Tiger time? Wests win over Canberra, stay in finals hunt

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By Andrew Jackson, Andrew Jackson is a Roar Guru

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    The Wests Tigers have overcome a week of off-field dramas to keep their finals hopes alive with a thrilling 22-20 win over the Raiders on Sunday afternoon at GIO Stadium.

    The two-point victory sees the Tigers move just two points behind the eighth-placed Broncos with games against the Dragons, Sea Eagles and Rabbitohs to come in the next three weeks.

    Wests had struggled recently against the Raiders, having conceded 46 points or more in their past four defeats to the Green Machine.

    However, they started off Sunday afternoon’s contest on fire, racing out to an early 16-0 lead after Joseph Leilua was sin-binned early.

    The first try saw Malakai Watene-Zelezniak stroll over untouched on Leilua’s right edge before a spectacular run by recruit Moses Mbye gave the Tigers their second of the afternoon.

    Canberra may have the best attack in the competition, but their defence has always been an issue and they were quickly falling apart with just 12 men on the field.

    A short ball from Luke Brooks saw Michael Chee-Kam slice over and the Tigers held a comfortable 16-point lead after just as many minutes.

    Once Leilua returned, however, the Raiders quickly reduced the deficit off the back of a string of penalties. Joseph Tapine bagged his first try of the afternoon in the 29th minute when he barged over.

    It didn’t take long for the Tigers to respond though, with David Nofoaluma soaring over out wide off a lovely long ball from Mbye.

    Errors and ill-discipline cost Ivan Cleary’s men late in the first half and saw the Raiders gifted numerous sets on the Tigers’ line.

    And eventually they took advantage when Josh Papalii crashed over in the 37th minute.

    With a 20-10 lead at the break, the Tigers were expected to be too desperate in the second half.

    Despite threatening to extend their lead early off the back of some Robbie Farah brilliance, they couldn’t find their way over the line, instead opting for an early penalty goal.

    It would ultimately be the difference, with two tries to Leilua and Tapine seeing the Raiders fall short by just two points.

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    The Crowd Says (3)

    • August 13th 2018 @ 9:20am
      Birdy said | August 13th 2018 @ 9:20am | ! Report

      Admitaddly the tigers got to 16 while the Raiders were a man down but their defence was something to behold.
      How many times did they defend with 3 or 4 consecutive sets against them. I’ve never seen so many last second off loads in a game with the tigers nullifying every desperate attack.
      It’s been a long time since we have been able to consider the tigers as a genuine top 8 contender.
      I’m going 1 step further, Tigers for the gf winning 4_2 .😀😀😀😀😀

    • August 13th 2018 @ 10:35am
      wane said | August 13th 2018 @ 10:35am | ! Report

      Loved the Tigers grit in defence, maybe Ricky can talk to his boys about what it means to defend!
      Nothwithstanding being a man down most teams respond and lift for their mates….not this team. Look BJ makes some many ill disciplined mistakes every game and the team has to expect that but need to adjust, not make the same mistakes themselves. Same problem all year, great attacking team, but defence is woeful and until Rick can address this we will have the same results in 2019. Hey maybe ‘sack’ the defensive coach!
      Raiders have a real problem in the halves which everyone acknowledges, signing Sezer to an extension was not the answer, Austin obviously not happy at club (didn’t accept being dropped earlier in year and become a big sook) and moves to England (don’t worry will be back in a year as wife and kids become home sick) and join another club. Sam Williams, didn’t see him stand up yesterday, (again), fringe NRL player at best and not the answer in the halves. Cotric forced to be in custodian position and this has stifled his attacking skills. Canberra need to look for a new #1, of course depends on outcome of Whighton…but really will he be in the right frame of mind?
      Ricky, great guy and passionate about his football and the Raiders and at times the team seem to be letting him down at times, but really if he fails to get the team into the eight, preferably the 4 in 2019 maybe it’s time to move him on. It happened to favourite son David Furner.
      Yes I will be there for the next 2 home games cos I love my Raiders. However with games against Rabbitohs, Roosters and Warriors the Raiders could be looking at the winning spoon if they cant win at least one of those games.
      1994 was a long time back and only one finals experience in past 5 years is a very poor effort from a team with such a great tradition.

      • August 13th 2018 @ 1:18pm
        Madge said | August 13th 2018 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

        Cotric at full back – waste. As is Ref – 6 decisions in a row to raiders as Tigers lead 16-0 to try to get them back into game and somehow the penalty count allegedly worked out even. A lot of discretionary penalties to the raiders though.

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