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 v Wests Tigers
Round 22 -
Venue: GIO Stadium
- 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.
Match: Raiders v Wests Tigers
Round 22 -
Fullback for Raiders is number 1 Nick CotricFullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Moses Mbye
Winger for Raiders is number 2 Brad AbbeyWinger for Wests Tigers is number 2 David Nofoaluma
Centre for Raiders is number 3 Blake AustinCentre for Wests Tigers is number 3 Esan Marsters
Centre for Raiders is number 4 Joseph LeiluaCentre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Kevin Naiqama
Winger for Raiders is number 5 Jordan RapanaWinger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Malakai Watene-Zelezniak
Five-Eighth for Raiders is number 12 Elliott WhiteheadFive-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Benji Marshall
Halfback for Raiders is number 7 Sam WilliamsHalfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke Brooks
Prop for Raiders is number 14 Dunamis LuiProp for Wests Tigers is number 8 Russell Packer
Hooker for Raiders is number 9 Josh HodgsonHooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Robbie Farah
Prop for Raiders is number 15 Shannon BoydProp for Wests Tigers is number 10 Ben Matulino
2nd Row for Raiders is number 11 Joseph Tapine2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Michael Chee-Kam
2nd Row for Raiders is number 8 Iosia Soliola2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 13 Elijah Taylor
Lock for Raiders is number 13 Josh PapaliiLock for Wests Tigers is number 17 Matthew Eisenhuth
Interchange for Raiders is number 10 Junior PauloInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 12 Luke Garner
Interchange for Raiders is number 16 Siliva HaviliInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 14 Alex Twal
Interchange for Raiders is number 17 Luke BatemanInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Sauaso Sue
Interchange for Raiders is number 19 Jack MurchieInterchange 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