Wests Tigers v Canberra Raiders Sunday, June 17, 4:10pm Campbelltown Stadium
This shapes up as a four-point match when the ninth-placed Tigers host the 10th-placed Raiders at Campbelltown Stadium on Sunday. Both sides are trying to keep pace with the current Top 8 and a crucial two competition points will be up for grabs. Corey Thompson moves to fullback at the expense of Tui Lolohea for the Tigers, while Raiders hooker Josh Hodgson has been named to make his long-awaited return from an ACL injury. Unfortunately, for the Green Machine, Jordan Rapana is out for an extended period due to a hamstring injury suffered in last week’s narrow-loss to the Panthers.
Recent FormThe Wests Tigers are ninth on the ladder with just two wins from their last eight games – and both wins coming against bottom four teams. The Tigers rank third in defence but rank 14th in scoring. Canberra are 10th on the ladder with a 5-8 record. They rank fifth in scoring and 11th in defence. The Raiders have won just 1 of their last 4 and are 1-6 in games decided by eight points or fewer.
Key MatchupJosh Reynolds v Blake Austin. Josh Reynolds will finally get the chance to cement the Tigers No.6 jersey, with Benji Marshall sidelined due to a calf injury. The man they call ‘Grub’ has been offering plenty of impact off the bench at hooker, but will be suited by a return to his more familiar position of five-eighth. It’s been an inconsistent year from Blake Austin, but he’ll be looking for a strong performance against his former club here. He had two try-assists in the loss to the Panthers last week and is always a threat when he dummies and takes on the line.
Stats That Matter– Wests Tigers are 8-6 ATS with a 9-5 under record. – Canberra are 5-8 ATS with a 7-6 under record. – The Raiders have won three straight and five of the last six against the Tigers. – Canberra have posted an astonishing 46 points or more in their last three against the Tigers, averaging 52.7ppg. – The last six meetings have all topped 37. – The Tigers have won 7 of the 9 meetings against the Raiders at Campbelltown. – The Tigers have covered just 4 of 13 at Campbelltown with a 9-4 under record. – The Tigers are 3-7 ATS as a favourite at their suburban home grounds over the last four years. – The Tigers have covered 12 of their last 17 day matches while Canberra have covered just 3 of their last 11. – Canberra are 27-15 ATS with a 26-16 over record on the road, including a 7-1 ATS record when an underdog of less than a try. – When an underdog of less than a converted try, the Raiders are 8-4 ATS with a 9-3 over record. – Canberra are 18-9 ATS on the road off scoring 20 or more.
Final ThoughtsThe Wolf is backing the Raiders to win a close one on the back of their forward pack getting the better of the Tigers big men. The return of Josh Hodgson will give the Raiders a massive lift, while Canberra has had the wood over Wests in recent seasons. They’ve won three straight and five of the last six against the Tigers, and should get the job done at Campbelltown to keep their finals hopes alive for another week.
How It Shapes UpCanberra by 2
Recommended Bets Best: Canberra ($2.02) Value: Canberra 1-12 & Over 40.5 ($7.50) First Try: Elliott Whitehead ($26)