Sport Canberra's 'Leipana' has terrorised the Tigers

08:51  11 august  2018
08:51  11 august  2018 Source:   smh.com.au

Tigers fend off Raiders in NRL thriller

  Tigers fend off Raiders in NRL thriller Wests Tigers have secured their 11th win of the NRL season, holding off a second-half challenge from Canberra to prevail 22-20.The Raiders have dominated the Tigers in recent meetings, including a 36-point smashing in June, but the visitors produced a hot start at GIO Stadium and closed out the job.

The Tigers have slipped from fourth to ninth and victory over the Raiders is crucial if they are to stay in touch with the top eight. A loss today would leave them four points adrift of the eighth-placed Brisbane Broncos. Importance of victory for Canberra .

Ricky Stuart has named an unchanged Canberra Raiders team to play Wests Tigers on Sunday at Canberra Stadium. " Leipana ", they're the human embodiment of the Green Machine. Unstoppable match winners one minute, costly the next.

© Jamila Toderas "Leipana" has terrorised the Wests Tigers. While Ricky Stuart's focus is on fixing his defence, the Wests Tigers will have at least one eye on the Canberra Raiders attack.

Especially the attack from the Raiders' potent right edge.

The Tigers come to Canberra Stadium knowing a win on Sunday will bring them within two points of the NRL top eight, but they also know they're facing a team that's had their number recently.

Canberra have won all four of their last meetings by an average margin of 43 points.

A big part of that has been the Green Machine's exciting right wing-centre combination of Jordan Rapana and Joey Leilua, with the duo known as "Leipana" scoring 13 tries between them in those four games.

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At the heart of Canberra ’ s creation story is Lake Burley Griffin. Over 100 years later, that destiny has been fulfilled in a city that preserves the great chapters of Australia’s history and continues to write the future pages of the nation’s story.

Josh Papalii (four), Joe Tapine (three), Blake Austin (two), Nick Cotric (two) and Elliott Whitehead (two) have also cashed in on the torment, while Wests will be happy Raiders captain Jarrod Croker (three) won't be there after having season-ending knee surgery.

It's something the Tigers only need to look back less than two months to be aware of.

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Esan Marsters has just 33 NRL games to his name but doesn't need experience to analyse how Penrith terrorised the Raiders' left-edge defence in their comeback win on Sunday. "I thought Canberra played well but they had a few lapses on their left edge," Marsters told NRL.com.

With fewer than 4,000 of these iconic animals in the wild today, tiger populations have been in a rapid decline over the past century. These already endangered big cats are being driven towards extinction, as demand for tiger products continue.

They dominated the opening 20 minutes against the Raiders at Campbelltown, but still walked away on the wrong end of a 48-12 hiding where Leilua and Tapine scored doubles.

But it's the least of Stuart's concerns, with the Canberra mentor putting his team on notice over their defensive frailties.

Stuart puts the Raiders' inability to defend a lead down to those frailties.

The Green Machine have lost five games so far this season where they led by 10 points or more.

It's meant they could be the first team to lead the NRL in scoring, but still miss out on the finals.

One of those leads they let slip was last week against the Penrith Panthers, where they lost 40-31 after being up 26-12 at half-time.

"Attack is the least of my concerns. I would rather win 6-4 than lose 40-31. My attack is the least of my concerns. It's people buying in to defence," Stuart said.

It's a sentiment Leilua shares.

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The wild tiger population has dropped 97% over the last hundred years, making them an endangered species. The TX2 campaign is a global commitment to double the number of wild tigers made by the governments of 13 tiger range countries.

On the morning of October 26, the tiger (along with a delivery of several other big cats) arrived at the Bett Street menagerie. It was held in a large crate, which had three solid wood sides and thick iron bars across the front.

He scored a hat-trick against the Panthers and has scored five tries in the last four outings against Wests.

But he'd happily trade those tries in in exchange for the two points.

"I'd rather not score three tries and win than score three tries and lose," Leilua said.

"We need to focus on what we need to get better at. That's completing our sets. We came out after half-time [against Penrith] and didn't complete until the fifth set.

"We've got to do that first and then hopefully win some games.

"It's good to be back home [at Canberra Stadium], it feels like we've been away forever and hopefully we get some Green Machine fans out there to come support us."

Raiders acting captain Josh Hodgson said the Tigers have had a momentum change since they faced each other two months ago.

Not only do they come in buoyed by the Brisbane Broncos' loss on Thursday night, opening the finals door, but they had been bolstered by some additional personal since then.

While they've lost back Corey Thompson (ankle), they've gained fullback Moses Mbye from Canterbury and hooker Robbie Farah from South Sydney.

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A white tiger is actually the product of two Bengal tigers that have a recessive gene for white fur. There are few white tigers in the world because the mating of two tigers with such genes is statistically rare in the wild.

In the neighboring zoo, visitors can view all the important species of Australian fauna as well as exotic species as such as lions, tigers , cheetahs, bears Luxury Hotels: Smack dab in the Parliamentary Triangle near Questacon, the classy Hyatt Hotel Canberra has a wonderful pool and fitness center

Plus the biggest in of five-eighth Benji Marshall (calf), who boasts 17 wins from his 18 games against the Raiders over his 16-year career.

"How we played then was really direct and our big boys put their best foot forward," Hodgson said of their last encounter against Wests.

"They’ve had a momentum change since then, they’ve been playing well. Robbie Farah has come into the team which seems to give them a bit of direction around nine.

"You do look back at what worked back then, but things have changed a little bit since then.

"We’re going to have to be good because when a team is chasing the eight and they’re really hungry, they’re going to come down here firing."

NRL ROUND 22

Sunday: Canberra Raiders v Wests Tigers at Canberra Stadium, 2pm. Tickets available from Ticketek.

Raiders team: 1. Nick Cotric, 2. Brad Abbey, 3. Blake Austin, 4. Joey Leilua, 5. Jordan Rapana, 6. Aidan Sezer, 7. Sam Williams, 8. Sia Soliola, 9. Josh Hodgson (c), 10. Junior Paulo, 11. Joe Tapine, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 13. Josh Papalii. Interchange from: 14. Dunamis Lui, 15. Shannon Boyd, 16. Siliva Havili, 17. Luke Bateman, 18. Liam Knight, 19. Jack Murchie.

Tigers team: 1. Moses Mbye, 2. David Nofoaluma, 3. Esan Marsters, 4. Kevin Naiqama, 5. Malakai Watene-Zelezniak, 6. Benji Marshall, 7. Luke Brooks, 8. Russell Packer (c), 9. Robbie Farah, 10. Ben Matulino, 11. Michael Chee Kam, 12. Luke Garner, 13. Elijah Taylor. Interchange from: 14. Alex Twal, 15. Sauaso Sue, 16. Robbie Rochow, 17. Matt Eisenhuth, 18. Jacob Liddle, 21. Mahe Fonua.

Canberra A-League bid sign veteran coach Ron Smith .
Smith was head coach at the AIS for 12 years and interim manager of the Socceroos before the 2006 World Cup.Smith helped build the AIS Centre of Excellence and headed the academy through Australia's "golden era" which produced countless Socceroos and culminated at the 2006 World Cup.

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