Match Preview: NRL Round 19

After defeats in their last two matches, Wests Tigers will be looking for a much-improved performance this week against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.

Last Friday’s trip to Brookvale Oval didn’t reap much reward for the visitors — robbed of the opening try of the match to David Nofoaluma — before ending up on the wrong end of a comprehensive victory to the Sea Eagles.

The Bulldogs, on the other hand, have been flying along at the moment, but could be tested this weekend without regular five-eighth Josh Reynolds.

Both Tony Williams and Josh Jackson have filled in the No. 6 jersey over the past few weeks, but it’s certainly not an ideal situation for Des Hasler’s men to be in as they look to make a strong run home towards the 2014 NRL finals.

It’s shaping as a key match for both teams, with plenty on the line — and plenty of storylines to write about as well. The entire round is dedicated to Alex McKinnon, while on a personal level, Wests Tigers fans will have the chance to send off Liam Fulton in style, after he recently announced his retirement.

Who will get the points in this blockbuster Sunday afternoon clash?

Read on for a full preview of the match including all the key details, TV and live stream information, team news, analysis and much more.

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!

Match Details

Date — Sunday, July 20, 2014

Time — 3:00pm (Gates open 12:40pm)

Venue — ANZ Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park

 

TV and Live Stream Details

Channel 9 will provide coverage of the match (check local guides) but on a one-hour delay commencing at 4:00pm AEST. A live stream of the match is available via the NRL’s Digital Pass, but also on a delay (subscription required).

ALL Wests Tigers ticketed members get FREE entry on Sunday! Simply show pass at Gate B or Gate K on the day!

Confirmed Squads

Wests Tigers

1. Mitchell Moses 2. Keith Lulia 3. Josh Morris 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. Bodene Thompson 13. Adam Blair (Interchange: 14. Ava Seumanufagai 15. Martin Taupau 16. Dene Halatau 17. James Gavet 18. Sauaso Sue).

 

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

1. Mitch Brown 2. Corey Thompson 3. Josh Morris 4. Tim Lafai 5. Krisnan Inu 6. Josh Jackson 7. Trent Hodkinson 8. Sam Kasiano 9. Michael Ennis 10. James Graham 11. Dale Finucane 12. Tony Williams 13. Greg Eastwood (Interchange: 14. Reni Maitua 15. Pat O’Hanlon 16. Tim Browne 17. Llyod Perrett 19. Drury Low 20. Damien Cook).

 

Last Five Matches

Wests Tigers

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

R18 — Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 40 def. Wests Tigers 8

 

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

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

R14 — Parramatta Eels 22 def. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 10

R15 — Canterury-Bankstown Bulldogs 22 def. Canberra Raiders 14

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

R18 — Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 6 def. Melbourne Storm 4

 

Match History: Played 25, Won 9, Lost 16

 

Number to Know — 20

Despite sitting at seemingly opposite ends of the competition ladder, both sides this weekend have something in common — they rarely blow open their opponents with big scores. That’s not to say that either aren’t capable of doing so, but both teams come into this week’s match averaging under 20 points scored per game — ranking them in the bottom six teams in the league. Case in point came from last week, when they combined for just 14 points in total. Already this year, the Bulldogs have been held to 16 points or less on 10 occasions, while the Wests Tigers have scored 16 or less on seven occasions — meaning that we could well be in for a low-scoring affair come Sunday afternoon, despite the last three meetings between the two averaging 47.6 points per game.

 

Coach’s Comment

“They’re a team that have got some very skillful forwards and some very big forwards. The first thing is to stop them going forward — that’s our main priority. They’ve got skill, and accounting for them all the time is going to be difficult. We need to be defensively strong; we need to make sure that our structures are in place; we need to make sure they don’t go through us. On the flip side, we need to make sure that our timing and our shape is good when we’re on the attack…” (Mick Potter, NRL Head Coach)

 

Individual Stats Leaders

 

Wests Tigers

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

Points

Pat Richards (129 points)

Trent Hodkinson (94 points)

Tackles

Adam Blair (496 tackles)

Michael Ennis (584 tackles)

Hit-Ups

Aaron Woods (163 hit-ups)

James Graham (229 hit-ups)

Total Metres

Aaron Woods (1807 metres)

James Graham (2425 metres)

 

Key Player Stats

  • James Graham ranks fifth in the NRL for total running metres (2425) this season.
  • Robbie Farah leads the NRL in dummy-half runs (80) this season.
  • Luke Brooks leads the NRL in missed tackles (81) this season.

 

Team Stats

 

Wests Tigers

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

Position

10th (20 points)

3rd (26 points)

Points For

298 points (12th)

310 points (11th)

Points Against

378 points (12th)

244 points (2nd)

Penalties For

112 penalties (5th)

107 penalties (6th)

Missed Tackles

521 tackles (3rd)

353 tackles (15th)

Line Breaks

58 line breaks (13th)

53 linebreaks (14th)

2014 Home Record

Played 7: Won 4, Lost 3

Played 8: Won 5, Lost 3

2014 Away Record

Played 9: Won 4, Lost 5

Played 8: Won 6, Lost 2

2014 Total Record

Played 16: Won 8, Lost 8

Played 16: Won 11, Lost 5