Shades of Benji as Tigers put in finals worthy display to squash Raiders with two returning stars shining

The Tigers turned back the clock to 2006 and Benji Marshall-esque rugby league, running rampant in Campbelltown to squash the Raiders 48-24.

While coach Marshall was pleased with his side’s gritty win over the Titans last week, there was no reason to panic on Sunday afternoon as Wests put in a thrashing whistle to whistle performance.

Adam Doueihi returns. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

The return of Lachlan Galvin and medical wonder Adam Doueihi inserted a cracking presence into the side, which Tigers fans will be relishing as the two are locked in for yet another season.

The Green Machine were simply outplayed in a fixture that illustrated the promise of a young Tigers side, who will be playing finals footy shortly with that quality.

Galvin dazzled and Api Koroisau had both coaches and fans in awe – the No.9 was nothing short of outstanding, showing Michael Maguire if he picks another side on form, he must include him.

“I am 100 percent going to see out this contract. I want to change this club around and be a West Tiger,” Galvin said post game.

“That’s class. It’s a big effort, to see him (Doueihi) play the way he did today with his intent, wanting the footy, playing him centre, whatever is best for the team. It was pretty big,” Benji Marshall said post game.

“I only told Doueihi he was playing yesterday. I can’t take any credit for the way he played, it was all him.

“He’s been harassing me for three weeks.”

Meanwhile, Ricky Stuart was lost for words in the post match press conference.

“I can’t (put that into words),” Stuart said.

“If we can’t score tries against twelve men, we’re in a bad position. I said to them, don’t get too excited about the fact we scored a couple of tries at the backend when the game was over.

“We are not a tough football team at the moment.

“We are taking soft options.”

Tigers roar in attack

Ethan Strange showed sharp footwork early, which unfortunately for the Raiders opened the door for Brent Naden and running rugby league. The rangy centre intercepted a pass and ran for 80 metres down field. Galvin put his foot down and made use of the overlap – pressing the go button to score. But the tries would only continue.

While Jahream Bula bombed one early, the young fullback was back to his best, linking up with Aidan Sezer and Galvin to cause havoc at the back.

Koroisau may have played at halfback last week, but the former Blue is undoubtedly a No.9. His speed, deception and creativity at the ruck was marvellous.

It was great scenes as Luke Laulilii scored a try on debut. The 18-year-old threw himself at the try line, barging over and showing his fearless personality.

Jordan Rapana pulled off an incredible try saver, wrapping up the pill on a rampaging Adam Doueihi carry – but proceeded to botch a dropout minutes later, booting it out on the full.

The camera saved a try for the Raiders, Sione Fainu extremely unlucky to not be awarded a try. No angles pictured the pill on the grass, due to an arm obstructing the picture. It was a certain four-pointer.

Yet, the Tigers weren’t down at half-time with an 18-2 lead. It was only the beginning.

What transpired in the second half was truly encouraging for all Tigers supporters, but rather embarrassing for Ricky Stuart’s $1.50 favourites.

Galvin went over for his second try less than a minute into the second half – capping off a stunning team try that was set up by Adam Doueihi.

Doueihi wows in superb comeback game

Adam Doueihi is a damn good player. The 25-year-old will be a massive part of the Tigers’ back half of 2024 and seasons going into the future.

If Manly coach Anthony Seibold is still wondering about a Tom Trbojevic shift to centre, go take a look at the role of Doueihi. The utility back was everywhere. Contesting kicks, putting up kicks of his own and floating around the ruck in attack.

He ran for 212 metres and was solid in defence – although it was his speed in such a big frame that wowed.

In the closing minutes Doueihi was rewarded with a runaway intercept try, putting his knees to the test after three reconstructions – what a story.

He outran Kaeo Weekes, who minutes before, gifted the Raiders with a third try. The Raiders went one-two-three, in their only encouraging period of the game. Weekes gapped the Tigers defence, seemingly slotting in at fullback and running half the field. Ethan Strange then crossed the chalk and the lead was cut to 18.

Danny Levi was the first to cross for the Raiders and Nick Cotric was second. The right winger was the beneficiary of an Alex Seyfarth sin-bin, leaving plenty of space on the edge for the flyer to cross over.

Doueihi had two line breaks and five tackle breaks – his name in the starting 13 is a must.

Where to for Ricky’s Raiders?

Sure, sometimes things don’t go your way on the scoresheet. But the Raiders lacked purpose and difference in attack.

One key moment that highlighted this was on a fifth tackle. The Raiders were two metres out from the Tigers’ line and were on the charge.

Elliott Whitehead then scurries his way into hooker and goes for a brain snap pick and go – sapping the spine of any opportunity to spread through the hands and cross the line, or place a kick. It was a classic case of white line fever. But it also sounded alarm bells. Where is the cohesion in their outfit?

Weekes and Strange were once again solid and provided moments of flair, but outside of the two youngsters and Jordan Rapana, there is not much doing at the Raiders.

Hudson Young also bombed a certain try – going himself instead of drawing the man and setting up his teammate under the black dot.

Canberra now slump to 11th on the ladder and look lost in matchups that they must win to make the eight.

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