Wests Tigers are poised to take on Canberra Raiders in Round 14 of the NRL. Despite a record win in Round 12 and a bye in Round 13, the Tigers face the mammoth task of playing without the services of hooker Api Koroisau. The Raiders, on the other hand, are at full strength except for forwards Elliot Whitehead and Hudson Young, who are both unavailable due to other commitments.
Coming into the game, the Tigers will look to rely on replacement hooker Jake Simpkin and the ever-improving Junior Tupou, Jahream Bula, and Starford To’a to lead the charge against the Raiders. With the teams battling for a place in the top eight, Friday’s game promises to be a tight affair.
Adding to the challenge for Wests Tigers is the fact that the game is scheduled just two days after the State of Origin series opener. The Tigers could possibly be without Blues reserve Stefano Utoikamanu if he features in the series opener.
The Tigers were boosted by Raiders coach Ricky Stuart‘s decision to rest veteran Jarrod Croker, who would have marked his 300th game. However, the absence of Croker is unlikely to take the wind out of the Raiders‘ sails. They secured a victory against South Sydney Rabbitohs in Round 13 with Corey Horsburgh stepping up in the absence of Whitehead and Young.
Canberra Raiders are currently sitting in seventh place on the ladder, just two points behind the teams tied at the top. They will be looking to cement their spot in the top eight with a win in Round 14 before they face the Warriors at home ahead of the Round 16 bye.
Friday’s game promises to be a tough one with both teams eyeing a valuable win. The Tigers will be hoping to continue their rise up the ladder as they aim to claim their fourth win of the season. The Raiders will look to consolidate their position in the top eight with a strong performance at Campbelltown Stadium.