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Key Match-Up: Round 23 vs. Sea Eagles

Dan Talintyre

Key Matchup

Two new recruits for season 2017 will go head-to-head this Sunday when Tui Lolohea and Blake Green go head-to-head at Leichhardt Oval for the first time.

For Lolohea, it’s been somewhat of a hurried adjustment at Wests Tigers, having only arrived at the Club in Round 13. His combination on the right edge with Esan Marsters and David Nofoaluma continues to improve, and was the Club’s most dynamic attacking movement in their last start clash against the Penrith Panthers, recording two tries.

Lolohea will run out to Leichhardt Oval for the first time in his career this Sunday, and will certainly be looking to cause problems for the Sea Eagles’ left edge defence.

When the two sides met only a month ago at Lottoland, Lolohea’s running game was a real headache for Trent Barrett’s side — chalking up 137 metres on the ground and a linebreak — and he’ll certainly be looking to get the defensive line moving once again.

The attacking style of Lolohea is in stark contrast to his opposite number this Sunday, with Blake Green more of a controlling five-eighth to complement Daly Cherry-Evans.

Green was kept relatively quiet in his side’s win over Wests Tigers in Round 19, and has recorded just two try-assists since Round 9. However, what he might lack in direct attack, the former Melbourne Storm man more than makes up for with his composure and kicking game close to the line. Green has forced an impressive 23 goal-line dropouts throughout the year — well clear of some of the best short kickers in the NRL including Cooper Cronk (9), Nathan Cleary (12), Gareth Widdop (13) and Corey Norman (18).

At his seventh club in 10 years, the 30-year-old Green has settled well alongside Cherry-Evans on the Northern Beaches, and will need to step up again this Sunday to ensure the Sea Eagles remain consistent and keep their shot at making the top eight alive.

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HISTORY

Lolohea and Green have met on five occasions throughout their respective careers, with the former Storm playmaker holding a 4-1 lead over the new Wests Tigers recruit. Lolohea has scored three tries in his five games against Green, however, while Green has never scored in a game against Lolohea. The one time they have met in their current team colours was in the Round 19 encounter, with Green’s Sea Eagles winning 28-16.