Match Preview: NSW Cup Round 15

Wests Tigers NSW Cup team will look to extend their winning streak to five in a row when they take on the Newtown Jets at Leichhardt Oval this Saturday afternoon.

The return of several players from injury at both a NSW Cup and NRL level has seen Wests Tigers field very strong teams over the past few weeks, and the results have followed accordingly. Young gun Mitchell Moses has been a tear of late, while the likes of Marika Koroibete and Kurtis Rowe have this week’s hosts firing in attack.

However, what will no doubt have pleased NSW Cup Coach Paul Fletcher the most is the team’s defensive record, which now stands as the best in the competition. Their goal-line defence has been particularly impressive, and there's no doubt that it will need to stand up and counted once more against the Newtown Jets this weekend.

The visitors may be rocked somewhat by the immediate departure of playmaker Daniel Mortimer to the Gold Coast Titans, but they still aren’t short of talent. Players like Tautau Moga, Arana Taumata and Heath L’Estrange all take their place in the team alongside underrated names such fullback Jonathon Reuben and youngster Rhyse Martin — making for a very intriguing clash against one of the form teams in the competition.

The Jets had won five in a row until the Newcastle Knights stopped them in a scrappy game last weekend; the question for them will be whether they can get their form going again with a different halves combination. For Wests Tigers, the question looms as to whether they can carry over the momentum they had heading into their Round 14 bye.

It’s shaping as a very fascinating battle indeed at Leichhardt Oval — which of course, can’t be ruled out as a factor on the day — so read on for a full match preview including all the key details, match facts, analysis and more.

 

Match Details — Wests Tigers vs. Newton Jets

Date: Saturday, June 21

Time: 3:00pm AEST

Venue: Leichhardt Oval, Leichhardt

 

Confirmed Squads

Wests Tigers

1. Kurtis Rowe 2. Marika Koroibete 3. Asipeli Fine 4. Keith Lulia 5. Setefano Taukafa 6. Mitchell Moses 7. Michael Stevens 8. James Gavet 9. Jy Hitchcox 10. Michael Bullock 11. Sitaleki Akauola 12. Jarred Farlow 13. Kyle Lovett (Interchange: 14. Jack Buchanan 15. Brenden Santi 16. Sam Hollis 17. Sonny Bristow 18. Corey Brown).

 

Newtown Jets

1. Jonathan Reuben 2. Matt Evans 3. Josh Davis 4. Samisoni Langi 5. Tautau Moga 6. Kurt Kara 7. Arana Taumata 8. Willis Meehan 9. Heath L’Estrange 10. Ryan Verlinden 11. Rhyse Martin 12. David Harris 13. Kane Evans (Interchange: 14. Andrew Pearn 15. Brett Lane 16. Sio Siua Taukeiaho 20. Jack Siejaka 22. Jack Noble 24. Brad Barrett).

 

Last Five Matches

Wests Tigers

R9 — Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 28 def. Wests Tigers 22

R10 — Wests Tigers 30 def. Cronulla Sharks 28

R11 — Wests Tigers 26 def. Newcastle Knights 22

R12 — Wests Tigers 52 def. Wentworthville Magpies 16

R13 — Wests Tigers 34 def. Newcastle Knights 12

 

Newtown Jets

R10 — Newtown Jets 34 def. Wyong Roos 8

R11 — Newtown Jets 42 def. Illawarra Cutters 22

R12 — Newtown Jets 36 def. Mounties RLFC 18

R13 — Newtown Jets 38 def. North Sydney Bears 16

R14 — Newcastle Knights 28 def. Newtown Jets 26

 

Key Matchup — Kurtis Rowe vs. Jonathon Reuben

Both teams have seen a couple of different players fill the No. 1 jersey this year, but Kurtis Rowe and Jonathon Reuben will take their place at the back this week in the hope of continuing their team’s recent success. Rowe had a shaky start against the Knights but quickly bounced back with a strong second half — combining well with Moses and Koroibete on the left edge. He’ll look to continue that this week, and his recent experience in the NRL should hold him in good stead for that. However, don’t rule out Reuben from having a big impact on the day too. The young flyer was the leading try-scorer in last year’s Holden Cup and was also named in the 2013 Holden Cup Team of the Year. Reuben just has the five tries to his name this year, but with the No. 1 jersey becoming his own, look for him to cause some serious problems if he gets the ball in space.

 

Team Stats

 

Wests Tigers

Newtown Jets

Position

3rd (22 points)

8th (15 points)

Points For

365 points (5th in NSW Cup)

342 points (9th in NSW Cup)

Points Against

262 points (1st in NSW Cup)

368 points (8th in NSW Cup)

2014 Home Record

Played 4, Won 3, Lost 1

Played 8, Won 4, Lost 3, Drawn 1

2014 Away Record

Played 9, Won 6, Lost 3

Played 6, Won 2, Lost 4

2014 Total Record

Played 13, Won 9, Lost 4

Played 14, Won 6, Lost 7, Drawn 1