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Canberra Raiders vs Wests Tigers Tips - Tiger Claws to be clipped by Raiders

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Last updated: 14 Mar 2024
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Ryan Tucker 14 Mar 2024
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  • Canberra Raiders vs Wests Tigers expert predictions for Saturday’s NRL game
  • Canberra Raiders have a strong winning trend against the West Tigers
  • Wests Tigers looking for a fresh start after past struggles
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Canberra Raiders
Hudson Young of the Raiders celebrates with team mates (Getty Images)

Canberra Raiders vs Wests Tigers Tips


The Wests Tigers are tipped to kick off their season in Canberra with a loss following their Round 1 Bye.
  • Canberra Raiders vs Wests Tigers Tips
  • Head to Head 
  • Canberra Raiders Form
  • Canberra Raiders Team News
  • Canberra Raiders Team List
  • Wests Tigers Form
  • Wests Tigers Team News
  • Wests Tigers Team List

Canberra were one of six underdogs to win their Round 1 game and the team with the longest odds (3.20) as they took a 28-12 win over the Knights at McDonald Jones stadium. They now return to Canberra for their first home game of the year where they won seven of 12 games in 2023.

Wests have struggled in recent years especially in their first game of the year having not won a round 1 or first game since 2020. There is no doubt that the coaching staff and club will be looking to distance themselves as much as possible from the Tigers of old, starting a new era and hopefully a winning one.

With such little NRL game time with this inexperienced halves pairing I cannot see a mountain of points coming for the Tigers and will be tipping the Raiders to win by 1-12. Early season totals trends dictate the majority of games go Under points totals and that is also what we are backing here.

  • Canberra amassed 1667 Run Metres and 4 Linebreaks in their Round 1 win over Newcastle
  • In 2023 the Tigers allowed their opposition 5.8 Linebreaks, 3rd worst in the League
  • Canberra averaged 20.6 points last season with 11 of 24 games going Under the Total 
  • Seb Kris scored twice from Centre in the Round 23 match-up with the Tigers last year.

Head to Head 


Canberra have won the last seven games straight against Wests dating back to 2019. Fou of those games have been by margins of eight points or less with the two matchups last year being decided by one (rd 14) and four (rd 23) points.

Six of the seven games have gone under the points total with the Tigers averaging only 11 points across the span. 

Canberra Raiders Form


Canberra surprised many in their Round 1 win against the Knights. Newcastle were a very strong team at home in the latter half of 2023 but the Raiders were able to control the flow of the game and possession disrupting the game plan of the Knights. 

What is still worrisome though for the Raiders is that they allowed the Knights 1625 Run Metres. Last season, that number on average would have been converted to around 24 points. 

It is the bleeding of points that was a major factor for Canberra to rectify this year and the question is whether they can keep it up.

Canberra Raiders Team News


Seb Kris returns from suspension and takes his spot in the centres pushing Albert Hopoate to the wing and Nic Cotric to 18th man. 

No other changes for the Raiders.

Canberra Raiders Team List


1. Jordan Rapana
2. Albert Hopoate
3. Matt Timoko
4. Seb Kris
5. Xavier Savage
6. Ethan Strange
7. Jamal Fogarty
8. Josh Papalii
9. Danny Levi
10. Joseph Tapine
11. Hudson Young
12. Zac Hosking
13. Morgan Smithies

Interchange
14. Tom Starling
15. Emre Guler
16. Ata Mariota
17. Pasami Saulo 

Reserves
18. Nick Cotric
19. Kaeo Weekes
20. Simi Sasagi
21. Zac Woolford
​​​​​​​22. Trey Mooney

Wests Tigers Form


The Tigers were very active in the off-season, elevating Benji Marshall to permanent Head Coach and signing the Panthers Jarome Luai for the 2025 season. They also brought in former Raider Aidan Sezer to stabilise their young halves this season offering a valuable veteran presence in the dressing room.

The Tigers had the opportunity to sit back and watch all the other teams go around over the prolonged Round 1. They should be chomping at the bit to get out and about under the bright lights. 

There is a question though about the team falling flat with such a long build up and multiple weeks since their last trial game. Fitness will be a test against a team that already has a game under their belt.

In the Tigers 2024 Season Preview we noted how important the halves combination will be this year and this is the first chance the guys get to impress.

Wests Tigers Team News


Lachlan Galvin will get a shot straight away at the five-eighth spot with Aidan Sezer named on the bench. Former starter Brent Naden is nowhere to be seen in the 22 with Charlie Staines claiming the wing spot. 

With new recruit Justin Olam injuring his leg in the trials Solomona Faataape will get a chance to impress in his debut at centre. Samuela Fainu will make his club debut from the pine.

Wests Tigers Team List


1. Jahream Bula
2. Charlie Staines
3. Starford To'a 
4. Solomona Faataape
5. Junior Tupou
6. Lachlan Galvin
7. Jayden Sullivan
8. Stefano Utoikamanu
9. Api Koroisau
10. David Klemmer
11. Isaiah Papali’i 
12. John Bateman
13. Alex Seyfarth

Interchange
14. Aidan Sezer
15. Fonua Pole
16. Alex Twal
17. Samuela Fainu

Reserves
18. Asu Kepaoa
19. Tallyn Da Silva
20. Justin Matamua
21. Alex Lobb
​​​​​​​22. Jake Simpkin

Verdict

My expectation is that this game will fall the way of the Raiders without too much trouble but the Tigers will do enough to keep it within a 12 point margin giving us the best value play of the game.

Early season Rounds are almost gimmes on Unders so that is what we are playing especially given the second highest bookie total of the round. Seb Kris is a tryscoring machine especially against the Tigers so a no-brainer there.

Best Bet1: Raiders 1-12 Winning Margin @9/4 at Boombet - 3 Units
Best Bet2: Under 43.5 Game Total @10/11 at Chasebet - 2 Units
Best Bet3: Seb Kris First Tryscorer @16/1 at dabble - 1 Unit
Best Bet4: Seb Kris Anytime Tryscorer @23/10 at dabble - 2 Units
Raiders 1-12
Winning Margin
@9/4 - 3 Units
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Seb Kris
First Tryscorer
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Anytime Tryscorer
@23/10 - 2 Units
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Canberra Raiders v Wests Tigers