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CrownBet Match Preview: Round 26

Wests Tigers will look to end the 2017 season on a winning note when they take on the New Zealand Warriors on a rare Sunday evening game at Leichhardt Oval.

It was another strong performance from Ivan Cleary’s side in Round 25 against the Cowboys but again, it was a disappointing end to the match with the visitors running in three tries in the final 13 minutes to emerge with a come-from-behind 22-14 victory.

The feeling was all too familiar for Wests Tigers over the past two months having led or trailed by less than one try with 10 minutes to go in every game since Round 17.

There’s no doubting the improved attitude and resilience Cleary’s men have shown to end the year, and they’ll be desperate to cap that off with a strong performance this Sunday.

After a relatively good with injuries throughout the year, Wests Tigers will again lineup without a number of key players — heading in to the contest without three hookers and a number of outside backs and edge forwards — but they will welcome back some key names with Luke Brooks (hamstring) and Kevin Naiqama (ribs) set to take their place in the side.

They’ll face the New Zealand Warriors remarkably for the first time this season and will be keen to extend their recent dominance over the visitors, having won the last three games between the two and averaging 40 points scored per game in the process.

For Stephen Kearney, the end of the year seemingly can’t come quick enough after their losing streak was extended to eight games in a row last weekend — this time in remarkable fashion as the Sea Eagles stole an unlikely 22-21 victory in Golden Point.

It's interesting to note particularly the away form of the Warriors, who have won just once out of New Zealand all year — a 34-14 win over the 14th-placed Titans.

Wests Tigers, on the other hand, were winners in their last time out at Leichhardt Oval, and hold a slender 3-2 advantage between the two in games played at the venue.

Be there for our final home game of season 2017 and help farewell our departing players!


Date — Sunday, September 3, 2017

Time — 6:30pm AEST

Venue — Leichhardt Oval



TV — Live via Fox League (Ch.502)

Radio — AM 702 ABC Grandstand and ABC 2GB 873

Live Stream — Live via Foxtel Go, NRL Digital Pass (subscription required)



Referees — Adam Gee and Peter Gough

Touch Judges — Dave Ryan and Phil Henderson

Video Referees — Luke Patten and Steve Chiddy



Head-to-Head — Wests Tigers ($1.55), NZ Warriors ($2.50)

Line — Wests Tigers -5.5 ($1.92), NZ Warriors +5.5 ($1.92)

Latest odds via (18+ only, gamble responsibly)

Odds correct as of Wednesday, August 30 at 8:00pm


Updated: Sunday, September 3 at 8:00am AEST

Wests Tigers

Plenty of changes for the final game of the season with Luke Brooks and Kevin Naiqama both returning from injury, while Michael Chee Kam and Matt McIlwrick (both suspended) drop out.

Jack Littlejohn starts at hooker, with the final spot on the bench coming down to Watson Heleta, Jeremy Marshall-King or Ava Seumanufagai — to be confirmed at 5:30pm today.

Last week's debutant Bayley Sironen retains his spot in the squad.

NZ Warriors

Big late changes for Stephen Kearney's side with Shaun Johnson and Kieran Foran ruled out — replaced in the halves by talented youngsters Mason Lino and Ata Hingano.

Isaac Luke (concussion, last week) has been named.

Team Lists Update

4:00pm, Tuesday — 21-man squads announced — Click here!

6:30pm, Saturday — 19-man squads announced — Click here!

5:30pm, Friday — 17-man team lists announced — TBC



Wests Tigers

Round 21 — Wests Tigers 26 def. Gold Coast Titans 4

Round 22 — Penrith Panthers 28 def. Wests Tigers 14

Round 23 — Wests Tigers 30 def. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 26

Round 24 — Sydney Roosters 22 def. Wests Tigers 18

Round 25 — North Queensland Cowboys 22 def. Wests Tigers 14

New Zealand Warriors

Round 21 — Cronulla Sharks 26 def. NZ Warriors 12

Round 22 — Newcastle Knights 26 def. NZ Warriors 10

Round 23 — Canberra Raiders 36 def. NZ Warriors 16

Round 24 — South Sydney Rabbitohs 36 def. NZ Warriors 18

Round 25 — Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 22 def. NZ Warriors 21


·       Head-to-Head — Played 28, Won 14, Lost 13, Drawn 1

·       At Campbelltown Stadium — Played 5, Won 3, Lost 2

·       Last Time They Met — Wests Tigers 36 def. NZ Warriors 24 (Rd.25, 2016)




Wests Tigers

NZ Warriors


15th (16 points)

13th (18 points)

Home Form

Won 2, Lost 9

Won 6, Lost 6

Away Form

Won 4, Lost 8

Won 1, Lost 10

Points Scored

385 points (15th)

428 points (13th)

Points Conceded

555 points (14th)

547 points (13th)