The Canberra Raiders will take on the Wests Tigers at the new Bankwest Stadium on Friday night, as they look for back to back wins on the road in Sydney.
The Green Machine will await medicals for their three Origin stars in Josh Papalii, Jack Wighton and Nick Cotric, with Coach Ricky Stuart addressing the media this morning, confident all three will back up against the Tigers.
Cotric poses the biggest concern for the Green Machine, with the Blues winger suffering a knee injury in the late stages of last nights contest. Stuart spoke with Cotric after the match and he was confident in how he was able to finish the game, but he’ll still need to see how it pulls up when he arrives in Sydney later today.
Stuart will decide on the role Papalii plays after what was a mammoth effort last night by the Queensland prop, with the possibility he may start from the bench depending on how he recovers from the physical contest that was game one.
Jack Wighton will slot back into the number six jersey for the Raiders, after he came through the game playing just 20 minutes in the second half.
It’s a massive road trip for the Raiders as they take on a Tigers outfit who has been relatively untouched by Origin, with only Moses Mbye backing up from a short stint at the back end of Origin one.
The Raiders welcome back Jordan Rapana onto the wing after his recovery from a knee injury, while Emre Guler is set for an opportunity following injury to Corey Horsburgh and a suspension to Hudson Young.
Wests Tigers Coach Michael Maguire has confirmed Chris Lawrence will make his return from injury which will see a reshuffle to the team they named on Tuesday.
Fullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Moses MbyeFullback for Raiders is number 1 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
Winger for Wests Tigers is number 18 David NofoalumaWinger for Raiders is number 2 Bailey Simonsson
Centre for Wests Tigers is number 21 Mahe FonuaCentre for Raiders is number 3 Jarrod Croker
Centre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Esan MarstersCentre for Raiders is number 4 Nick Cotric
Winger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Corey ThompsonWinger for Raiders is number 5 Jordan Rapana
Five-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Benji MarshallFive-Eighth for Raiders is number 6 Jack Wighton
Halfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke BrooksHalfback for Raiders is number 18 Aidan Sezer
Prop for Wests Tigers is number 8 Ben MatulinoProp for Raiders is number 17 Ryan Sutton
Hooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Robbie FarahHooker for Raiders is number 9 Siliva Havili
Prop for Wests Tigers is number 10 Alex TwalProp for Raiders is number 16 Iosia Soliola
2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Ryan Matterson2nd Row for Raiders is number 11 John Bateman
2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 17 Michael Chee-Kam2nd Row for Raiders is number 12 Elliott Whitehead
Lock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Matthew EisenhuthLock for Raiders is number 13 Joseph Tapine
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 14 Jacob LiddleInterchange for Raiders is number 8 Josh Papalii
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Thomas MikaeleInterchange for Raiders is number 10 Dunamis Lui
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Josh AloiaiInterchange for Raiders is number 14 Tom Starling
Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 20 Chris LawrenceInterchange for Raiders is number 15 Emre Guler
The Tigers picked up an 22-20 win against the Raiders in their last encounter in 2018, with the Raiders trailing 20-10 at halftime before falling short of the Tigers at GIO Stadium.
Despite the last result the Raiders have an impressive record against the Tigers in recent times, with the Green Machine winning four out of the last five encounters for a combined score line of 226-56.
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad v Moses Mbye
Two of each side’s most in-form players go head to head on Friday night, with Nicoll-Klokstad looking to back up a man of the match performance he had against the Bulldogs. Nicoll-Klokstad was brave with the ball and made some crucial tackles in the Raiders round 12 win, including the one which defused the Bulldogs chance of a last-minute comeback. Mbye comes out of the Origin arena back to the Tigers in solid form, with the Tigers Custodian a key component of the Tigers attack.
Siliva Havili v Robbie Farah
Havili was enormous in last weeks opening half, with his impact in both attack and defence a key component of the Raiders start to their game. With no Josh Hodgson for the short-term Havili gets another opportunity to start this weekend and he will be looking to use his strong running game against the Tigers. His opposite number Robbie Farah is showing age is just a number, as his early season form has been a big part of the Tigers attacking raids on opposition try lines.
John Bateman v Ryan Matterson
The impact Bateman brought back into the team last week cannot be underestimated. His work on and off the ball was exceptional, with the Englishman slotting seamlessly back into the Raiders side after three weeks off with injury. Bateman gives the Raiders an X-Factor on the edge and the more ball he can get early the more dangerous he is. Matterson has been one of the buys of the season in the NRL, with the former Rooster rewarded as 18th man for origin one. Despite not getting any game time in last nights encounter, he’ll bring energy and enthusiasm back to the Tigers on Friday night.
Head to Head
The Raiders and Wests Tigers have played 37 times since 2005, with the Tigers leading 19-16 overall with two draws. However as mentioned above, the Raiders have the edge recently with the club winning four out of the last five contests.