Who will stand as the only undefeated team of the VB NSW Cup as the Wests Tigers and Mounties look to keep their perfect records intact?
While many consider the Wests Tigers lucky to remain unbeaten in escaping with a thrilling 34-32 win over the Bulldogs last week, coach Paul Fletcher is confident the team will use the victory as a building block for the rest of the season.
“I said to the boys that I think we will get the benefit of that win later in the season when there’s more adversity and things aren’t going well,” Fletcher said.
“We can look back at that win and take strength from that. The boys deserve a tonne of credit to play 54 minutes with 12 men against a big side like Canterbury. To be under adversity and not give up but keep coming – that was very pleasing from my view.”
It will be a tougher task for the Wests Tigers against Mounties who have been impressive after winning their first three matches of the season.
“They have a quality team there,” Fletcher said.
“They have Sam Williams at halfback, Jack Ahearn at fullback.”
Although they would love to stay undefeated, Fletcher’s men and Mounties have the big picture in mind and are concentrating on building for the season rather than focusing on one game.
“It’s only round four,” Fletcher said. “We’re still coming together as are the Mounties. No one has fully hit their straps yet but it would be nice to win.
"Everyone likes to win, don’t they?
"But the main emphasis for us is to improve on those little areas we need to improve on. It’s about getting our own house in order and working to get things right with what we do.
"That’s our main focus.”
This preview first appeared on NSWRL.com and is used by permission.
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Date — Saturday, March 28
Time — 3:00pm
Venue — Leichhardt Oval
Match Officials — Liam Nicholls (Referee), Matthew Damaso and Richard Daizli
1. Shannon McDonnell 2. Keith Lulia 3. David Nofoaluma 4. Chance Peni 5. Kurtis Rowe 6. Tim Moltzen 7. Josh Drinkwater 8. Dallas Graham 9. Joel Luani 10. Andy Fiagatusa 11. Lamar Liolevave 12. Asipeli Fine 13. Sitaleki Akauola (Interchange: 14. Penani Manumalealii 15. Michael Bullock 16. Inno Inosesio 17. Salesi Funaki 18. Wes Lolo).
1. Jack Ahearn 2. Bil Tupou 3. Jeremy Hawkins 4. Mitch Cronin 5. Gus Aiga 6. Sam Duggan 7. Sam Williams 8. Willie Mataka 9. Josh McCrone 10. Mark Nicholls 11. Patrick Mago 12. Mitch Barnett 13. Clay Priest (Interchange: 14. Kurt Baptiste 15. Pat Mataele 16. Rhys Kennedy 17. Luke Page).
R1 — Wests Tigers 24 def. Newtown Jets 14
R2 — Wests Tigers 31 def. Wentworthville Magpies 18
R3 — Wests Tigers 34 def. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 32
R1 — Mounties RLFC 22 def. Illawarra Cutters 20
R2 — Mounties RLFC 21 def. Wyong Roos 18
R3 — Mounties RLFC 46 def. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 20