Raiders wary of wounded Tigers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Raiders wary of wounded Tigers

By Bonny Symons-Brown 16/09/2010 02:48:57 PM Comments (0)

Canberra are refusing to write off the wounded Wests Tigers, with co-captains Alan Tongue and Terry Campese wary of injured playmaker Benji Marshall leading an attacking onslaught.

Marshall's knee is still causing concern in the Tigers camp and there are question marks over the fitness of second-rower Gareth Ellis (back), Bryce Gibbs (knee) and Blake Ayshford (virus), but that hasn't stopped Campese putting his team-mates on notice about their understrength opponents.

The Tigers have won both clashes with Canberra this season, and star five-eighth Campese is well aware of their potential to pile on points quickly in Friday night's elimination semi-final at Canberra Stadium.

"(Marshall) has got the wood on me twice this year so I've got one game to get it back and this is the game that counts," he told reporters outside Canberra Stadium on Thursday.

"They're probably the best attacking side in the comp so if we are down on attitude or we don't bring our best game they'll just score five tries in a matter of 10 minutes.

"We've got to turn up with our heads on and make sure we are at our best defensively."

Co-captain Alan Tongue confirmed he had overcome his calf problem and would take the field - albeit in an unfamiliar role off the bench.

He said the pre-season critics had been proved wrong and declared the Raiders had found their mojo.

"At the start of the year some people questioned us and that was probably deservedly so," he said.

"We were playing some inconsistent footy and we weren't playing to the best of our ability.

"Now we've turned that around. The young kids are playing some great footy, we've got some momentum going ... and we've got a big forward pack that's rolling forward great for us."

Canberra have gone into lockdown ahead of the sell-out match, with coach David Furner trying to keep a lid on his excited players.

The Raiders hadn't previously closed their home-ground training sessions to the media this season, but Furner said the side's last run needed to be free from all distractions.

"Today's just all about polishing our training and getting prepared for the match," he said.

"It's about us, for the players just to get a real good clean session. It's great to have that exposure, they deserve it, but today was just about the team."

Furner wants his men to settle into their game-plan within the first 20 minutes on Friday night and then focus on curbing Marshall and captain Robbie Farah's influence.

"You've got Farah there with the left foot (kicking game), you've got Benji Marshall, you've got (Robert) Lui, you've got three kickers there, so they're very dangerous," Furner said.

"(Farah) is a very smart No.9 and you don't want to engage him too much, but you need to put a bit of pressure on his kicking game, as with Lui and Marshall."

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