Itís the definition of a dead rubber for these two sides in round 25.†
Thereís not much left to play for in this game, as the Canberra Raiders take on the Wests Tigers at GIO Stadium on Saturday night.†
As far as the home side is concerned, just about the only goal the Green Machine can shoot for is winning back-to-back games for the first time this season. The fact that the side is still yet to achieve this feat in season 2014 is testament to what a rotten year it has been.
The Raiders are last-start winners against the lowly Cronulla Sharks, after an unconvincing 22-12 victory. That contest had a few positional changes that Ricky Stuart will further explore against the Tigersómost notably Jack Wighton at fullback.
The other major change to the side is the inclusion of Mitch Cornish at Halfback, ahead of Josh McCrone, who moves to the bench. McCrone has once again had an inconsistent season and has unfortunately done little to cement his spot. Cornish will be out to prove that he is the man for the job next year.
The Raiders should also be focused on trying to get Jarrod Croker as many points as possibleóthe Canberra centre is still a contender for the Telstra Premiershipís leading point-scorer in 2014. His new role as the sole captain of the side should only help to boost his motivation.
The Tigers also have little left to play for this year. The side has once again fallen victim to the injury curse, and off-field dramas surrounding the coach in particular have only compounded these difficulties. Their previous heavy loss to the Bulldogs will have done nothing to improve their confidence.
This contest always brings up memories of what many consider to be the greatest Grand Final of all timeóthe 1989 decider that went into extra timeóbut both sides are a shadow of their former selves at the moment.
However, old rivalries never die, and there will be plenty riding on this game for both teams. As well as this, there is also plenty of pride at stake given the two sidesí retched seasons. This will be a fiery encounter, but the Raiders should just have the edge with their home-ground advantage.
Does either side have an advantage in what is a fairly meaningless game?