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Live: Wests Tigers v Raiders

Date

James Polson

The Twitter outlaw is back in the hot seat as the stumbling premiership favourites host the Canberra Raiders from the Wests faction of the franchise (also known as Campbelltown). Will anyone call it the Hume Highway derby?

Gareth Ellis of the Tigers scores. Click for more photos

Raiders belt the Tigers

Terry Campese steers Canberra to a comprehensive victory over the hapless Tigers. Photo: Getty Images

Terry Campese gets the man-of-the-match award (I'm getting good at picking these) and that's it for me tonight.  Thanks for reading and be sure to log on to smh.com.au or grab tomorrow's Herald for all the wash-up from Glenn Jackson and Michael Chammas.  We'll be back on Friday night to kick off round five with sports editor Ben Coady back in the blog seat.

Plenty to smile about for Raiders fans - plenty of entertaining footy tonight.  They could have scored more but to completely dominate one of the premiership heavyweights in the second half is nothing to sneeze at.  The weight of possession was just too much for the Tigers to contend with, and it's a well-deserved win to the visitors. 

With that result, the Raiders move into top eight, occupying seventh position, while only the hapless Eels stand between the Tigers and the cellar.  A long way to go in the season, but with Robbie Farah missing again next week, it's a position few saw them occupying at all.

And that's full-time at Campbelltown Stadium.  Raiders get the chocolates 30-16 and there's no shortage of contenders for the man of the match.  Campese was back to his best, while Reece Robinson was sensational in his top-grade return.  And that's to say nothing of Jason Croker, who bagged a double, and David Shillington who got his fair share of offloads away.

79 min: Blake Ferguson plays the ball very gingerly - Raiders fans will be hoping it's nothing to worry about.  They've got a full week to get over this match though.

77 min: Tim Moltzen does well to field Josh McCrone's kick and the Tigers might have the final say here.

77 min: Croker held up over the line looking for his third try.  Play-on, fourth tackle for Canberra.

76 min: Blake Ferguson gets on an intercept on his own line and makes an 80m break for the Raiders.  He's taken into touch but the tackle was deemed complete and the Raiders get another penalty 20m out.

75 min: Tigers on the attack again and they've got another set in good position.

Marshall takes the conversion quickly and hits the upright.  Any chances of a miraculous comeback fall to the ground alongside the Steeden.  Raiders 30-16 in the dying stages.

73 min: TRY - Sensational ball from Chris Heighington and Tim Moltzen crosses for the Tigers.  30-16 with a kick to come.

73 min: Tigers close to adding some respectability to the scoreline here.

71 min: Tigers on the attack with numbers out wide but Tom Humble's long ball goes to no-one.  Just about sums up a forgettable evening for the home side.

71 min: Penalty to the Tigers, their first of the second half.  It's too little, too late after conceding 20 unanswered points in this term, the fat lady left her seat about five minutes ago.

More commentary from colleague and expert fisherman Paul Zalunardo - "Tigers fail to fire once again.  Blair failing to justify huge contract so far.  Did the Tigers give up too many hard-working forwards to create the cap space to sign him?".  Don't forget you can leave your comments below as well.  And into the last 10 minutes, it's Canberra 30, Tigers 12, and you wouldn't bet against them scoring a few more.

67 min: Another penalty to the Raiders and Croker crosses for his second.  Raiders running rampant, the Tigers look like they just want to go home.  Which they might be doing a few weeks earlier than expected later in the year if they continue to play like this. 

Still time here at Campbelltown Stadium but the question of who would be missed more - Farah or Dugan - looks to have been answered decisively.  Tigers' defence barely getting to sixes and sevens for most of this second term.

66 min: Croker adds the extras and that's a 12-point lead to the Raiders.  24-12.

Sorry - by the playmaker I mean Terry Campese.  A well-deserved try.

64 min: TRY - and that's just about goodnight for the Tigers.  Some woeful defence in the leadup and the playmaker burrows through from dummy-half.  He deserves nothing less after a sensational match so far.  Raiders 22-12, kick to come.

63 min: Campese kicks to the corner and despite Jack Wighton's best efforts it goes dead.  Back to the 20m for the Tigers to get us under way once more.

62 min: PENALTY - again to the Raiders.

Travis Waddell is on for the Raiders and takes the first hit-up.

61 min: And we're in the Tigers half, all but uncharted waters in the second term.  The Raiders have the feed though after Marshall narrowly misses a 40-20

That's the hour mark at Campbelltown Stadium and Canberra have had almost 80 per cent of the second-half ball.  Even if they win one suspects David Furner might be having some words about missed opportunities - the Tigers should have really been put to sleep by now.

And the Raiders are taking the two here.  A peculiar decision considering the chances they've had, and it extends their lead only to a converted try rather than beyond it.  Croker lands it and it's 18-12.  The Tigers will be happy to still be in touch after this opening term.

57 min: PENALTY to the Raiders.  Campese runs it on the last straight at the offside Aaron Woods, whose second half hasn't been quite as good as his Tiger namesake's efforts earlier in the day.

55 min: Chris Lawrence penalised for a not-so-dangerous throw.  We might hear more about that one but he'd be unlucky.

54 min: Turnover.  Raiders very unlucky there - Gareth Ellis offside a mile early in the set and Blake Ayshford looks to take out a Canberra attacker trying to field Campese's kick.  No change to the score, Canberra still up 16-12.

52 min: Reece Robinson takes a quick tap for the Raiders and makes close to 80m.  Another shot for the Raiders now.

No try, Joel Reddy saves a four-pointer for the Tigers.  Tim Sheens's men are lucky to still be in this match - the Raiders have made nine line breaks to their two, and had 60 per cent of the ball.  Still anyone's match with just under a half-hour to play.

51 min: TRY? Big Joel Thompson beats Chris Lawrence to cross but it looks like he's knocked it on (with a little help from his Raiders friends)

51 min: Canberra going backwards early in the set but plenty of tackles left

50 min: Moltzen knocks on in front of his own line to gift Canberra another dream opportunity. 

47 min: Raiders on the attack again with a line break from deep inside their own half through Wighton.  But it all comes to nothing as Berrigan loses it just shy of the line on the other side of the field.  Enterprising stuff early from Canberra

46 min: Croker adds the extras and the Raiders are back in front 16-12

45 min: TRY - That didn't take long.  Another offload from Shillington goes to Sam Mataora, and Ayshford is no match for the big man who crashes over just to the left of the sticks.  Raiders 14-12 with a kick to come.

45 min: Six again for the Raiders barely a metre out

44 min: Raiders shift it wide again and get a penalty - slightly high shot from Aaron Woods.  Good opportunity to make some early metres

44 min: And the Tigers field Campese's kick with ease, returning from their own 10m line

43 min: Harrison gets an offload away on the 4th for the Raiders, 40m out

42 min: Miller's kick finds Robinson 10m out and the Raiders are in possession for the first time this half

And we're underway for the second half.  David Furner's half-time talk summed up in three words - 'focus, energy, enthusiasm'.  He can smell a win.

12-10 at half-time and in lieu of some entertainment at the break let's get straight into the nitty gritty from Glenn Jackson, whose match report will be in tomorrow's Herald:
"A big try for the Raiders late in the half.  If the Tigers settle down and do the simple things right they should still win.  But they couldn't manage it in the first half, so the result is still up for grabs.  The battle of the coaches at half-time, the battle of the five-eighths after it."

And it's half-time at Campbelltown Stadium.  A drinks break for the blogging crew as well, and we'll be back with all the second-half action in just a few moments.

39 min: Croker hooks it slightly and fails to convert his own try.  Score remains 12-10 to the Tigers and that'll just about do us for the first half

37 min: TRY - Marshall attempts a little grubber and it all goes pear-shaped.  Terry Campese fields it before breaking the line and offloading to Croker who crosses after running 60m.  Tigers still ahead, just.  12-10 with a kick to come.

Sideline commentary from Herald colleague Paul Zalunardo - "how was that a try?".  He's a Doggies man so there can be no accusations of bias, and doubtless he's not the only man querying the decision.

36 min: GET YOUR HEAD IN, shouts referee Brett Suttor.  Gotta love rugby league.

35 min: Reece Robinson, who's played well so far, lets the Tigers off the hook with a forward pass, ignoring Croker outside him and attempting the cut-out to Jack Wighton

33 min: And the Tigers do their best to negate the try straight away with a mistake from the kickoff.  Canberra have the feed 20m out from the Tigers line

Marshall makes no mistake adding the extras and the Tigers extend their lead to six.  12-6 with six minutes until the break

And it's a TRY.  Tigers 10-6 with a kick to come and that one, while hard to pick, might be talked about along with some of the weekend's other decisions in the days to come.  But it's official and the home side are in front.

Decision hinging on whether the ball touches Croker or Miller's right forearm.  Could be the benefit of the doubt here

31 min: It looks like the Tigers have bombed the chance to take an unexpected lead.  Ellis fends Bronson Harrison off before forcing the offload to Miller, who appears to knock it on before grounding it again.  Back upstairs

30 min: Learoyd-Lahrs concedes a penalty for holding on to Blake Ayshford just a little bit too long.  A chance for the Tigers here, which have been few and far between.

29 min: Campese kicks to the wing again but it's a knock-on by the Raiders.  Tigers taking it up from their 20m

27 min: Chris Lawrence has coughed it up and handed the Raiders another golden opportunity.  Meanwhile, Jack Wighton has been placed on report on the advice of the video ref for a stray arm.  Nothing to worry about.

26 min: Canberra on the attack again through McCrone.  Scrambling stuff from both sides and the Tigers are lucky not to concede again

Change for the Raiders - Tom Learoyd-Lahrs on for David Shillington

24 min: And the Raiders spill it - the Tigers have the feed on their 10m line.

23 min: PENALTY - great opportunity for the Raiders just metres out

22 min: Tigers back with the ball now - they did well to hang on there.

21 min: Great tackle from Moltzen neutralises another Raiders attacking...erm....raid.  At least for now.

18 min: Technical gremlins have invaded the blogosphere - hopefully we'll be back on deck momentarily.  No change to the score

10 min: TRY.  Gareth Ellis bundles over for the Tigers off a nice ball from, who else, Benji Marshall.  Conversion successful and we're all locked up at 6-6.

6 min: Robinson again takes it up for Canberra - he’s been in everything early.

Kick successful from Croker and it’s 6-0 to the Raiders.

5 min: TRY.  Josh McCrone goes through for the Raiders and repeat sets have their pay-off.  Campese puts McCrone into the gap and it’s a relatively soft try to open proceedings.  Canberra 4-0, kick to come

Line drop-out from the Tigers once again - early pressure on the one-time premiership favourites.  Robinson takes the first tackle just inside the Tiges’ 20

3 min: Pressure from Canberra again with another kick into the Tigers’ in-goal.

No try.  The lack of celebration from the Canberra troops probably gave it away but it's nonetheless an encouraging start from David Furner's men.

2 min: Great start from the Raiders there, Terry Campese kicking for the corner and Jack Wighton does well to get to it.  Looking at the video but it could be a try already for the visitors.

Raiders returning fire now through Glen Buttriss, 40m out from their own line

And we're underway, Tigers just inside their own 20m for the first set

And, of course, both sides head into this match with their firepower considerably diminished, Robbie Farah through suspension for the Tigers and Josh Dugan due to a shoulder injury for the boys from the nation's capital.

Welcome everyone to the Herald's live blog of tonight's match between the Tigers and Canberra, coming to you from Campbelltown Stadium.  We're just 15 minutes away from wrapping up the fourth round of a competition that, it's fair to say, is becoming more intriguing by the day. James Polson in the chair for you tonight, back from a week's holiday and thrust straight back into the starting line-up.  The same can be said for young Tigers playmaker Jacob Miller, who replaces Tim Moltzen at halfback for tonight's clash.  Moltzen has been shifted to fullback, while Tom Humble, named last week at No.1, is forced to the bench.  Junior Moors is the unlucky man now watching from the sidelines.  For the Raiders, Dimitri Pelo is out and Reece Robinson comes in to the side, barely three weeks after fracturing his cheekbone in the opening round.

 

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