James Tedesco v Will Hopoate
It has been another enthralling start to the season for fullback James Tedesco, with the Italian International already scoring four tries in just four games - including two stellar four-pointers last week in what was an exciting combination with halfback Luke Brooks.
In his second season back in the NRL from a two-year Mormon mission, Will Hopoate made his return to NSW Origin last year in Game III and will be out to prove he deserves to retain his jersey. This time, however, he will have his sights set on the fullback role left vacant by former teammate Jarryd Hayne.
Hopoate and Tedesco are yet to meet on an NRL level, with the Wests Tigers custodian missing last year’s Easter Monday blockbuster through injury. Both players have represented City Origin previously and you would expect at least one to travel to Wagga Wagga for the 2015 fixture.
Career Head-to-Head clashes: Yet to play at an NRL level.
NRL Fantasy Prices: Tedesco $349,000 (+$7,000; Average: 43.3), Hopoate $239,000 (-$4,000; Average: 27.3)
Robbie Farah v Nathan Peats
Robbie Farah has the job of leading this inexperienced Wests Tigers team around the park but has shown he has what it takes in recent weeks with the assistance of new Head Coach Jason Taylor. Spearheading an exciting young Wests Tigers spine consisting of Brooks, Tedesco and Mitch Moses; there looks to be exciting times ahead for both Farah and the Club.
After his first season for Eels was cut short due to injury, Nathan Peats is back on deck in 2015 and has certainly made a difference in what has been a strong start to the year. With Isaac De Gois on the interchange bench, there’s plenty of spark and experience from dummy-half at Parramatta’s disposal.
While Farah and Peats have met twice on an NRL level, both of those games were while Peats was with South Sydney and playing second-fiddle to Isaac Luke. The battle of the rakes is set to be crucial in this clash between two massive forward packs, with both Farah and Peats known to take advantage of quick play-the-balls.
Career Head-to-Head clashes: Played 2 – Farah 0, Peats 2
NRL Fantasy Prices: Farah $530,000 (-$58,000; Average: 59), Peats $343,000 (-$27,000; Average: 39.8)
Luke Brooks v Chris Sandow
Luke Brooks was the star of the show last week against the Bulldogs, playing a hand in all four Wests Tigers tries. The exciting young playmaker scored a try and set-up three more in a stellar performance with his dangerous kicking and passing game a highlight in the loss to Canterbury-Bankstown.
Chris Sandow came back to haunt his old teammates at South Sydney last week, inflicting their first loss since August 2014 with a standout display. The 26-year-old halfback was in everything – kicking a field goal, scoring a try, setting up another and providing two offloads in the 29-16 victory.
In the retrospective fixture last season, Brooks sealed the match with a field-goal in just his eighth first grade game. It was the only time Brooks and Sandow have come up against one another and many are expecting another close battle between the two crafty number sevens.
Career Head-to-Head clashes: Played 1 - Brooks 1, Sandow 0
NRL Fantasy Prices: Brooks $200,000 (-$21,000; Average: 24.8), Sandow $338,000 (-$9,000; Average: 40.8)