s between Taylor’s Magpies and Stewart’s Raiders.
Similarly, Ricky Stuart has also opted to stick with the same 17, despite a gutsy 14-10 defeat at home to the Storm. This means that Shaun Fensom and Josh Hodgson should both lineup on Sunday, despite hobbling off with lower leg injuries in Canberra. Jordan Rapana has been named as 18th man in his return from suspension.
Despite Ricky Stuart hailing his sides performance last week as ‘perhaps the best of their season’ the Raiders must fix their second half woes. They have scored a competition-worst 18 points in the second half this season, which averages to just three points a game.
While a close contest should ensue between two improving teams, I expect the atmosphere of the Leichhardt faithful to lift their side to victory on Sunday.
Tigers by 12.
In any case, it should be compelling viewing so join The Roar from 1:50 (AEST) to follow our live coverage, and remember to leave your comments as the game progresses.