It all comes down to the final round for Wests Tigers, as they look to record their first finals appearance since 2011 when they take on the Canberra Raiders.

Needing to win against the New Zealand Warriors last week to keep their season alive, Jason Taylor’s men recorded a thrilling come-from-behind upset win across the Tasman to stay in the hunt for the top eight heading into the final match of the regular season.

To qualify for the finals, Wests Tigers need to not only beat the Raiders, but hope that the North Queensland Cowboys defeat the Gold Coast Titans in Townsville as well.

Given the Titans play Saturday night, Wests Tigers will know whether they are still alive heading into the match — potentially making Sunday one of the biggest games seen at Leichhardt in recent years, with a monster crowd expected to roll through the gates.

Wests Tigers will welcome back Chris Lawrence (shin) from injury in a huge boost for the forward pack, while Canberra will still be without Blake Austin due to his broken hand.

Sam Williams once again replaces him in the halves alongside Aidan Sezer.

Wests Tigers will be keen to amend their earlier season result against the Raiders, which saw them suffer a season-high 60-6 defeat in the nation’s capital. Much has changed for both sides since then, however, with Sunday’s game carrying a much different scenario.

It’s shaping as an absolute blockbuster encounter at the suburban ground on Sunday afternoon, with Wests Tigers ready for their most important match since 2011. 

Don't miss our last home game of the year against the Raiders at Leichhardt Oval!

Match Details

Date — Sunday, September 4

Time — 2:00pm AEST (Gates open 11:35am)

Venue — Leichhardt Oval, Lilyfield

 

Match Officials

On-Field Referees — Jared Maxwell and Chris James

Touch Judges — Jeff Younis and Tim Roby

Review Officials — Bernard Sutton, Luke Patten and Jason Robinson

 

TV, Live Stream and Radio Information

TV —Fox Sports 1 (AUS, subscription required)

Live Stream — Foxtel Go, NRL Digital Pass (subscription required)

Radio — AM 873 2GB, AM 702 ABC Grandstand



 

Confirmed Squads

Wests Tigers

 

Canberra Raiders

David Nofoaluma

1

Jack Wighton

Jordan Rankin

2

Edrick Lee

Tim Simona

3

Jarrod Croker (capt.)

Kevin Naiqama

4

Joey Leilua

Josh Addo-Carr

5

Jordan Rapana

Mitchell Moses

6

Sam Williams

Luke Brooks

7

Aidan Sezer

Aaron Woods (capt.)

8

Paul Vaughan

Dene Halatau

9

Josh Hodgson

Sauaso Sue

10

Shannon Boyd

Josh Aloiai

11

Josh Papalii

Chris Lawrence

12

Elliott Whitehead

Elijah Taylor

13

Sia Soliola

Kyle Lovett

14

Kurt Baptiste

Ava Seumanufagai

15

Luke Bateman

Tim Grant

16

Clay Priest

Joel Edwards

17

Joseph Tapine

Michael Chee Kam

18

 

Jason Taylor

Coach

Ricky Stuart

Canberra come into the match unchanged from their last start win over the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, with Aidan Sezer named despite leaving the match with injury.

For Wests Tigers, Chris Lawrence (shin) returns in the forwards in place of Curtis Sironen, while Kyle Lovett's return from sickness sees Michael Chee Kam drop back to 18th Man.

 

2016 Recent Results

Wests Tigers

R21 — Wests Tigers 23 def. Parramatta Eels 8

R22 — Wests Tigers 26 def. North Queensland Cowboys 14

R23 — Gold Coast Titans 19 def. Wests Tigers 18

R24 — Penrith Panthers 40 def. Wests Tigers 10

R25 — Wests Tigers 36 def. New Zealand Warriors 24

 

Canberra Raiders

R21 — Canberra Raiders 54 def. South Sydney Rabbitohs 4

R22 — Canberra Raiders 30 def. Cronulla Sharks 14

R23 — Canberra Raiders 22 def. Melbourne Storm 8

R24 — Canberra Raiders 28 def. Parramatta Eels 18

R25 — Canberra Raiders 44 def. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 30



 

The History

·       Against the Raiders — Played 31, Won 18, Lost 13, Drawn 0

·       At Leichhardt Oval — Played 4, Won 2, Lost 2

 

Player to Watch — Joey Leilua, Canberra Raiders

No side in the competition has scored more points than Canberra this year, and much of that has been down to the attacking prowess of the Raiders’ right edge. Joey Leilua and Jordan Rapana have been in career best form, and will pose a huge threat to the left edge combination of Tim Simona and Josh Addo-Carr of Wests Tigers — both of whom possess plenty of speed and attacking prowess. In his 21 games this year, the Samoan international has amassed 10 tries, 12 linebreaks, eight try-assists and a whopping 115 tackle breaks, the fifth most in the league behind Wests Tigers stand-in fullback David Nofoaluma (138).

 

Related Content

•   READ — Wests Tigers to wear purple socks to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer

•   WATCH — Luke Brooks talks about the good form of halves partner Mitchell Moses

•   READ — Big man Ava Seumanufagai says not to worry about "sickness" talks

 

Three Final Facts

—    Wests Tigers have won 11 of their last 15 games against the Canberra Raiders

—    Canberra head into the match looking to record their 10th win in succession

—    Chris Lawrence has scored tries in seven of his last 15 games against the Raiders