Martin Taupau v Greg Eastwood
Martin Taupau comes up against his former teammates at the Bulldogs for just the third time this Friday night and will be looking to continue his impressive start to the 2015 season - averaging over 120 metres per game.
An experienced member of the Bulldogs’ forward pack, Greg Eastwood has come up against Wests Tigers on 10 occasions over his 11-year career and has a handy strike-rate: winning seven of those clashes.
Plenty has been said about Taupau’s aggressive displays over the past few weeks, and the Bulldogs are sure to be wary of the New Zealand International this Friday night. With the Canterbury-Bankstown forward pack boasting plenty of experience in Eastwood, James Graham and Aiden Tolman - as well as fellow big-boppers Sam Kasiano and Frank Pritchard - expect a bruising encounter in the middle of the park.
Career Head-to-Head clashes: Played 2 – Taupau 1, Eastwood 1
NRL Fantasy Prices: Taupau $347,000 (+$36,000; Average: 55.3), Eastwood $258,000 (-$14,000; Average: 24)
Taupau following Round 3: “"I just come and do my job: run hard and tackle hard. That's what I get told to do.For me it's just a do-or-die attitude pretty much. Take no prisoners."
Keith Galloway v Aiden Tolman
With the withdrawal of Aaron Woods with a knee injury, fellow Wests Tigers enforcer Keith Galloway will need to stand up and lead an inexperienced forward pack that includes seven players aged 23 and under (Seumanufagai, Santi, Sironen, Sue, Lovett, Liolevave and Buchanan).
While much of the focus and praise often goes to skipper James Graham and his impressive performances, Aiden Tolman provides the Bulldogs with plenty of go forward, averaging 132 metres per game in the opening three rounds of the competition.
Galloway comes into the match off a solid performance against South Sydney from the veteran prop forward, making 140 metres from 13 runs, while Tolman made 134 metres from 17 runs against Manly-Warringah. The battle between the big men will be crucial in this clash at ANZ Stadium and expect these two experienced props to have a high involvement once again.
Career Head-to-Head clashes: Played 5 - Galloway 1, Tolman 4 (NRL games only)
NRL Fantasy Prices: Galloway $256,000 (+$15,000; Average: 37), Tolman $379,000 (-$11,000; Average: 40.3)
Jason Taylor on the Bulldogs: “The Bulldogs have been playing some really good football, they have a forward pack that you can talk about and Brett Morris has been outstanding for us. It’s going to be a good challenge for us.”
Mitchell Moses v Moses Mbye
Playing primarily at fullback during his short stint of NRL last season, Mitchell Moses is now adapting to his role in a new, but exciting, spine for Wests Tigers in 2015. The Carlingford junior is now playing in his preferred five-eighth position alongside James Tedesco, Luke Brooks and Robbie Farah in the key positions.
With the absence of Josh Reynolds due to an arm injury, Moses Mbye has provided the Bulldogs with a more than capable replacement in the halves. The exciting young playmaker has just 11 NRL games under his belt but has started 2015 strong and will be out for another big performance against Wests Tigers in the hope of securing a position somewhere in the side once Reynolds returns.
Moses gave Wests Tigers fans a glimpse of the big future many have earmarked him for last season against the Bulldogs in Round 19, setting up six tries in the 46-18 victory. The 20-year-old was brought back to earth though in Round 24, when Mbye and company scored a 30-10 win. Whichever way you look at it, this clash between two exciting young halves is sure to have a major impact in an important game for both sides.
Career Head-to-Head clashes: Played 2 – Moses 1, Mbye 1
NRL Fantasy Prices: Moses $154,000 (-$5,000; Average: 15.7), Mbye $251,000 (+$17,000; Average: 41.5)
Moses on the Bulldogs: “"It was probably one of the best games I've ever played (Round 19, 2014). I think if we can play like we did that day, we'll go pretty far (to winning this week).”