Two arch enemies go toe to toe this weekend as the Raiders travel to Leichardt to face the Wests Tigers. Ever since 1989 (best vintage ever!) these two sides have conducted a seesaw style battle for bragging rights. The Tigers have put bruising wins on the Raiders in Canberra, including that semi-final of heartbreak in 2010, whilst the Green Machine have upset the faithful of Campbelltown (and Leichardt) on several occasions. The Tigers are currently in ascendance in 8th, while the Raiders are marooned on 15th. However only two competition points separates them, with the premiership ladder currently log jammed with several teams on 6 points.
Big Three – Tigers
James Tedesco: Tedesco famously turned his back on the Raiders last year only to fall foul of a serious injury which ended his season. Has been in blistering form across the stat sheet, attacking from wherever he wants.
Aaron Woods: The Tigers mountain man forward is one of the leading big men in the game and a shoe in come Origin time. Expect Woods to hammer the Raiders defensive line constantly.
Pat Richards: Richards is a freak. This guy had the biggest boot before he left for the Super league, with constant 50 metre on-the-full dropouts. Upon his return he not only has huge kicks he also has freaky kicks like the one he executed while half being yanked backwards off one foot that led to a try being scored. Beware the boot.
Big Three – Raiders
Blake Austin: Blake “I’m slowly morphing into a Viking” Austin has a good chance of acquiring some nice pelts against his old club on Sunday. If he can mix it up and get the ball to his backline there’s no knowing the kind of damage he could wreak on Wests.
Paul Vaughan: Vaughan! AhhhAhhhhhh He’s the saviour of the universe! By far and away the best Raiders forward this season, Vaughan continues to make massive metres and terrorise defensive lines every time he takes to the field.
Josh Hodgson: Let’s face it, the Raiders lost to Melbourne the moment Frank-Paul Nuuausala got in the way of Hodgson’s foot. If he can stay on for 60 to 70 minutes and stick it to Farah the Raiders can win the game. Say no to Buttriss.
You Wot Mate?
People who still can’t admit that the 1989 grand final is the best grand final ever. It is. Deal with it.
The 1989 Raiders line up astral project into the dressing room and inspire the modern day team to an emphatic win. Luke Page yells at everyone in Mounties to play harder while he’s out injured. Josh McCrone walks into a bar, ending his season.