The Raiders are aiming to avoid three straight losses to start the season when they host Wests Tigers in Sunday afternoon footy.
Canberra haven’t started the season as many predicted and will be looking to avoid a 0-3 hole, however, they will have to show more fight than they did last week against Cronulla when they were smacked 42-16.
Their opponents here also copped a hammering last week and could be described as the ‘great pretenders’ after suffering a 36-2 loss to the Panthers.
A STRONGER SQUAD
Coach Ricky Stuart has named captain Jarrod Croker to take his place for the first time this season in what will be a big boost for the Green Machine.
There is no doubt they have missed his presence and talent on the field and should he start then the Raiders could be close to a good thing.
Last season’s leading pointscorer in the competition could be joined by x-factor recruit Dave Taylor, aka The Coal Train, who is a very talented player on his day but needs to be more consistent.
Ultimately the Raiders issues have boiled down to poor handling, discipline and lack of possession in losses to the Cowboys and Sharks. Fix that problem up and their fortunes will quickly turn.
UP AND DOWN
WESTS TIGERS showed exactly what they are capable of in rounds one and two.
They blew Souths away in the opening week of the competition and then never looked likely, despite playing at home, against the Panthers. Such was their performance that they were held scoreless despite scoring 34 points against the Bunnies.
Jamal Idris won’t be in for this game due to a foot injury but Tim Grant will make his return in what will be a boost for coach Jason Taylor.
This doesn’t make for good reading if you are a Wests Tigers fan.
Canberra absolutely belted the Tigers in both fixtures last season by an average margin of 48 points! Could it happen again? Bet365 has the Raiders to win 30+ at $7.
Overall the Raiders have won four of the past five against the Tigers proving that they’ve had their measure in recent times.
Both teams were too bad to be true last week.
Canberra have averaged the least amount of running metres of any team in the competition through the first two rounds, which considering the size of their pack, is highly unusual. Expect them to come out firing here in front of their fans where they only lost three times last season.
The Tigers are a good side and their pride would’ve been hurt following last week’s performance against Penrith. Maybe the Tim Simona situation played on their minds or maybe they were getting ahead of themselves following their opening round win.
The Tigers are a good side but two losses from their past three at GIO, including a 60-6 thumping back in Round 8 last season, doesn’t give us a great deal of confidence here.
MATCH WINNER TIP: CANBERRA
FIRST TRYSCORER: JORDAN RAPANA – scored six tries against the Tigers in two games last season
MARGIN BETTING: CANBERRA 13+
OTHER TIP: JOEY LEILUA – LAST TRYSCORER