Wests Tigers will look to end a run of five straight defeats when they take on the high-flying Melbourne Storm in their Round 21 clash this Friday, July 31.

With a good recent record against the Storm at Leichhardt Oval — winning seven of the 10 fixtures played at the venue — Jason Taylor’s side will go into Friday’s game secretly confident of producing another strong performance against the Victorians. Wests Tigers are winless through their last five, but the return of Robbie Farah and a milestone for local Aaron Woods as he plays his 100th game will no doubt give the hosts a big boost.

Craig Bellamy’s side, on the other hand, come into the game with a contrasting run of form — winning their last two in impressive fashion against the Panthers and Dragons — and seemingly poised to launch a finals run over the last six weeks of the season.

Cameron Munster has been strong at the back in the absence of Billy Slater, while the likes of Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith ensure a tough fight week in and week out.

It’ll be interesting to see, however, how much travel plays a part for the visitors, who have a less than 50 percent winning record this year outside of Melbourne.

In the past three weeks, the Storm have traveled twice to New Zealand, and will head back to Sydney on a short preparation as they try to win just their third game there this year.

Whether that will affect one of the more professional sides in the competition remains to be seen, but it’s certainly shaping as an intriguing clash on Friday night between two sides that might be at different ends of the table but still with plenty to play for.

Be there as we take on the Storm in our Marvel jerseys this Friday at Leichhardt Oval!

Match Details

Date — Friday, July 31, 2015

Time — 7:45pm AEST

Venue — Leichhardt Oval

 

Match Officials

On-Field Referees — Adam Devcich and Chris Sutton

Touch Judges — Rick MacFarlane and Kasey Badger

Video Referees — Jared Maxwell and Luke Patten

 

TV, Live Stream and Radio Information

TV — Channel 9 (Delayed 9:30pm NSW & QLD), GO (Live 7:30pm VIC)

Live Stream — NRL Digital Pass (subscription required)

Radio — FM 104.9 Triple M (Sydney and Brisbane)

 

Confirmed Squads

Wests Tigers

 

Melbourne Storm

James Tedesco

1

Cameron Munster

David Nofoaluma

2

Marika Koroibete

Kevin Naiqama

3

Will Chambers

Tim Simona

4

Tohu Harris

Pat Richards

5

Matt Duffie

Mitchell Moses

6

Blake Green

Luke Brooks

7

Cooper Cronk

Aaron Woods

8

Jesse Bromwich

Robbie Farah (capt.)

9

Cameron Smith (capt.)

Keith Galloway

10

Tim Glasby

Curtis Sironen

11

Kevin Proctor

Dene Halatau

12

Kenny Bromwich

Sauaso Sue

13

Ryan Hinchcliffe

Kyle Lovett

14

Dale Finucane

Jack Buchanan

15

Mahe Fonua

Ava Seumanufagai

16

Nelson Asofa-Solomona

Brenden Santi

17

Christian Welch

Manaia Cherrington

18

 

Jason Taylor

Coach

Craig Bellamy

Robbie Farah returns at hooker for Wests Tigers, with Dene Halatau moving into the back row to cover for the injured Chris Lawrence (ankle). Martin Taupau's suspension sees Sauaso Sue move to lock, while Keith Galloway returns to the starting front row alongside 100-game man Aaron Woods. Ava Seumanufagai also returns from a knee injury, named on a five-man interchange bench along with young gun Manaia Cherrington.

For the Storm, they are unchanged from the side that defeated the Dragons in Napier last weekend, with Jesse Bromwich cleared to play following a biting allegation last week.

 

2015 Recent Results

Wests Tigers

R15 — Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 30 def. Wests Tigers 20

R16 — Penrith Panthers 35 def. Wests Tigers 12

R17 — Parramatta Eels 28 def. Wests Tigers 16

R19 — Brisbane Broncos 42 def. Wests Tigers 16

R20 — Sydney Roosters 33 def. Wests Tigers 8

 

Melbourne Storm

R15 — Brisbane Broncos 14 def. Melbourne Storm 12

R16 — Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 20 def. Melbourne Storm 4

R18 — New Zealand Warriors 28 def. Melbourne Storm 14

R19 — Melbourne Storm 52 def. Penrith Panthers 10

R20 — Melbourne Storm 22 def. St. George-Illawarra Dragons 4

 

Match History

·       Against the Storm — Played 25, Won 9, Lost 16, Drawn 0

·       At Leichhardt Oval — Played 10, Won 7, Lost 3

 

Numbers to Know

•   100 — Aaron Woods will play his 100th NRL game this weekend.

•   200 — Cameron Smith will captain the Storm for the 200th time this weekend.

•   567 — Melbourne Storm have completed 567 sets this year (2nd most in NRL), and have the highest completion rate (80%) in the competition.

•   313 — Jesse Bromwich ranks third in the competition for most runs with 313, and leads the competition with 153 decoy runs this year as well.

•   125 — James Tedesco leads the competition with 125 tackle breaks.