Tigers unfazed by Raiders NRL horror run

Scott Bailey
Chris Lawrence (C) says the Wests Tigers must improve their defence for the NRL clash with Canberra

It's the horror record the Wests Tigers must overcome to keep pace with the fight for the NRL's top eight.

In their past three games against Canberra, the Tigers have conceded 158 points and scored just 22.

It sits as a sad and lonely reminder of where the Tigers have come from.

The last time the two teams clashed - when Canberra won 46-6 in round four last year - it ended Jason Taylor's tenure as Tigers coach.

The time before that, it was Robbie Farah's last day as a Tiger and he finished the day sitting as a lone figure in the Leichhardt Oval scoreboard as the club crashed out of finals contention.

"They've definitely had the wood over us the last couple of years," veteran Chris Lawrence admitted.

But this is a different Tigers team - and they're determined to make sure it stays that way.

After the best defensive record in the league held them in the top four over the opening six rounds of the competition, they've dropped to ninth with six losses in eight games since.

"We've got a completely different roster (to previous losses to Canberra)," Lawrence said.

"A lot of new players and we've built the first half of our year based off our defence.

"But we've got a lot to improve on in that area. We were poor in patches in that on the weekend (against Cronulla) ... Some of those tries were very soft tries and tries we haven't let in all year.

"We need to make sure we improve on that on the weekend because the Raiders are a side that can put plenty of points on as we know."

Sunday's clash at Campbelltown might effectively act as a four-point game for both sides, given they're likely to be fighting off for finals spots in September.

The Tigers sit ninth and Raiders 10th. They are realistically two of just three teams alongside Newcastle with any real chance of sneaking into the finals during the second half of the season.

With a bye still up their sleeve in round 17, a win over the Raiders would give the Tigers a buffer over the rest of the chasing pack.

"In the context of our season (it's big)," Lawrence's fellow co-captain Elijah Taylor said.

"Every game from now on is a must-win game for us - that's how we're treating it."