The Tigers have held on to their chance of making the finals and effectively ended that of the Raiders, taking an emphatic 25-4 victory at Canberra Stadium this afternoon.
Man-of-the-match Tim Moltzen opened the scoring in the 12th minute with an impressive solo try. He shaped to kick on the last tackle, stepped back inside and raced over between the posts. Not long after, Moltzen was back under the crossbar. This time he sprinted 90 metres to get there, intercepting a loose offload from Josh Dugan and going all the way.
Todd Payten sparked an entertaining try in the 33rd minute. He took the ball to the line and got his arms free to give it to Shannon Gallant. The Tigers fullback sped around a lacklustre Raiders defensive line and kicked a banana back towards the posts. A number of Tigers were there with open arms but it was John Morris who snatched it to extend the lead. A Robbie Farah drop-goal put the half-time score at 19-0.
Eight minutes after the break the Tigers were in again. Chris Lawrence gave a nice ball to Taniela Tuiaki and the imposing winger steamed over in the corner. Benji Marshall added two points, the fourth of four successful conversions.
At 25-0 it appeared that the Raiders could be held to zero for the first time in Canberra. They raised their game though and in the 62nd minute scored their first and only points of the match. Terry Campese bombed to his right wing, Joel Monaghan rose high but couldn't hold on. Daniel Vidot scooped it up and Phil Cooley pressed the green button to put the home side on the board.
Four points was all the Raiders could muster however, despite having the lion's share of the territory. On numerous occasions they failed to capitalise on repeat sets in attack, in no small part due to a lively Tigers defensive line. But also due to poor decisions and a general lack of intensity until the final quarter.
Five-eighth Tim Moltzen was outstanding for the Tigers, making decisive plays in both attack and defence. Prop Todd Payten impressed as well, popping up all over the park; offloading, catching kicks, charging down kicks.
Next week the Tigers host Manly on Monday night, another must-win to keep their finals hopes alive. The Raiders will play at home again, this time against the Brisbane Broncos.
Match Details Wests Tigers 25 def Canberra Raiders 4 Round 20 - Sunday July 26th, 2009 02:00pm Venue: Canberra Stadium Referee: Tony Archer & Phil Haines Touch Judges: Steve Carrall & Mohamad Fajajo Video Referee: Phil Cooley Crowd: 11,150 Halftime: Raiders 0 Tigers 19
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RAIDERS: 1. Josh Dugan 2. Daniel Vidot 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Joel Monaghan 5. Phil Graham 6. Terry Campese 7. Marc Herbert 8. Dane Tilse 9. Glen Buttriss 10. Troy Thompson 11. Glen Turner 12. Bronson Harrison 15. Nigel Plum Interchange: 13. Alan Tongue 14. Joel Thompson 16. Josh Miller 17. Trevor Thurling TIGERS: 1. Shannon Gallant 2. Taniela Tuiaki 3. Blake Ayshford 4. Chris Lawrence 5. Beau Ryan 6. Benji Marshall 7. Tim Moltzen 8. Bryce Gibbs 9. Robbie Farah 10. Todd Payten 11. Gareth Ellis 12. Danny Galea 13. Corey Payne Interchange: 14. John Morris 15. Alan Schirnack 16. John Skandalis 17. Simon Dwyer
Toyota Cup: Raiders 18 Tigers 21
League Unlimited Poll: Raiders 43% Tigers 57%
Sportsbet: Raiders $1.70 Tigers $2.10
Last Meeting: Raiders 26 Tigers 34 (2009 Round 1, Campbelltown)
Canberra Weather: Temperature 9.9 Like