2024 NRL: Round 2 Preview, Raiders Vs Tigers

Check out the match preview and prediction for the round 2 clash between the Canberra Raiders and Wests Tigers.



Canberra Raiders Vs Wests Tigers
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
Date: Saturday March 16, 3:00pm


Raiders: 1. Jordan Rapana, 2. Albert Hopoate, 3. Matthew Timoko, 4. Sebastian Kris, 5. Xavier Savage, 6. Ethan Strange, 7. Jamal Fogarty, 8. Josh Papali’i, 9. Danny Levi, 10. Joseph Tapine, 11. Hudson Young, 12. Zac Hosking, 13. Morgan Smithies, 14. Tom Starling, 15. Emre Guler, 16. Ata Mariota, 17. Pasami Saulo, 18. Kaeo Weekes, 19. Simi Sasagi, 20. Zac Woolford, 21. James Schiller, 22. Trey Mooney

Tigers: 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. Apisai Koroisau, 10. David Klemmer, 11. Isaiah Papali’i, 12. Luke Bateman, 13. Alex Seyfarth, 14. Aidan Sezer, 15. Fonua Pole, 16. Alex Twal, 17. Samuela Fainu, 18. Asu Kepaoa, 19. Tallyn Da Silva, 20. Justin Matamua, 21. Alexander Lobb, 22. Jake Simpkin

Referee: Peter Gough

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Few gave the Raiders a chance of topping the Knights in Newcastle in round 1, however they put in a classic backs-against-the-wall performance to come away with a comfortable 28-12 victory. In front of a home crowd on Saturday afternoon, they’ll be keen to prove it wasn’t a fluke against the two-time wooden spooners.

The Benji Marshall era officially kicks off for Wests Tigers on Saturday, having had the bye in round 1. Coming off the back of their second consecutive wooden spoon, the only way truly is up for a Tigers side that only claimed one win (a last-minute 24-23 victory over the Dolphins) after round 12 last year. Although their trial form was less than inspiring, they’ll be ready to go for season 2024.

Just one change for Ricky Stuart’s Raiders following their victory over the Knights, with Seb Kris returning from suspension, pushing Albert Hopoate to the wing, and Nick Cotric to the reserves. Danny Levi has been named to start despite corking his quad.

Benji Marshall has sprung the first bombshell of his coaching career, naming exciting 18-year-old local junior Lachlan Galvin to make his first grade debut ahead of new recruit Aidan Sezer. The Eagle Vale-St Andrews junior already has an impressive rugby league CV, despite having been cut from Parramatta’s junior reps, playing in Western Suburbs’ 2022 Harold Matthews Cup premiership, Westfields Sports High’s 2023 Schoolboys Cup triumph (claiming the Peter Sterling Medal along the way), and earning selection for the 2023 Australian Schoolboys.

Partnering Galvin in the halves will be another new Tiger in Jayden Sullivan, while Sezer will start his first game in the NRL since the 2019 Grand Final on the bench. Another new Tiger, Samuel Fainu, will join him on the interchange, with giant centre Solomona Faataape making his first grade debut with Justin Olam unavailable due to a knee issue.

The Raiders have dominated recent matches between the two sides, winning 13 of the last 15 and having not lost to Wests Tigers since a two-point loss in 2018, running up at least 40 points in five of those. Their two meetings in 2023 were close, however, with the Raiders clinging on 20-19 at Campbelltown after leading 18-0, before surviving a 22-18 scare in Canberra late in the season.

Realistically, the Raiders should win, however it’s a great opportunity for the Tigers and Marshall to show that they’ve come to play in 2024.

Head-to-head stats can be found at Round 2 Number Crunch.


Raiders by 12 points.

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