FINALS BOUND: Raiders skipper Jarrod Croker.
FINALS BOUND: Raiders skipper Jarrod Croker. CRAIG GOLDING

Refreshed Raiders will be full-strength for Tigers clash

NRL: Canberra coach Ricky Stuart has decided to not rest any of his players in Sunday's clash with the Wests Tigers, instead giving his team a three-day break earlier this week.

After last week's win over Manly - the Raiders' ninth in a row - Stuart said he might rest players for the upcoming finals series.

However he gave his players the early part of the week off, with their first field session coming on Thursday.

Skipper Jarrod Croker said the squad should be well recovered after the break.

"We'll get a short, sharp session in today and have tomorrow to travel. We want to build momentum. The boys should be nice and fresh from the couple of days we have off,” he said.

"I don't think anyone would be putting their hand up to have a rest, put it that way. I know I won't be.

"I've played a couple of games at Leichhardt on Sunday afternoon, sun shining and a full house. They're the games you want to play in,”

Centre Joey Leilua said it had been a "good break”.

"I think it's our longest break this year,” he said.

"It's good for us to freshen up our legs for this game coming up and coming into the finals as well.”

The third-placed Raiders will be keen observers of the Melbourne-Cronulla match on Saturday, with a Sharks loss opening the door for Canberra to steal second spot and a home final.

However a Sharks win would leave the Raiders simply playing for momentum against a Tigers side relying on Gold Coast losing against North Queensland to keep their finals hopes alive.


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