"Photo: Paul Barkley / Melba Studios "

After suffering a last-gasp defeat to the St. George-Illawarra Dragons in Round 20, Wests Tigers NYC side will look to bounce back against Melbourne Storm this week.

The young Wests Tigers led against the Dragons until the final two minutes of the match, and missed their chance to move to equal first of the competition ladder in the process — something that will no doubt be burning in the back of their minds.

They’ll come up against a tough opponent this Saturday when they take on the Storm, who come into the match on the back of an impressive winning streak.

It’ll be a fascinating clash at Campbelltown Sports Stadium, with an extremely close race for the top four meaning that the two points on offer are vital for both teams.

Who will walk away from this Round 21 clash with the points? Read on for a full preview of the match including all the key details, team news, analysis and more.

 

Match Details

Date — Saturday, August 2, 2014

Time — 1:15pm AEST

Venue — Campbelltown Sports Stadium

Live Coverage — Follow Wests Tigers on Twitter for live scores and commentary

Get your tickets to our Simon Dwyer Tribute match in Round 21 here. $5 from every adult and family ticket will go to Simon. 

Team News

Wests Tigers

1. Mason Farrell 2. John Tohi 3. Watson Heleta 4. Delouise Hoeter 5. John Ogden 6. Te Maire Martin 7. Eli Levido 8. Dallas Graham 9. Manaia Cherrington 10. Jordan Grant 11. Salesi Funaki 12. Lamar Liolevave 13. Tyler Cassel (Interchange: 14. Hala Masila 15. Andrew Kazzi 16. Thomas Grealy 17. Jeremy Marshall-King 18. Hayden Johnson)

 

Melbourne Storm

1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Tony Tumusa 3. Maxwell Fesolai 4. Josh Minhinnick 5. Latrell Robinson 6. Brayden Torpy 7. Billy Kitt 8. Rhys Kennedy 9. Billy Brittain 10. Joe Stimson 11. Una Mohi 12. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 13. Dean Britt (Interchange: 14. Jake Turpin 15. Charlie Galo 16. Vincent Rennie 17. Francis Tualau 19. Ben Halfpenny)

 

Last Five Matches

Wests Tigers

R16 — Wests Tigers 46 def. Canberra Raiders 16

R17 — Wests Tigers 30 def. Penrith Panthers 18

R18 — Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 40 def. Wests Tigers 32

R19 — Wests Tigers 42 def. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 10

R20 — St. George-Illawarra Dragons 28 def. Wests Tigers 26

 

Melbourne Storm

R15 — Melbourne Storm 26 def. Parramatta Eels 22

R16 — Melbourne Storm 26 def. St. George-Illawarra Dragons 6

R18 — Melbourne Storm 22 def. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 20

R19 — Melbourne Storm 54 def. Canberra Raiders 10

R20 — Melbourne Storm 16 def. Brisbane Broncos 14

 

Coach’s Comment

“This is a Melbourne side that has really hit the ground running over the past six weeks — without dropping a game. They’ve got a lot of class across the field. They’ve got a really big pack — similar to what we’ve faced in the last two weeks with both the Bulldogs and the Dragons, so we’re looking forward to that — and they’ve got some clever halves with a tight kicking game. They’ve also got some big wingers and centres that get off their edge and get things started. The Storm have come through some close wins over the past few weeks so we’ve got to put together a full 80-minute performance and improve on some of the little aspects that have let us down over the past few weeks…”

—  Balin Cupples, NYC Assistant Coach

 

Key Player Stats

·       Dallas Graham ranks third in the league for total tackles (578)

·       Te Maire Martin leads the league in linebreak assists (19)

·       Manaia Cherrington ranks second in the league for dummy half runs (110)

·       Nelson Asofa-Solomona leads the league in tackle breaks (112)

·       Te Maire Martin leads the league in handling errors (180

·       Te Maire Martin ranks second in the league for try assists (21)

 

Team Stats

 

Wests Tigers

Melbourne Storm

Position

5th (28 points)

7th (26 points)

Points For

538 points (5th)

454 points (10th)

Points Against

430 points (6th)

420 points (4th)

2014 Home Record

Played 9: Won 7, Lost 2

Played 10: Won 7, Lost 3

2014 Away Record

Played 9: Won 5, Lost 4

Played 8: Won 4, Lost 4

2014 Total Record

Played 18: Won 12, Lost 6

Played 18: Won 11, Lost 7