James Tedesco v Greg Inglis
James Tedesco has started the 2015 season in similar fashion to last year, highlighted by a man-of-the-match performance against St George Illawarra on Monday night - however his biggest test comes this Sunday at ANZ Stadium against competition heavyweights South Sydney.
Taking on the captaincy at the reigning premiers this season, Greg Inglis has started the year in extraordinary fashion once again, and will be looking to continue his formidable record against Wests Tigers – winning eight of his past 13 games against the Club and scoring 10 tries in those clashes.
Plenty has changed at both Clubs since the corresponding fixture last year where Wests Tigers recorded a 25-16 upset, however Tedesco should take plenty of confidence from that particular encounter where he scored a try and set up another. Inglis on the other hand, left the field in the early stages of that match with concussion after a collision with Tim Simona.
Career Head-to-Head clashes: Played 3 – Tedesco 1, Inglis 2
NRL Fantasy Prices: Tedesco $339,000 (-$3,000; Last Week: 44), Inglis $416,000 (-$10,000; Last Week: 47)
Jason Taylor on Tedesco: “He showed (in Round 2) why people have talked about him so much over the past few years. He had some really classy touches and did some things that not many other players can do.”
Robbie Farah v Isaac Luke
The opening two rounds have pretty well gone to plan for Wests Tigers and skipper Robbie Farah has been at his workhorse best once again – making a combined 81 tackles against the Titans and Dragons - despite being rested to open the second half in both games for Dene Halatau.
On the other hand, Rabbitohs rake Isaac Luke and his pals have not let up since winning the 2014 premiership – taking out the NRL Auckland Nines, World Club Challenge and the opening two matches of the season against Brisbane and the Roosters. The Kiwi international has averaged over 100 metres in those two games and is renowned for taking advantage of quick play-the-balls.
Farah and Luke have a long history against one another – meeting 11 times in the NRL and twice on an International level. This will no doubt be another key clash between the quality rakes as Farah looks to lead his ‘underdog’ side to a third straight victory to open season 2015.
Career Head-to-Head clashes: Played 11 – Farah 4, Luke 7 (NRL games only)
NRL Fantasy Prices: Farah $585,000 (-$3,000; Last Week: 37), Luke $400,000 (Nil; Last Week: 57)
Jason Taylor on Luke and the Rabbitohs: “If a guy like George Burgess runs it and leaves three players on the ground, Isaac Luke will take full advantage of that. This is a great challenge for us, we have worked really hard and had two solid wins but this is the real test to see where we are at.”
Aaron Woods v George Burgess
It was an unbelievable performance from Aaron Woods last week against St George Illawarra, with the Kangaroo prop running for 271 metres, making 34 tackles and two offloads in the 22-4 victory at Campbelltown Sports Stadium. Coming up against the premiers has been no easy feat for the Leichhardt junior in the past, winning just one of five career clashes against South Sydney.
With the departure of brothers Luke and Sam, it seems that George Burgess has stepped up to another level in 2015 for South Sydney, making a combined 298 metres in the opening two matches. The English International has experienced a stellar past two seasons in the NRL – winning the RLIF Rookie of the Year Award in 2013 and following it up with a premiership victory and Four Nations birth last year.
Arguably the two form props in the competition, the battle between Woods and Burgess is shaping up to be the highlight of this encounter at ANZ Stadium. Both incumbent Test props for their respective countries, expect a brutal encounter between the pair that is sure to have a major impact on the outcome of the match.
Career Head-to-Head clashes: Played 2 - Woods 1, Burgess 1 (NRL games only)
NRL Fantasy Prices: Woods $433,000 (+$7,000; Last Week: 64), Burgess $429,000 (-$8,000; Last Week: 75)
Jason Taylor on Woods v Burgess: “In my opinion, George Burgess and Isaac Luke have been their best two players in their opening two games. We are going to have to work really hard to control what they do.”