Taylor ready to show power for NRL Raiders
Raiders players react during the Round 2 NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Cronulla Sharks at GIO Stadium in Canberra, Saturday, March 11, 2017. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)
Junior Paulo has backed fellow giant prop Dave Taylor to intimidate Wests Tigers in Canberra's desperate bid for their first NRL win of the season.
Taylor, who is on a one-year deal to resurrect his troubled NRL career with the Raiders, is set to make his debut in Sunday's game at GIO Stadium after serving a two-game suspension for his part in the Gold Coast cocaine scandal.
Paulo said Taylor would bring his size and power off Canberra's bench as they try to make amends for losses to North Queensland and Cronulla in the first two rounds.
"Everyone’s based our team around the intimidation side of things and with Dave coming in I’m sure that brings a lot of power coming off the bench," Paulo said on Thursday.
Taylor has shed weight since joining the Raiders but remains an imposing figure.
Throwing the 28-year-old into the mix with Paulo and Shannon Boyd gives the Raiders some of the competition’s biggest front rowers.
They are set to come up against a Tigers pack led by inspirational skipper Aaron Woods.
“I try and test myself no matter who’s in front of me,” Paulo said.
“Obviously (Woods) is a test front rower, soon to be the leader of the Aussie pack. It will be a good challenge for me and Shannon.”
Aside from sheer size, Paulo believes Taylor brings experience to the Raiders side with 170 NRL games, eight Origins and a Test cap under his belt.
Experience could be one antidote to arresting Canberra’s poor discipline in their first two matches.
"We’ve been giving away too many crucial penalties in games where we’ve been in close situations," Paulo said.
"We’ve been going away from our game plan of flat and fast footy and that’s what our team is based around."
After Cronulla handed out a belting to the Raiders at home, Paulo said the team had looked inwards rather than spent too much time analysing their opponents.
“The past two weeks we’ve been focusing on our opposition and we haven’t really been focused on what we have to offer,” he said.
“We’re desperate for a win.”
© AAP 2017