Wests Tigers will be desperate to rectify a string of five straight losses when they head to the nation’s capital to take on the Canberra Raiders this Saturday afternoon.
Incredibly, GIO Stadium has become somewhat of a home away from home for the Wests Tigers, with the visitors posting six wins from their last seven games at the venue.
Following several key late withdrawals in last weekend’s golden point loss to Melbourne, the visitors welcome back Sauaso Sue from concussion this week as he takes his place in the starting side. Former Raider Joel Edwards has been named as 18th Man for the match.
After impressive first-grade debuts last weekend, young guns Josh Addo-Carr and JJ Felise retain their respective positions on the wing and bench for Saturday's game.
Not dissimilar to Wests Tigers, Canberra has had a sluggish last five weeks, with three losses and a draw to slip to seventh on the ladder after a strong start to season 2016.
A heavy 40-16 defeat to the Cronulla Sharks on home soil last weekend will have the side fired up and looking to rectify the result as soon as possible — something that has been an issue in recent times after winning just two of 12 home games last season.
With Canberra’s feeder club Mounties RLFC having the bye this weekend, Raiders Head Coach Ricky Stuart has named an extended squad for the match, to put further pressure on his starting 17 at training during the week. The likes of Clay Priest, Jarrad Kennedy and Mitchell Barnett have all been named on a seven-man interchange bench for the hosts.
Date — Saturday, April 23, 2016
Time — 5:30pm AEDT
Venue — GIO Stadium, Canberra
On-Field Referees — Henry Perenara and David Munro
Touch Judges — Rohan Best and Brett Suttor
Review Officials —Matt Cecchin and Bryan Norrie
TV, Live Stream and Radio Information
TV — Live via Channel 9, Fox Sports 1 (subscription required)
Live Stream — Foxtel Go, NRL Digital Pass (subscription required)
Radio — FM 104.9 Triple M, AM 702 ABC Grandstand (check local guides)
Team Lists — Canberra Raiders vs. Wests Tigers
2016 Recent Results
R3 — Gold Coast Titans 30 def. Wests Tigers 18
R4 — Parramatta Eels 8 def. Wests Tigers 0
R5 — Cronulla Sharks 34 def. Wests Tigers 26
R6 — Newcastle Knights 18 def. Wests Tigers 16
R7 — Melbourne Storm 19 def. Wests Tigers 18
R3 — Newcastle Knights 24 drew. Canberra Raiders 24
R4 — Gold Coast Titans 24 def. Canberra Raiders 20
R5 — Canberra Raiders 22 def. Canterbury Bulldogs 8
R6 — Parramatta Eels 36 def. Canberra Raiders 6
R7 — Cronulla Sharks 40 def. Canberra Raiders 16
Last Time They Met — Wests Tigers 20 def. Canberra Raiders 18 (Rd. 22, 2015)
Just like the corresponding match last year, Wests Tigers were coming off a game against Melbourne the previous round at Leichhardt, and headed down to the nations capital with the aim to upset Canberra’s finals chances.
In a seesawing contest with several long-range tries, the visitors got off to a great start with a try to Sauaso Sue, but quickly found themselves down 12-4 at the half time break.
Six minutes into the second stanza, David Nofoaluma showed urgency to take a quick tap from a 20 metre restart, and James Tedesco ran the length of the field beating three defenders to narrow the Raiders' lead.
Wests Tigers took the lead in the 61st minute when some quick hands saw Pat Richards cross over in the corner, and convert for his 1000th career goal.
Canberra responded just three minutes later with a length of the field team try, started by fullback Jack Wighton and finished off by their captain Jarrod Croker.
The visitors scored what in the end was the match winner with ten minutes to go, with Tedesco slicing through on the left edge and offloading to Tim Simona, who then turned the ball inside to Luke Brooks to go over next to the posts. Richards converted, and the Wests Tigers sealed a stirring 20-18 win, their 10th of 16 in the nation’s capital since 2000.
• Against the Raiders — Played 30, Won 18, Lost 12
• At GIO Stadium — Played 16, Won 10, Lost 6
Three Final Facts
➡︎ Wests Tigers have won six of their last seven games against Canberra at GIO Stadium.
➡︎ Wests Tigers have scored 28 tries through seven games in 2016 — the fourth highest in the competition behind the Warriors (30), Broncos (31) and Cowboys (34).
➡︎ Kevin Naiqama has scored five tries and three try assists in seven games so far in 2016.