The Canberra Raiders will be hoping to score a win this weekend as they host the Wests Tigers at GIO stadium in a historical rendezvous for the two clubs.
Here are five things to look out for:
30 years since the 1989 grand final
It was arguably rugby league’s greatest grand final. The Canberra Raiders were down 12 – 2 at half-time but fought hard to pull off a 14 – 14 score at fulltime to take the game into extra time.
The green machine defeated the then Balmain Tigers 19 – 14 in a thrilling extra time finish.
This weekend marks 30 years since that unforgettable final in 1989. With so much history between the two clubs, this is going to be an absolute show stopper.
In 2018, the Canberra Raiders finished 10th on the ladder sitting on 22 points. In the 24 games of the regular season, the Raiders bagged 10 wins and 14 losses.
Fast forward to 2019, the Raiders have reached 22 points in just 17 rounds.
This is a tremendous step up from last season’s efforts for Canberra as the green machine head into the business end of the season.
The Raiders have a strong winning streak against the Wests Tigers, winning five of their last six.
All five of those wins for the Raiders held exceptional winning margins, and the loss, the Tigers won by just two points in 2018.
Just recently, the Raiders defeated the Tigers in Round 13 this year at Bankwest Stadium in a 28 – 0 victory. This style of large margins against the Wests Tigers stretches back to 2016 when the Green Machine ran away with a 54-point victory in Round 8 at GIO.
Back at home
This weekend is the first home game for the green machine since June 13 when the Raiders defeated the Sharks 22 – 20 in round 14.
Not only does the roar of a home crowd and the Viking clap enrich the team, not having to travel allows for a well-rested Raiders squad.
The Raiders have to travel to play the Penrith Panthers and the New Zealand Warriors in round 19 and 20 before returning home to take on top four side the Sydney Roosters.
Rapana, try scoring machine
Jordan Rapana is one of the most prolific wingers in the NRL and boasts a great try scoring figure against the Wests Tigers
In just eight appearances in the green jumper against the Tigers, Rapana has scored a mammoth 10 tries.
Keep an eye out for him this Saturday as he looks to continue his sensational try scoring rate against the Tigers.