After a solid victory away from home in Newcastle last weekend, Wests Tigers will once again hit the road on Sunday in a bid to keep their finals hopes alive for 2018.

Dominant for the opening 60 minutes against the Knights before a combination of injuries and errors forced the visitors to hold off a Kalyn Ponga-inspired comeback, Ivan Cleary's side find themselves two wins behind the Sharks (6th), Broncos (7th) and Warriors (8th) with just four games remaining in the year.

It's likely Wests Tigers will need to win all four of those games if they are to sneak in to the finals series for the first time since 2011 — starting with arguably their toughest of those games this Sunday afternoon.

Despite still having to face top four hopefuls in the Dragons and Rabbitohs this year, Wests Tigers' matchup against the Canberra Raiders in the nation's capital is one that will have most fans nervously holding their breath given the recent history between the two. Particularly at GIO Stadium, it's been a tough time for Wests Tigers in the past few years and a 48-12 drubbing a the hands of the Raiders when they met earlier in the year at Campbelltown wouldn't have gone far to ease those doubts this weekend.

However, as they say in rugby league, you can only take things one week at a time and this game is certainly no exception to that. Wests Tigers are in good form — having won three of their last four games — and also received some good news with Benji Marshall named despite doubts about his calf injury.

Assuming Marshall does indeed take to the field on Sunday, Cleary's side have proven they can beat any team in the competition and they'll be confident of doing the same against Canberra — particularly given the Kiwi international's incredible record against the green machine since his debut year back in 2003.

Marshall has never lost to the Raiders in Canberra and just once outside of the nation's capital, and if he can add to the good form of Luke Brooks and Robbie Farah last week, Wests Tigers are every chance.

Canberra have been their own worst enemy in recent weeks and a reshuffled backline courtesy of Jack Wighton's suspension and Jarrod Croker's injury certainly hasn't helped their cause. The Raiders will no doubt be stinging after surrendering another comfortable second half lead last week, and Ricky Stuart will have his side primed to come out and produce a better performance in front of their home fans, but there are still avenues for Wests Tigers to exploit on Sunday that will give the visitors plenty of confidence.

With everything on the line for Wests Tigers as they start essentially a finals series before the finals series, it's definitely shaping as a game not to be missed between two sides determined to give it their all. 

MATCH DETAILS

Date — Sunday, August 12, 2018

Time — 2:00pm AEST

Venue — GIO Stadium, Canberra

 

TV, RADIO AND LIVE STREAM INFORMATION

TV — Live via FOX League (Ch.502)

Radio — AM 702 ABC Grandstand, AM 2GB 873

Live Stream — Foxtel Go, NRL Digital Pass, Watch NRL Streaming (exc. Australia)

 

LATEST CROWNBET ODDS

H2H — Canberra Raiders ($1.55), Wests Tigers ($2.60)

Line — Canberra Raiders -4.5 ($1.92), Wests Tigers +4.5 ($1.92)

Odds correct as of 11:00am, Thursday, August 9 — 18+ only and gamble responsibly

 

TEAM LISTS

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Raiders is number 1 Nick Cotric
    Fullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Moses Mbye
  • Winger for Raiders is number 2 Brad Abbey
    Winger for Wests Tigers is number 2 David Nofoaluma
  • Centre for Raiders is number 3 Blake Austin
    Centre for Wests Tigers is number 3 Esan Marsters
  • Centre for Raiders is number 4 Joseph Leilua
    Centre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Kevin Naiqama
  • Winger for Raiders is number 5 Jordan Rapana
    Winger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Malakai Watene-Zelezniak
  • Five-Eighth for Raiders is number 12 Elliott Whitehead
    Five-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Benji Marshall
  • Halfback for Raiders is number 7 Sam Williams
    Halfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke Brooks

Forwards

  • Prop for Raiders is number 14 Dunamis Lui
    Prop for Wests Tigers is number 8 Russell Packer
  • Hooker for Raiders is number 9 Josh Hodgson
    Hooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Robbie Farah
  • Prop for Raiders is number 15 Shannon Boyd
    Prop for Wests Tigers is number 10 Ben Matulino
  • 2nd Row for Raiders is number 11 Joseph Tapine
    2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Michael Chee-Kam
  • 2nd Row for Raiders is number 8 Iosia Soliola
    2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 13 Elijah Taylor
  • Lock for Raiders is number 13 Josh Papalii
    Lock for Wests Tigers is number 17 Matthew Eisenhuth

Interchange

  • Interchange for Raiders is number 10 Junior Paulo
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 12 Luke Garner
  • Interchange for Raiders is number 16 Siliva Havili
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 14 Alex Twal
  • Interchange for Raiders is number 17 Luke Bateman
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Sauaso Sue
  • Interchange for Raiders is number 19 Jack Murchie
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 18 Jacob Liddle

Malakai Watene-Zelezniak replaces Corey Thompson (ankle) on the wing, while Robbie Rochow returns to the bench in place of Jacob Liddle. Benji Marshall (calf) has been named with Tyson Gamble in the reserves alongside Mahe Fonua (arm), who has not played since picking up an injury against Canberra in Round 15. The Raiders are unchanged from their last start defeat to the Penrith Panthers in Round 21.

 

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Overall — Played 35, Wests Tigers 18, Canberra 16, Drawn 1

At McDonald Jones Stadium — Played 18, Wests Tigers 9, Canberra 9, Drawn 0

Last Time They Met — Canberra Raiders 48 def. Wests Tigers 12 (Rd.15, 2018)

 

MATCH OFFICIALS

Match Referees — Ben Cummins and Chris Butler

Touch Judges — Nick Beashel and David Munro

Review Officials — Bryan Norrie and Steve Chiddy