Aaron Woods v Sam Thaiday
Aaron Woods comes back into the Wests Tigers side after an impressive Origin series in which he averaged 137 metres and 32 tackles per game. The Leichhardt junior will captain the Club once again in the absence of Robbie Farah, and he will be out to erase memories of the Blues’ heavy loss at the same ground just 11 days earlier.
Sam Thaiday, just like his side the Brisbane Broncos, holds a formidable record against Wests Tigers - having lost just once in ten previous career clashes. Thaiday was fairly quiet by his standards in Origin III, making 70 metres and 18 tackles. However, just three days later he turned in a stellar performance against Canterbury-Bankstown with 138 metres and 32 tackles.
Woods and Thaiday will continue their strong rivalry this Sunday, as they both look to stamp their authority amongst the NRL’s leading forwards. With both packs consisting of quality players, expect a strong battle in the middle this Sunday at Suncorp Stadium.
Career Head-to-Head clashes: Played 4 – Woods 0, Thaiday 4 (NRL games only)
NRL Fantasy Prices: Woods $416,000 (Season: -$10,000; Average: 54.8), Thaiday $343,000 (Season: -$37,000; Average: 44.4)
Sauaso Sue v Adam Blair
Sauaso Sue has already reached the 50-game milestone at just 23-years-of-age, with his no-nonsense work ethic and consistent performances making him a cornerstone of the Wests Tigers’ forward pack in recent times. In the absence of Woods in the Club’s last start match against Parramatta, Sue turned in a stellar performance with 115 metres and 29 tackles.
Adam Blair departed Wests Tigers at the end of the 2014 season for an opportunity with the Broncos and will meet his former teammates for the first time this Sunday. The Kiwi International is coming off strong back-to-back performances against the Bulldogs (129 metres) and Newcastle (156 metres).
Sue and Blair have an intriguing history from their time together at Wests Tigers, with Sue crediting Blair with assisting in his development immensely. The pair will line-up against one another for the first time on an NRL level this week, so expect an intense battle between to workhorses.
Career Head-to-Head clashes: Yet to play at an NRL level.
NRL Fantasy Prices: Sue $263,000 (Season: +$45,000; Average: 36.8), Blair $298,000 (Season: -$1,000; Average: 34.9)
James Tedesco v Darius Boyd
James Tedesco has been arguably the Club’s form player this season, which is a remarkable achievement after what has been a horrific run of injuries to start his NRL career. With 11 tries in 16 games this season, the Camden Rams junior meets the Broncos for the first time in over two years – his last match was the 32-12 loss to the Broncos in Round 14, 2013.
Darius Boyd, similarly to Tedesco, has made a successful return from a serious knee injury this season. Another one of the Broncos’ gang to back-up from Origin last week, Boyd was strong at the back for Brisbane – making 160 metres in the 16-8 victory against the Bulldogs.
The Tedesco and Boyd match-up could prove to be crucial in this encounter, with both players known for their strong kick-returns and ability to cross the try-line. Look out for this exciting battle between two of the game’s best fullbacks.
Career Head-to-Head clashes: Played 1 – Tedesco 1, Boyd 0
NRL Fantasy Prices: Tedesco $469,000 (Season: +$127,000; Average: 53.9), Boyd $253,000 (Season: -$46,000; Average: 29.9)