Fri, Aug 29, 2:32pm by Rob Sheeley
IT may well be a battle of the also-rans, but when the 12th-placed Wests Tigers head to the nation’s capital on Saturday afternoon, pride will be on the line.
For the Raiders a win would guarantee them avoiding the dreaded wooden spoon after what has been a year to forget for the green machine.
The Raiders will start favourites for the match as they look to secure their first back-to back wins for the 2014 season. Canberra is currently $1.42 to win the encounter against a struggling Tigers outfit who have now lost five in a row.
Two of the brighter lights for these two teams in an otherwise dull year has been their goals kickers.
For the Raiders, Jarrod Croker has proven to be a perennial point scoring machine.
For the Tigers, veteran Pat Richards has returned from a European sojourn with the exuberance of a rookie.
AustralianGambling will concentrate on those two players for the match with betting available on the most points scored by either player.
Jarrod Croker – $1.50
Pat Richards – $2.50
For the Canberra Raiders, their 23-year-old centre Jarrod Croker has been a star in 2014. He has shone brightly in a team that has struggled immensely.
Croker has somehow managed to be in the top three point scorers for the entire competition despite his team only winning six matches.
Croker has scored 180 points in 22 appearances at 6.82 points per game. He sits second on the top try scorers list with 18 tries and has kicked 54 goals from just 66 attempts at a success rate of 81.82%.
The Tigers lanky winger Pat Richards has also overachieved given his sides lean run in 2014.
The 32-year old has scored 141 points in just 19 appearances with nine tries and 52 goals from 61 attempts at 85.25% accompanied by a lone match-winning field goal.
Richards has scored at a rate of 7.42 points per match.
The Raiders are expected to win but this game could be a lot closer than the head to-head prices suggest.
Regardless of that fact, Jarrod Croker has shown the ability to consistently score well in a losing team all season.
Pat Richards also returns from injury this week and he may be better for the hit out.
Even at the short quote of $1.50, Jarrod Croker is a good bet. He looks a moral to be out scoring his opposition counterpart here.
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