Match Preview: NYC Round 25

Wests Tigers’ NYC side will look to keep their top four hopes alive when they take on the Canberra Raiders at GIO Stadium for their Round 25 clash this Saturday.

Currently sitting in sixth position, the close nature of the competition this year means that Andrew Webster’s side is still well and truly in the running for a top-four finish, but they can ill afford to drop points against the Raiders this weekend.

The hosts are out of finals contention but have been boosted by the return of several big guns from both injury and the Intrust Super Cup, and come into this match as very strong opponents — particularly playing in front of their home fans at GIO Stadium.

It’s shaping as a fascinating clash this week and one that Wests Tigers will be desperate to emerge victorious from as they push towards the 2014 finals.

Read on for a full match preview including all the key details, team news, stats and more.

 

Match Details

Date — Saturday, August 30

Time — 3:15pm (Gates open 3:00pm)

Venue — GIO Stadium, Canberra

Coverage — Click here to follow Wests Tigers on Twitter for live scores and commentary

 

Match Officials

Referee — Kasey Badger

Touch Judges — Phil Henderson and Brendan Lucas

 

Confirmed Squads

Jordan Grant returns from a bicep injury and will partner Dallas Graham in the front row. Andrew Kazzi drops out with injury; Tyler Cassel moving from the bench to take his spot at lock in the starting team. For the Raiders, big guns Patrick Mago and Luke Bateman have been named following stints in Intrust Super Cup, while fullback Andrew Heffernan again features at the back after a successful return from injury last week.

 

Wests Tigers

 

Canberra Raiders

Jeremy Marshall-King

1

Andrew Heffernan

John Tohi

2

Cleveland McGhie

Watson Heleta

3

Jack Crieth

Delouise Hoeter

4

Jono Kent

John Ogden

5

Lachlan Hurst

Te Maire Martin

6

Lachlan Lewis

Eli Levido

7

Matt Frawley

Dallas Graham

8

Jules Webley

Manaia Cherrington (capt.)

9

Dylan McGrath

Jordan Grant

10

Thoren Fidow-Kele

Salesi Funaki

11

Patrick Mago

Lamar Liolevave

12

Jack Williams

Tyler Cassel

13

Luke Bateman (capt.)

Hala Masila

14

Ricky Garard

Peter Ta’auso

15

Jamal Nchouki

Mason Farrell

16

Jordan Aiono-Fatu

Dwayne Lemafa

19/17

Kilu Pangai

Daniel Rakvin

24/18

Trent Schubach

 

Last Five Matches

Wests Tigers

R20 — St. George-Illawarra Dragons 28 def. Wests Tigers 26

R21 — Wests Tigers 24 def. Melbourne Storm 22

R22 — North Queensland Cowboys 30 def. Wests Tigers 16

R23 — Wests Tigers 28 drew with Sydney Roosters 28

R24 — Wests Tigers 24 def. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 22

 

Canberra Raiders

R20 — South Sydney Rabbitohs 22 def. Canberra Raiders 18

R21 — New Zealand Warriors 54 def. Canberra Raiders 6

R22 — Parramatta Eels 54 def. Canberra Raiders 26

R23 — St. George-Illawarra Dragons 42 def. Canberra Raiders 22

R24 — Canberra Raiders 38 def. Cronulla Sharks 16

 

Coach’s Comment

“Canberra have dropped some quality players back this week; they made a difference last week against Cronulla. They’re looking a lot stronger than they have been, but it’s a challenge that we need going into the finals so we’re looking forward to it. We’re not scared of road trips; we’ll do what we always do on road trips in terms of preparation and we’ll come away with the points — that’s the plan…” (Andrew Webster, NYC Coach)

 

Key Player Stats

·       Watson Heleta ranks fourth in NYC for tries scores (20)

·       Dallas Graham ranks third in NYC for total tackles (695)

·       Te Maire Martin ranks first in NYC for line-break assists (24)

·       Manaia Cherrington ranks second in NYC for turnover tackles (15)

·       Manaia Cherrington ranks second in NYC for dummy-half runs (132)

·       Patrick Mago ranks first in NYC for charge-downs (4)

·       Te Maire Martin ranks first in NYC for handling errors (21)

·       Ricky Garard ranks first in NYC for missed tackles (91)

·       Te Maire Martin ranks second in NYC for try-assists (22)

 

Team Stats

 

Wests Tigers

Canberra Raiders

Position

33 points (6th)

18 points (13th)

Points For

628 points (7th)

557 points (10th)

Points Against

532 points (8th)

816 points (16th)

2014 Home Record

Won 8, Lost 2, Drawn 1

Won 4, Lost 6, Drawn 0

2014 Away Record

Won 6, Lost 5, Drawn 0

Won 3, Lost 9, Drawn 0

2014 Total Record

Won 14, Lost 7, Drawn 1

Won 7, Lost 15, Drawn 0