NRL 3 years ago

Monday night will suit Raiders: Williams

  • Monday night will suit Raiders: Williams

Sam Williams reckons Canberra will have the wood over Wests Tigers when they meet early next week, despite their poor NRL record at home and on Monday nights.

The Raiders lost both of their Monday fixtures at GIO Stadium last year, and have only tasted victory twice in nine matches at home this season.

"The big difference about this Monday, it's a night game, it's going to be fairly cold and it suits us," the halfback said on Friday.

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"We're here today and it's fairly fresh at the moment - I'm sure they're not training in that (back in Sydney)."

The Tigers haven't got a favourable record on Monday nights either, claiming just two wins in 12 matches since 2012.

It's even worse when playing away, with just one victory from 10 on the road.

Williams, who made a surprise return from a pectoral injury against North Queensland last start, said this round was a fork in the road for the 10th-placed Raiders.

A win could pitch them back into the top eight and, with a relatively easy run home, set them up nicely for a finals berth.

Lose, and they could be four points adrift of making the playoffs.

"We're in a position where the ball is still in our court and if we're playing good footy we're going to be in the finals," Williams said.

"We need to make sure we have a win on Monday night and start to take a bit of momentum into, hopefully, the finals."

The Raiders aren't underestimating the loss of hooker Josh Hodgson (ankle), forward Sia Soliola (cheekbone) and winger Edrick Lee (suspension), but have faith in their replacements.

Glen Buttriss, who played at No.9 all season last year, comes in for Hodgson, while Jarrad Kennedy has been promoted from the bench to cover Soliola and Sisa Waqa is back from injury to fill in for Lee.

"So I'm sure we're not going to lose too much," Williams added.

"(Buttriss') service is excellent, he has a great pass and he's been around the game long enough to be able to control it."

Despite the Tigers' lowly standing on the ladder, last week's surprise win over Melbourne and their exciting combination in the halves and at fullback makes them a dangerous outfit.

That's according to skipper Jarrod Croker.

"There's no doubt they're talented," Croker said.

"They're a young side, a little bit like us.

"They're growing as a team and we saw last week what they can do (beating Melbourne), and they play good footy.

"They're definitely dangerous."

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