Raiders v Wests Tigers: Sezer sidelined, Tigers tweak bench

This game offers a real clash in styles - the Raiders are attack-minded while the Tigers' game plan centres around defence and discipline.

With the hosts out of the running for the Telstra Premiership top eight, they will look to throw the ball around from the opening minute.

If the Knights do the Tigers a favour and beat the eighth-placed Warriors across the ditch, Ivan Cleary's men will still rate their chances of breaking into the eight by finals time.

Key match-up: Josh Hodgson v Robbie Farah. The dynamic Raiders No.9 has made a huge difference since returning from a knee reconstruction on June 17 while Farah has arguably been the Tigers' best player following his mid-season switch from the Rabbitohs. Whoever controls the ruck better will probably go on and win the game for their team.

For the Raiders to win: Feed Joey Leilua. The enigmatic centre was back to his best last start, finishing with a hat-trick in the 40-31 defeat at the hands of the Panthers. His duel against Kevin Naiqama should be a beauty.

For the Tigers to win: Luke Brooks' kicking game against the Knights last Friday night was brilliant. In easily his best game of the year, the halfback was the difference at McDoanld Jones Stadium. If he is on again and outplays opposing number seven Sam Williams, the away side will edge closer to the top eight.

Match: Raiders vs Wests Tigers

Round 22 -

Full Time
Raiders

Home Team

Raiders

Scored 20 points
Wests Tigers

Away Team

Wests Tigers

Scored 22 points

Venue: GIO Stadium

Match broadcasters:

  • Fox League
  • LIVE PASS

Raiders Stat Attack: Despite sitting in 10th spot on the ladder, Ricky Stuart's team remarkably have scored the most points in the competition (489). Their 82 tries is second only to league leaders South Sydney (83). With Hodgson fit and firing, the green machine are also the yardstick for dummy half runs (296).

Wests Tigers Stat Attack: There is no doubt the Tigers love to kick to the corners or into space. They have amassed 401 total kicks and trail only the Broncos (10,417) when it comes to all kick metres. Their handling error count (84) is cause for some concern. Only the Roosters (92), Storm (89) and Titans (85) have committed more.

And another thing: The teams have already squared off this season, with the Raiders hammering the Tigers 48-12 at Campbelltown Stadium on June 17. Safe to say Cleary's men will be gunning for revenge.

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

Raiders: Aidan Sezer (hamstring) is out. Despite naming Elliott Whitehead at five-eighth in their official line-up, the Raiders will switch Sia Soliola from prop to centre and Blake Austin will move to five-eighth. Jack Murchie has joined the side on the interchange. Dunamis Lui and Shannon Boyd will start in the front row, with Junior Paulo reverting to the bench.

Wests Tigers: Matt Eisenhuth starts at lock, Luke Garner moves back to the interchange and Jacob Liddle replaces Robbie Rochow on the bench.

Head-to-head: Played 34; Wests Tigers 38 wins, Raiders 16 wins
Previous result: Raiders won 48-12 at Campbelltown Stadium in round 15
Points per game: Raiders 24.5; Wests Tigers 15.7
Points conceded per game: Raiders 23.7; Wests Tigers 17.5
Televised: Live on Fox League

Petero Civoniceva's prediction: The Raiders are unpredictable and hard to follow and they've been rocks and diamonds at home this season. They had a big lead again last week and got run down and that's a worry but I'm sure a serve from Ricky Stuart will have them primed to give their fans something to cheer about. 

Tip: Raiders by 6