NRL Match Preview - Key match-ups: Wests Tigers vs Manly
Wests Tigers v Manly
HEAD TO HEAD: Played 18 - Wests Tigers 7, Manly 11
AT CAMPBELLTOWN SPORTS STADIUM: Played 0
LAST TIME: Manly 26 defeated Wests Tigers 0 - Round 13
BIGGEST HEAD TO HEAD WINS:
Wests Tigers 38 defeated Manly 12 at Brookvale Oval, 2003
Manly 48 defeated Wests Tigers 16 at ANZ Stadium, 2008
Tim Simona v David Williams
Try-scoring machines go head to head on Monday night at Campbelltown Sports Stadium, with Tim Simona and David Williams marking-up one another. Both have incredible strike-rates this year, with a knack for crossing the white line.
It was just another night at the office last week for Tim Simona, scoring another great individual try while the ink was still drying on a new two-year deal at the Club. Scoring six tries in the past six matches, Simona has found his feet this year on the wing under new coach Mick Potter. Making his debut back in 2011, Simonas scintillating try against Penrith in Round 13 was his first ever NRL try. In his seven games this year, Simona has averaged 104 metres per game, mainly due to his thrilling line-breaks up the left edge.
Simona will be hoping its not a full moon on Monday night as he comes up against David Wolfman Williams. Williams has scored a try in the past three games, all of which Manly have won. Back at his attacking best last week, Williams crossed for a brilliant try down the right flank against the Gold Coast. With an impressive 14 line-breaks this year, his combination with Jamie Lyon will need to be watched closely by Simona and Chris Lawrence.
BUY TICKETS TO WESTS TIGERS VS MANLY AT CAMPBELLTOWN
Bodene Thompson v Justin Horo
Both Bodene Thompson and Justin Horo moved to new Clubs in 2013 and have flourished in the back-row for their respective teams.
Thompson has become one of the key members of the Wests Tigers pack since coming to the Club in 2013 from the Titans. Forming a formidable backrow with Liam Fulton and Sauaso Sue, Thompson will need to step up again this week with Aaron Woods being ruled out through injury. Making 20 tackles and nine hit-ups for 76 metres last week against the Warriors, look out for a big impact from Thompson again this week.
Horos move to Manly in 2013 has paid off, starting in the second row in all 17 matches this season. With a similar playing style to Thompson, Horo has racked up an impressive six tries this season, with five of those coming in the past seven games. A bulking second-rower standing at 1.9 metres tall, nine of Horos games this season have been 80-minute efforts. The former Eel has averaged 21 tackles and 95 metres per game this year in a solid 2013 season.
David Nofoaluma v Jorge Taufua
What a match up this is; two in-form wingers come up against one another in a showdown not be missed at Campbelltown Sports Stadium. With 20 tries between the pair this year, look out for plenty of action on their side of the park come Monday night.
Scoring yet another try at Leichhardt Oval last week, Nofoaluma has emerged as one of the most promising youngsters in the NRL. With an amazing 49 tackle busts in just eight games (average of 6.1 per game), the Campbelltown junior is a hard man for the opposition to handle. Marking up against Manu Vatuvei last week, the 19-year-old faces another tough task this week with Taufua arguably the most dangerous winger in the competition on current form.
Topping various statistical counts in 2013, Taufua has had an outstanding year, which is highlighted by his 14 tries (third in the NRL). The 102kg winger is up there with the biggest in the competition but isnt short of pace. Taufua is number one in total metres gained in the NRL, with his kick returns ranked sixth with only fullbacks ahead of him. With an amazing 24 line-breaks to his name, his clash with Nofoaluma shapes will no doubt entertain.
Adam Blair v Brent Kite
Adam Blair and Brent Kite have over 400 NRL matches between them and will be a key factor in the battle at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Monday night.
Blair is one of only two Wests Tigers players to have played every match this year, along with rookie prop Jack Buchanan. One of the standouts in the 24-14 loss to the Warriors, Blair took ten hit-ups for 98 metres and made 25 tackles. The combination with rookie forward Sauaso Sue continues to develop, however the loss of Woods this week means that Blair will need to lift even more this week.
Kite is one of just three Manly players in this weeks side to have played NRL at Campbelltown Sports Stadium before. The massive prop made an appearance at the ground with the Dragons, while Brenton Lawrence (Titans) and Richie Faaoso (Knights) are the only other Sea Eagles to have played NRL at the game. The 278-game veteran hasnt slowed down at all, averaging just under 100 metres per game in 2013.