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The Canberra Raiders have strengthened their position within the NRL’s top eight with an eight-point win over the Wests Tigers on Saturday.
The Tigers had the better of the second half but didn’t have the polish to make the most of their chances.
After a strong first half, the Raiders struggled to get any territory in the second half but their defence proved too strong in the end.
Canberra Raiders 20
Wests Tigers 12
The Canberra Raiders get the chance to solidify their position in the top four this Saturday night, when they take on the Wests Tigers at GIO Stadium. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 5:30pm AEST.
The Raiders are fast shaping up as the one team capable of upsetting the “big 3” as we move into the semi-finals.
Ricky Stuart has always had an exciting backline in Canberra. However, an underrated pack led by Josh Hodgson and John Bateman is creating plenty of chances for Jack Wighton and Aidan Sezer to shine.
Michael Oldfield comes into the centres to replace the suspended Nick Cotric whilst Josh Papalii makes his return after Origin, with Iosia Soliola moving to the bench.
The West Tigers would be kicking themselves. They blew their chance to beat an under-strength Roosters team a fortnight ago and were soundly beaten by the Eels at Bankwest Stadium last week.
A win in either of those two matches would have them inside the top eight.
As it is, they have a tough draw coming up so they will be desperate to create an upset tonight.
Just one change for the Tigers, with Paul Momirovski coming onto the wing in place of Robert Jennings.
The Raiders seem to be peaking at the right time in this year’s competition.
They will be up against a Tigers squad needing a win but the Raiders, at home, will have too much class.
Canberra Raiders by 14
When: 5:30pm AEDT
Where: GIO Stadium
TV: Fox League
Online: NRL Live, Foxtel app or Foxtel now
Betting: Canberra Raiders $1.44, Wests Tigers $2.75
1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Bailey Simonsson 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Michael Oldfield 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Jack Wighton 7. Aidan Sezer 8. Josh Papalii 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Dunamis Lui 11. John Bateman 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Joseph Tapine
Interchange: 14. Siliva Havili 15. Corey Horsburgh 16. Iosia Soliola 17. Emre Guler
1. Corey Thompson 2. Paul Momirovski 3. Moses Mbye 4. Esan Marsters 5. David Nofoaluma 6. Benji Marshall 7. Luke Brooks 8. Josh Aloiai 9. Robbie Farah 10. Alex Twal 11. Ryan Matterson 12. Chris Lawrence 13. Matt Eisenhuth
Interchange: 14. Jacob Liddle 15. Thomas Mikaele 16. Elijah Taylor 17. Michael Chee-Kam