Wests Tigers will be determined to secure the two points on offer this Saturday as they head interstate to take on the in-form Canberra Raiders in a must-win game at GIO Stadium.
Coach Michael Maguire’s men will be looking to reclaim their position in the top eight and make amends for their defeat to Canberra earlier this year, with the visitors running away 28-0 winners back in Round 13.
After back-to-back defeats, Maguire has recalled Paul Momirovski while Moses Mbye will shift from centre to fullback to cover the loss of Corey Thompson.
Michael Chee Kam moves in to the run-on side at centre while Luke Garner returns to the squad for the first time with Round 8 with Tommy Talau named as 18th Man.
Having signed with the club at the start of the year as Development Player, Talau was recently upgraded to the club's NRL squad prior to the June 30 deadline.
The son of former Bulldogs player Willie Talau, the 19-year-old has played primarily at centre for the club's Canterbury Cup side in 2019 but is also capable of covering the wing or five-eighth with his athletic frame and ball-playing ability.
Wests Tigers are otherwise unchanged for Saturday's clash against Raiders with Robbie Farah set to play his 299th NRL game. Farah can join Marshall in the elusive 300-game club next week when Wests Tigers take on the Newcastle Knights.
For Canberra, representative centre Nick Cotric will miss Saturday's game after accepting the guilty plea for a Dangerous Throw charge in Round 18. Michael Oldfield comes into the side as his replacement, with the Raiders otherwise unchanged from the side that posted a big win over St. George-Illawarra.
Wests Tigers haven't found the trip to Canberra the easiest in recent years, but they'll no doubt take solace from their breakthrough win over the Green Machine around this time last year. Benji Marshall has never lost in the nation's capital, while Wests Tigers will be looking to add another good away win to their tally in 2019, having already won in Brisbane (twice), Townsville and Tamworth.
Despite his try contributions dropping off compared to last season, Luke Brooks continues to remain one of the most dangerous playmakers in the competition with a league-leading 134 line engaging runs. The reigning Dally M Halfback of the Year is combining well with the veteran Marshall, and again looms as a key man to watch.
Date — Saturday, July 20, 2019
Time — 5:30 pm AEST
Venue — GIO Stadium (Canberra)
TV, RADIO AND LIVE STREAM INFORMATION
TV — Live via FOX League (Ch.502)
Radio — AM 702 ABC Grandstand, AM 873 2GB
Live Stream — Foxtel Go, KAYO, NRL Digital Pass, and Watch NRL (int.)
LATEST TEAM NEWS
Canberra Raiders — Michael Oldfield comes into the centres to replace the suspended Nick Cotric. Josh Papalii also starts in place of Sia Soliola.
Wests Tigers — Paul Momirovski comes in to the side in place of Robert Jennings, while Corey Thompson's late omission sees Moses Mbye shift to fullback and Michael Chee Kam start in the centres. Luke Garner joins the bench for his first NRL game since Round 8, while Robbie Farah starts in his 299th career appearance.
Match: Raiders v Wests Tigers
Round 18 -
Fullback for Raiders is number 1 Charnze Nicoll-KlokstadFullback for Wests Tigers is number 3 Moses Mbye
Winger for Raiders is number 2 Bailey SimonssonWinger for Wests Tigers is number 2 Paul Momirovski
Centre for Raiders is number 3 Jarrod CrokerCentre for Wests Tigers is number 17 Michael Chee-Kam
Centre for Raiders is number 4 Michael OldfieldCentre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Esan Marsters
Winger for Raiders is number 5 Jordan RapanaWinger for Wests Tigers is number 5 David Nofoaluma
Five-Eighth for Raiders is number 6 Jack WightonFive-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Benji Marshall
Halfback for Raiders is number 7 Aidan SezerHalfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke Brooks
Prop for Raiders is number 16 Iosia SoliolaProp for Wests Tigers is number 8 Josh Aloiai
Hooker for Raiders is number 9 Josh HodgsonHooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Robbie Farah
Prop for Raiders is number 10 Dunamis LuiProp for Wests Tigers is number 10 Alex Twal
2nd Row for Raiders is number 11 John Bateman2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Ryan Matterson
2nd Row for Raiders is number 12 Elliott Whitehead2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Chris Lawrence
Lock for Raiders is number 13 Joseph TapineLock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Matthew Eisenhuth
Interchange for Raiders is number 8 Josh PapaliiInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 14 Jacob Liddle
Interchange for Raiders is number 14 Siliva HaviliInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Thomas Mikaele
Interchange for Raiders is number 15 Corey HorsburghInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Elijah Taylor
Interchange for Raiders is number 17 Emre GulerInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 20 Luke Garner
H2H — Canberra Raiders ($1.47), Wests Tigers ($2.65)
Line — Canberra Raiders -6.5 ($1.90), Wests Tigers +6.5 ($1.90)
Odds correct on Thursday, July 18 — 18+ only and gamble responsibly.
Overall — Played 18, Wests Tigers 19, Canberra Raiders 17, Draw 1
At GIO Stadium — Played 17, Wests Tigers 9, Canberra Raiders 8
Last Time They Met — Canberra Raiders 28 def. Wests Tigers 0 (Rd.13, 2019)
Match Referees — Adam Gee and Chris Butler
Touch Judges — Rickey Macfarlane and Darian Furner
Review Officials — Jared Maxwell and Ben Lowe