James Tedesco v Jack Wighton
It was yet another stellar performance from Wests Tigers fullback James Tedesco last week, with the Camden Rams junior notching up two tries, two try-assists, 163 metres, 10 tackle-bust and two line-breaks in a man-of-the-match performance. The 21-year-old will play his first NRL match at GIO Stadium on Monday night, having met the Raiders just twice previously in his career (both games in Sydney).
Another player coming off an impressive performance is Jack Wighton, who was arguably the best player in a beaten Raiders side last week - scoring a try and making a massive 176 metres against the Cowboys. The Orange CYMS has been safe at the back for the Raiders in recent weeks, having not made an error in his past three matches.
Tedesco and Wighton are both in great form this season, with the battle of the number ones set to prove crucial to the outcome of this game. With the Raiders looking to avenge last week’s loss to the Cowboys to stay in finals contention, Tedesco will be out to spoil the party for Wighton and the green machine.
Career Head-to-Head clashes: Played 2 – Tedesco 1, Wighton 1
NRL Fantasy Prices: Tedesco $452,000 (Season: +$110,000; Average: 54.0), Wighton $278,000 (Season: +$12,000; Average: 36.5)
Keith Galloway v David Shillington
Keith Galloway was amongst the best on field last week against Melbourne, making 176 metres and 24 tackles in what was his final match at Leichhardt Oval. When these two sides met earlier this season, Galloway scored his first try since 2012. The 29-year-old is set to join Leeds in 2016, putting an end to what has been an illustrious 10-year career at Wests Tigers.
David Shillington will play his 200th NRL match on Monday night, with the former Australian prop making his debut back in 2005 for the Sydney Roosters. The 32-year-old will continue his NRL career on the Gold Coast next season, having signed a two-year deal after spending seven seasons in the nation’s capital.
Both Galloway and Shillington have had similar careers, representing Australian and their respective states in Origin - whilst also reaching the 200 NRL game mark in the same year. Look out for another explosive encounter between these two tall timbers, with Galloway holding an 8-3 advantage over Shillington in previous clashes.
Career Head-to-Head clashes: Played 11 – Galloway 8, Shillington 3 (NRL games only)
NRL Fantasy Prices: Galloway $229,000 (Season: +$9,000; Average: 32.3), Shillington $329,000 (Season: -$6,000; Average: 41.4)
Tim Simona v Jarrod Croker
Tim Simona hasn’t crossed for a try since last time these two sides met in Round 7, with the elusive centre looking to break an eight-game scoring drought. During that game at Leichhardt Oval, the Doonside junior caused some havoc on the left edge, with two try-assists and one of his own as they raced out to a 22-0 lead early before being eventually run-down.
Joseph Leilua has now played four games for the Raiders since his mid-season transfer from Newcastle. The Samoan International scored six tries in 13 games for the Knights earlier this year, however he is yet to get off the mark in a green jersey.
Teammates earlier this year for Samoa, Simona and Leilua mark-up against one another for just the second time in their NRL careers. This will be Simona’s first trip to the nation’s capital for an NRL match, and his match-up with Leilua is sure to be an exciting one.
Career Head-to-Head clashes: Played 1 – Simona 1, Leilua 0
NRL Fantasy Prices: Simona $179,000 (Season: -$70,000; Average: 28.7), Leilua $201,000 (Season: -$155,000; Average: 29.8)