After starting the year with a tremendous victory over the Knights, all eyes weren't on Canberra for their free win against the Wests Tigers.

I'm burying the lead here, somewhat, but come on - the Wests Tigers are the Rugby League equivalent of the short bus. They get all the worst players because no-one wants to go there, the only coach they could find is an alumni who demanded a five year deal, who has surrounded himself with loyal cronies, and the club has been surfing the orange wave (no, not the good AFL one, the shit NRL one) of mediocrity for a decade at this point.

The Tigers, as a club, last played finals in 2011. This season, with the departures of Luke Brooks, David Nofoluma, and all hope, doesn't promise a glorious return to the golden age of finishing in positions 5-8 on the ladder.

I didn't even have the heart to boo the Tigers as they ran out onto the hallowed turf of Bruce Stadium. I felt they had suffered enough.

Am I too harsh? Maybe, but the Wests supporter base has been so beaten down by the cavalcade of sports germalists that it doesn't matter what I say, it's already reached print at the hands of half a dozen grubby bought-and-paid-for media personalities.

The game? Yeah, it was alright - 17,000 fans, mostly wearing the righteous green, packed the stands to watch the Tigers get hunted ruthlessly for eighty minutes.

For a whole five minutes, it looked like the Tigers were going to aim up and really dig in. Down 14-0, the TigPies scored two great individual tries to get within two points. Then, apparently they had decided that was as close as they wanted to get, and spent the next sixty minutes getting bullied by the Raiders.

Canberra piled on another three tries, including a frankly baffling defensive decision which allowed Xavier Savage to run forty meters down the sideline without so much as a finger being laid on him.

The whole thing had the same feeling as playing a game of little toy soldiers where your opponent can't make any saving throws and you can't miss. With anything.

But the game was functionally over at half time with the Raiders up 24-12 and the Tigers looking like they'd rather be anywhere else. Wests never got close enough or showed anywhere near enough competence to threaten the Raiders - even after three consecutive sets on Canberra's goal line.

As for the men in green? They played ok. Zac Hosking is looking like an incredible buy, and I think Big Red and Smelly are going to struggle to make the starting side. Particularly with Morgan Smithies tackling anything and everything in sight.

Last year's assblasting at the hands of the Storm seems a distant memory for Ethan Strange, too, who demonstrated a fraction of his potential by running past four Tigers to plant the ball down.

Sticky is going to have some bad headaches. Because immediately behind the first graders was a reserves side that piled fifty points on a hapless Western Suburbs Magpies outfit. There's some firepower sitting unused in the 2s, let me tell you that.

This week is the real test, however, as the Raiders travel to Kiwiland to take on the Warriors. It's always a brutal road trip, and "The Wahs" are a good footy unit - even after an 0 and 2 start.

Catch you next time,

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