By Stephen Gallagher
MATCH OF THE ROUND: ROUND 15 – Wests Tigers V Canberra Raiders – Saturday, Campbelltown Stadium. 19.30 local time, 21.30 NZ time.
LAST WEEK: Wests Tigers were back to normal with a big loss in Brisbane. 32-12
Canberra were great from the outset, beating Penrith 24-12.
THIS WEEK: West Tigers are a side who have constantly disappointed this season but seem to win when everyone has already written them off. Stuffed with injuries early this season, it’s only now they are finding their feet. They need to play with plenty of enthusiasm.
Canberra Raiders are a team who have been very good this season. There’s plenty of youth in this side that make me think Canberra will be very hard to beat for many years to come. This week however, they need to focus on a dangerous side who could ruin some plans.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Don’t expect a whirlwind, but the Tigers can string a few plays together and come up with a winning formula. I don’t expect anything magical but I do see this team playing every shot to get themselves out of any bunker. The Tigers need their young stars to stand up. Times like this is how you breed legends.
Raiders have to stand up, because they have the team to do so. For them they will be going in somewhat favourites, but it’s generally the underdog status they play the best under. There’s plenty of pace in the backline who don’t need much of an opportunity to take charge.
THE BATTLE OF: Sixstars. Benji Marshall’s form has come under plenty of scrutiny this season but the last few weeks when his team has been in its knees it’s been Marshall who’s delivered the goods with his experience and desire.
Terry Campese is a player whose career will be most likely remembered because of his injuries which has kept him from becoming one of the best players in the world. He’s the bridge Canberra need to make way for the years to come.
KEEP YOUR EYE ON: David Nofoaluma – Four games in to his NRL career and he’s developed plenty of attention for good reason. He has been finishing off superbly and his pace is second to none.
Shaun Fensom – Tackles like he’s a robot who’s been programmed to do so. He is a player that commits himself and puts his body on the line without having to be asked.
Two teams who are young and have plenty of fun on the field when things are going their way. I can tell this will be an attacking fun game. Tigers at home is a tough gig but Raiders to win 32-22.
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