NRL Match Preview: Round 18

Wests Tigers will look to make it back-to-back wins over the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles when they clash at Brookvale Oval this Friday night.

The visitors this week delivered a knockout blow to one of the competition heavyweights when they met in Round 5, and the hosts this week will no doubt be keen to avoid that happening once more — especially in front of home fans.

Both teams will be waiting nervously on the fitness of State of Origin players, with Wests Tigers extremely hopeful that captain Robbie Farah passes through Game III unscathed. Wests Tigers have struggled for form while their skipper is away on representative duties, and will be keen to have him — along with Aaron Woods — back in the fold this Friday.

Following strong debuts last week, teenagers Mitchell Moses and Matthew Lodge have both been named for this week, and will look to continue their storng form.

Can Wests Tigers make it two-from-two against the Sea Eagles in 2014, or will the hosts be too strong in front of the Brookvale Oval faithful?

Read on for a full preview of the match including all the need-to-know details, team news, match analysis, statistics and much more.

 

Match Details

Date — Friday, July 11

Time — 7:45pm (Gates Open 5:10pm)

Venue — Brookvale Oval (Pittwater Road, Brookvale)

 

TV and Live Stream Details

Channel 9 will show live coverage of the match (check local guides) with a live stream available via the NRL’s Digital Pass (subscription required).

Be there on Sunday, July 20 when we take on the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium! There's great pre-sale ticket prices available, so get in quick!

Confirmed Squads

Wests Tigers

1. Mitchell Moses 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Keith Lulia 4. Chris Lawrence 5. Pat Richards 6. Blake Austin 7. Luke Brooks 8. Aaron Woods 9. Robbie Farah 10. Keith Galloway 11. Curtis Sironen 12. Dene Halatau 13. Adam Blair (Interchange: 14. Matthew Lodge 15. Martin Taupau 16. Ava Seumanufagai 17. James Gavet — Coach: Mick Potter)

 

Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

1. Brett Stewart 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Jamie Lyon 4. Steve Matai 5. Peta Hiku 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Josh Starling 9. Matt Ballin 10. Brenton Lawrence 11. Jamie Buhrer 12. Justin Horo 13. Dunamis Lui (Interchange: 14. Jesse Sene-Lefao 15. James Hasson 16. Tom Symonds 17. Jason King — Coach: Geoff Toovey)

 

Last Five Matches

Wests Tigers

R11 — Brisbane Broncos 16 def. Wests Tigers 14

R13 — Wests Tigers 23 def. Newcastle Knights 20

R14 — South Sydney Rabbitohs 32 def. Wests Tigers 10

R16 — Wests Tigers 19 def. Canberra Raiders 18

R17 — Penrith Panthers 26 def. Wests Tigers 10

 

Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

R12 — Brisbane Broncos 36 def. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 10

R13 — Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 32 def. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 10

R15 — Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 26 def. Cronulla Sharks 0

R16 — Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 24 def. Sydney Roosters 16

R17 — Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 23 def. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 16

 

Last Time They Met

Round 5, 2014: Wests Tigers 34 def. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 18

It was a red-hot performance by Wests Tigers when they comfortably beat a below-par Sea Eagles side in Round 5 at Leichhardt Oval. First half tries to Robbie Farah, Aaron Woods, Chris Lawrence and David Nofoaluma gave the hosts a commanding lead at the break, with a second try to Nofoaluma in the second half ensuring that a Steve Matai double didn’t threaten the hosts' strong lead, as Wests Tigers emerged with a comfortable win.

 

Match History: Played 21, Won 8, Lost 12, Drawn 1

 

Number to Know — 131

With Glenn Stewart battling injury and Anthony Watmough missing games due to suspension and Origin selection this year, Manly’s forward pack this year has lacked some of it’s usual assertion and dominance. While their outside backs and halves have flourished, the Club have chalked up the third-fewest offloads this year (131) and the fourth-fewest tackle breaks (352), and that could be an area where Wests Tigers will be looking to get the upper hand. With both Farah and Woods back from selection, the visitors this week will have a similar lineup to the one that dispatched Manly with a physical performance in Round 5, and they’ll no doubt look to provide a similar threat this weekend.

 

Coach’s Comment

“Traveling to Brookvale is never easy. It’s a ground that’s going to dewy — especially late on Friday night — so we need to make sure that we control the footy. We need to stop their forwards and make sure that we have their centres their halves covered, as they’re the biggest dangers. We do take some confidence from the fact that we did beat them in Round 5, but they’ll be stinging from that so they’ll make more reason to try to get us. We’re desperate for two points so it’s going to be a good game…” (Mick Potter, NRL Head Coach)

 

Individual Stats Leaders

 

Wests Tigers

Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

Points

Pat Richards (129 points)

Jamie Lyon (100 points)

Tackles

Adam Blair (462 tackles)

Matt Ballin (669 tackles)

Hit-Ups

Aaron Woods (150 hit-ups)

Brenton Lawrence (136 hit-ups)

Total Metres

Aaron Woods (1682 metres)

Peta Hiku (1763 metres)

 

Key Player Stats

  • Steve Matai has scored 11 tries this year (4th most in NRL)
  • Matt Ballin has made 666 tackles this year (3rd most in NRL)
  • Luke Brooks has made 12 turnover tackles this year (most in NRL)
  • Robbie Farah has made 71 runs from dummy half (most in NRL)
  • Matt Ballin has made 69 runs from dummy half (2nd most in NRL)
  • Pat Richards has made four intercepts this year (most in NRL)
  • Justin Horo has made 93 decoy runs this year (3rd most in NRL)
  • Jorge Taufua has made 11 handling errors this year (3rd most in NRL)
  • Luke Brooks has missed 75 tackles this year (most in NRL)
  • Brett Stewart has 15 try-assists this year (most in NRL)

 

Team Stats

 

Wests Tigers

Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

Position

10th (20 points)

2nd (24 points)

Points For

290 points (12th)

330 points (5th)

Points Against

338 points (10th)

251 points (4th)

Penalties For

102 penalties (5th)

97 penalties (8th)

Missed Tackles

488 tackles (14th)

408 tackles (5th)

Completion %

72 percent (8th)

73 percent (7th)

2014 Home Record

Played 7: Won 4, Lost 3

Played 9: Won 8, Lost 1

2014 Away Record

Played 8: Won 4, Lost 4

Played 6: Won 2, Lost 4

2014 Total Record

Played 15: Won 8, Lost 7

Played 15: Won 10, Lost 5