NRL Rd 5 - Tigers v Raiders
NRL Rd 5 - Tigers v Raiders

Raiders too good for Tigers in Ricky Stuart’s 400th game

Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire wanted a response. And for 40 minutes his team delivered but they then fell into bad habits in the second half with the Raiders racing away 14-6 winners.

For 49 minutes the Tigers held the Raiders scoreless and looked like souring Canberra coach Ricky Stuart's 400th game. But two tries in five minutes turned the tide the Raiders way less than seven days since the Tigers were humiliated by the Titans.

Maguire reacted to that loss by making five changes, including axing club stalwart Benji Marshall. Marshall, who oddly had to warm up with the team before kick-off, watched on as the Tigers led 4-0 at half-time.

 

Back to the drawing board. The Tigers were dominant early on, but cost themselves in the second half. Picture: Getty Images.
Back to the drawing board. The Tigers were dominant early on, but cost themselves in the second half. Picture: Getty Images.

Maguire said was happy with his team's efforts but failed to rule out making more changes.

"We just have to learn how to do that for 80," Maguire said.

"We played the style of what I asked for the in the first half. We went away from what we were doing really well. I'll have a look at the game. Decide which adjustments I may need and go with .

"If I need to make adjustments I will."

Strangely it was Russell Packer's entry into the match which helped sway the game in the Raiders favour. Packer waited 14 months since he last played in the top grade but just six minutes back into his return he was sin-binned for a brain snap when he tried to stop the Raiders from taking a quick penalty tap.

A few tackles later the Raiders scored through winger Nick Cotric off a George Williams cross-field kick in the 54th minute after Jack Wighton scored earlier. Packer was later placed on report for a high tackle on Joe Tapine and then quickly replaced to end an eventful 12 minute stint.

Maguire said he will "have a look" at Packer's stint.

The Raiders celebrate Ricky Stuart’s 400th game with a win. Picture: Getty Images.
The Raiders celebrate Ricky Stuart’s 400th game with a win. Picture: Getty Images.

Wests Tigers five-eighth Josh Reynolds brushed aside his drama plagued year to lay on the only first half try. His cross-field kick led to a Curtis Scott fumble with Luke Brooks pouncing to score after 17 minutes. The Tigers loss was compounded by a possible ankle injury to Luciano Leilua who limped from the field in the dying moments.

A terrible defensive lapse cost the Tigers to help Wighton slice through for the Raiders first try. Just moments after throwing a terrible pass over the sideline, Wighton, who battled a bad cut, showed no intent of passing the next time. He dummied just six metres from the Tigers line and easily beat four defenders including Packer and Reynolds who were flat-footed to allow Wighton to score and give the Raiders the lead for the first time.

Coach Ricky Stuart said it was a "really physical game".

"We knew it was going to be a tough game after both teams were embarrassed by their last performance," Stuart said. "I don't think anybody watching at home would appreciate the difficult circumstances playing. It was tough, greasy and slippery.

"Over the next four or five weeks, if I can I'll start rotating players to keep the energy high."

 

Jack Wighton coped an face injury early in the game, but was still too good for some sloppy Tigers defence. Picture: AAP.
Jack Wighton coped an face injury early in the game, but was still too good for some sloppy Tigers defence. Picture: AAP.

 

Originally published as Raiders too good for Tigers in Ricky Stuart's 400th game



How ‘abnormally’ hot it’s going to get today

How ‘abnormally’ hot it’s going to get today

Records are expected to shatter across the country over coming days

The ‘unsuitable’ people being given gun licences

Premium Content The ‘unsuitable’ people being given gun licences

Even a murderer who shot their victim can obtain a gun licence

NEW SITE: Plans advance for Warwick Saleyards facelift

Premium Content NEW SITE: Plans advance for Warwick Saleyards facelift

Industry heavyweights throw weight behind proposal for new site, but potential...